Releasing Alphas and Betas without "freezing"

Kate Stewart kate.stewart at
Thu Jun 21 13:34:12 UTC 2012

On Thu, 2012-06-21 at 10:11 +0100, Didier Roche wrote:
> This cycle, the next step for Unity and all related components is that 
> each release is potentially the last one that is uploaded to ubuntu 
> until the finale release. So, each version is a possible release 
> candidate for Quantal. I do not want anymore to see half-backed unity 
> features coming in. This is only possible now thanks to the huge quality 
> increase we had last cycle and that we finally reached the feature level 
> that we can expect from a UI. So, all extras should be precise, 
> polished, reliable before getting into ubuntu.

+1  :)
> So, removing the milestone freeze is completely aligned with that vision.

Challenge is that we don't have a good schedule of when the Unity drops
are going to happen and what features are emerging when.  The other
applications and products that work on top of Unity need to interface
with it need to get synchronized in some way, so that effective system
testing can occur.  Having predictable times when we plan to release an
image is a forcing function, in that they at least keep us focused on
making sure we have system testing going on and that the community
flavors, that are part of the Ubuntu project, can system test their
emerging bits on the evolving infrastructure with some degree of

Additional system testing and snapshotting of images at more than just
the currently scheduled points would, of course, be very welcome and
help with improving the quality, especially early in the 6 month
cycle.  ;) 

> >
> > Question 3: shall we increase the rate of manual testing?
> > This question also arose in the thread. I think there is widespread
> > consensus that we should do this, and it is not actually related to
> > the other questions.
> > Community Team, is it feasible to increase the rate of full manual
> > testing runs to every 2 weeks or similar?
> It was a hard job to keep regular contributors (reporting high quality 
> results)  tight redoing serious testing every 2 weeks for unity 
> releases, but I'm completely confident Nick can do this job. :)

+1   :)   Big challenge for him and the QA team will be when the 12.04.1
testing has to happen in parallel with the quantal development testing. 

> >
> > Question 4: shall we keep snapshots of the development release so that
> > we can "bisect" more easily and find when bugs were introduced?
> > This question also arose, and also is not tied to the other questions.
> > QA Team, is it feasible to keep a set of snap shots somewhere for this purpose?
> >
> That would really be awesome, especially if the reporting QA tools get 
> better and we can run an older iso under a vm in a minute to just test 
> something quickly :)

Am trying to think about what makes sense to keep around, and across
which products, and for how long, but if we can secure the disk space
for this, agree it would be useful to the developers and testers.  

Preliminary thoughts are:  
 * Try to keep all image that we characterize (ie. run system tests on,
get boot speed measurements, etc.) available for a *useful* period.

However since we'll never have infinite disk space, ;) and they are less
useful over time, possibly some sort of age out strategy like:
 * keep at least the last month's worth of these characterized images
available (ideally it would be nice to have a set of weekly ones ;) )
 * keep at least a monthly snapshots from each of the 6 month
development period around for historical reference.
 * keep these for all images that will be in the release manifest.

Seem reasonable?  better ideas?


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