Today I’m going to start a set of articles regarding my subject of my M.Sc. on Free Software called Case Studies II (I completed the first the last course 😉 ).
This set of post will be about different cases of study in the FLOSS world, cases like different tools, projects organization, quality in projects, communities, etc.
The first post is regarding a talk about “Quality assurance, Thunderbird & Mozilla” done by Ludivoc Hirlimann in my university.
As you know, I’m not in Spain since the last May, so I gonna talk about this presentation basing me in the slides that Ludovic used on it, and also later making and update to this post when the video of this talk will be available (the personal of the university are working on it since they are recording all these talks).
So let’s go!
In the slides Ludovic talk about the Quality Assurance (QA) is different per each segment of a project, is different for instance for marketing people in comparison for engineering people, etc. and of course is different the QA for any person involved in the creation of a project in comparison with the customer wants.
He said the QA starts in the engineering stage, the engineers test the software before they handle the QA and build automatic unit test to check the correct quality of the software.
What is QA?
- Writing test cases.
- Maintaining test cases.
- Managing bugs.
- Signing off.
As we seen, Ludivic said that the QA is a set of steps we have to do relating perform tests to the software to have a quality level.
What tools to use?
- A test case manager.
- A bug report tool/database.
- Testing tools.
Regarding the test cases we have to create, in each software project we have to use different tools, as we can see in the points that Ludovic said, good tools to use in the QA are very important, tools like Testopia which is an extension for Bugzilla helps to do these kind of tasks.
QA at Mozilla
As you know Mozilla is one of the most important FLOSS communities around the globe with products as Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Bugzilla, etc. make this community really really important, and taking into account these important projects, the QA is really important for them, Mozilla is based on thousands people around the globe living in different countries and the process to get a good product quality is complex and difficult, but for these reason, Mozilla use the next tools:
The Thunderbird case.
Ludivic is involved in this project (the mail project for Mozilla), and as he said the points involved in this project are:
- One staff.
- Lots of unit test.
As all Mozilla projects or even big and important FLOSS projects the three points before are common for all of them, the planning to carry a good quality process must be well planned, because is not the same to build a good quality process in a company where all people work together 8 hours per day in the same building, maybe in the same table instead to work in a FLOSS project which people around the globe with different schedules, cultures, etc.
To start the quality process in the Mozilla Thunderbird project, Ludovic give us some links:
In conclusion and waiting to watch the video which are preparing, the quality process in a FLOSS project is really complex even more in a project as this with thousand people involved and where the quality must be one of the most important things to compete vs another privative solutions.
See u my friends!!!