The quality assurance in Mozilla community
By pengyang on Dec 04, 2006
As Firefox becomes more and more popular across the world, Mozilla community gives us a good example on how the open source community can be developed. Here is a great link on the QA work in Mozilla community. You can find lots of information from it on how the QA community makes the quality assurance for Firefox.
Then what's special for Mozilla QA community?
1. Document. Document is one of the most important parts for an open source community. The Mozilla QA wiki has enough information for the people who may be interested: The community members, the test plan, the test environment, the test tools and the communication channels. On the other hand, to find out the desired information becomes a problem as the growth of the document. That's why we need "search" tool:-)
2. The detailed test plan. Since Mozilla products are cross platform and contain lots of components, plan is the key point for the success. How many parts should be covered before an official release? How to differentiate new features test and regular test? How to cover all of them in the test cycles? What should be tested for a RC build or micro update release? How to attract more community contributors to join?...... All the questions should be noted in the plan. How to make Solaris one part of the plan is also a problem for us to resolve.
3. Use the nightly build for daily work. People in the QA community will have the nightly optimized(non-debug) builds for daily usage. That can help them find bugs and improve the quality of the product. Actually our QA engineers are also using the latest Solaris build for the daily work.
4. Litmus and community test day. I've already mentioned this in the previous blog posts. Litmus is really a great place for people to contribute. The community also has regular test day during important stages of release cycles. Solaris can also benefit from it if we can join this event.
5. Talkback. Talkback is a crash reporting tool for Mozilla products. You can search and make new report in the talkback center. But it can only run on Windows/Mac/Linux, not Solaris, and not free. A good news for Solaris is that the community is working on an open source project Airbag to replace Talkback.
6. Automation test. The resource balance is always a problem for the development of automation test. It can offload some burden from the QA engineers and make some further development possible. On the other hand, to develop it will also take a big amount of resource sometime. It seems that the Mozilla community makes a good balance on this problem. They have automation test deployed on Tinderbox and some other environment, they also have contributors to help them on the Litmus test. I believe that's the way community works.
7. Test suites and test tools. Tools can make our work efficiently. Mozilla community also has some and the final goal is to make them automatically running. Then can we use them on Solaris?
OpenSolaris is a great community and still young. We have our own idea on how to develop our community. Meanwhile, we can also learn some valuable experience from some successful communities. Just like I learned from a church service, people are born to be connect. And that's also true for open source communities:-)