Thursday Jan 08, 2009

[NB65] Backward Compatibility Testing Report

The goal when producing new version of NetBeans Platform is to be backward compatible, unless otherwise stated. This means that if you developed a module/plugin for version A of the platform then it should work even in platform version B that was developed a few years later. If there is a module for which the previous statement is not true, then the compatibility is compromised. Discovering such modules is generally bad sign. It can either mean that there is an unwanted incompatible change, and in such case we shall fix it prior to release, or this change is desirable and highly justified, and in such case it should be properly documented. In either case, backward compatibility is the strongest commitment of the NetBeans platform. Undesired incompatible changes have to be eliminated.

As the testing of the compatibility in an artificial testing environment might be helpful it wouldn't meet our goals. Therefore we(QE) started a community program that should give us more reliable results.

We received reports for 5 different products. You can look at full reports at http://wiki.netbeans.org/NB65BackwardCompatibilityTestingReport. I have to say that we expected more reports then "only" three. On the other hand, these reports are from people and companies that build real product on NetBeans Platform for years therefore we are happy that they haven't found any incompatibilities in NetBeans Platform - platform9 cluster of NetBeans IDE 6.5.

We will start similar compatibility testing for NetBeans IDE 7.0 when it will reach its Beta.

Thursday Nov 13, 2008

Report exceptions in an easy way

Reporting bugs can be quite frustrating and boring process. The process works generally in following way. Go to a bug tracking system that usually has a web interface. Then you have to log in (isn't it painful already?). Then you report your problem/bug/issue. You can also attach a stack traces, thread dumps or screenshots to the bug report. And then somebody evaluates it and closes it as duplicate of another bug that somebody reported earlier. Isn't there an easier way how to report bugs?

Of course, there is a better and easier way. At least in NetBeans IDE(NB). The NB shows you Exception dialog whenever a exception appears in the software. If you will look carefully at the dialog you will notice Review and Report Problem button.



When you click the Review and Report Problem button then can report the exception into our database. You can provide additional comments that can help to reproduce or identify the problem. If you wanna be contacted later or if you are interested what will happen with the report then you can provide your user/password to netbeans.org.



If you are wondering what data are sent from your computer you can look at them. Just press View Data button. You'll see log of uigestures collector.

Your report will be uploaded to our server, entered into database(see the message). It will be evaluated if it is a duplicate of existing report or new report. New reports that fulfill the criteria will be then entered to Issuezilla as new bug reports.



More details about the exception reporter tool:
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