moonbase / module and code testing / qa

Horn Gábor Horn.Gabor at
Mon Oct 6 23:04:17 GMT 2003


Just a short feedback, i think it is a VERY good idea. At least my first
priority is stability, and maybe because of my mistake, but for me it
seems lunar got more unstable somehow than before. I exactly do what
elaine wrote, update moonbase only in every 2 months or so. And none of
my last 3 went smooth, in fact the last one resulted in a total system
broke (the glibc/gettext thing). 
If i'd have a choice between a more stable and rarely updated branch and
an up to minute one (which is the current moonbase), i'd choose the

bye, hirisov

2003-10-02, cs keltezéssel 18:04-kor elaine ezt írta:
> Hello all module developers.
> Feedback on these ideas or other ways to make test/release easier are 
> solicited! Sorry this is a long email.
> I wish to propose adopting guidelines for deciding the degree of testing we 
> want developers to use in determining when a module is ready for release into
> moonbase.
> We're all volunteers on this project and I think we all do pretty damn
> good work. 
> However from back in SGL days there have been problems when modules with
> system-wide impact are released into moonbase and trigger unexpected 
> problems. Db4, glibc, gcc, gnome have all been examples.
> There's a principle in engineering that's also well known/proven in
> software. The cost of fixing bugs/flaws grows exponentially as
> they move from R&D to alpha to beta to production. I beleive we'll
> save ourselves time in the long run if we can stop dropping untested
> updates into critical sections of the moonbase.
> Personally I'm will promise time for testing updates and would rather 
> dedicate some time to that upfront than spend (more) time fixing
> things after they've gone out to the wider userbase.
> Suggestions:
> 1. For complex modules, testing on the developement machine isn't 
> adequate. Dependencies which most users won't have installed are 
> certain to have been installed (perhaps a few times) on the target
> machine. Because Lunar doesn't have a rollback capabity returing
> to tabula-rasa
> 2. For modules with wide impact (Qt, libgnome, gtk+* glibc<shudder> ...)
> the effects of update may vary widely depending on what's installed
> 3. Lunar users are not even close to in-sync on software versions. It's
> up to the system owner to decide what to hold or update. Therefor 
> it's *certain* that the userbase is running a wide variety of configs.
> 4. The 'profile' of the average lunar install is very different than
> the average developer's system. The best guess of our userbase is 4-600 
> systems. *most* of these people in fact don't update more often than 
> every 30-60 days. I imagine there are a few that go a year or more without
> general updates.
> I think we could adopt a rating system where required degree of testing is 
> determined by a formula, something like: (criticality*delta) / impact.
> criticality is high for security flaws, low for feature enhancements,
> somewhere in between for everything else.
> delta = deltaV*10+ delta-majorV + delta-minorV/10 (this probably needs 
> adjusting per-module because different projects have different policies
> for release / compatibility. e.g. openssl allows API changes between 
> e.g. 0.9.6-7 while gcc (to my knowlege) is object code compatible 
> across e.g. 3.2 - 3.3 versions.
> impact is high for anything that creates libraries in the paths,
> is likely to affect critical operations for users
> We may want to build some variation on this formula into moonbase. 
> To facilitate getting testing done with minimal dev overhead, perhaps
> (rather than informally passing around dev-modules via email) we can add a 
> directory dbguin's download area for modules in development, and 
> scripts to grab that dev area into /zlocal.
> I can dedicate a couple of vmware boxes which are easy to restore to
> known-state as well as my primary dev system to this work.
> Feedback on this or other ways to make test/release easier are solicited!
> Here's a preliminary list of modules which I beleive ought to be tested
> on at least 3-8 systems prior to release to moonbase. 
> glibc
> gcc
> readline
> bash
> coreutils
> ncurses
> dialog
> db
> db4
> perl
> openssl
> openssh
> krb5
> zlib
> gawk
> gnome2
> gettext
> qt3
> kde3
> nfs-utils
> samba
> util-linux
> nasm
> modutils
> pkgconfig
> Linux-PAM
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> lunar mailing list
> lunar at
Horn Gábor <Horn.Gabor at>

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