ubuntu-doc at technomensch.net
Thu Oct 2 01:42:15 UTC 2008
This evening, I had a conversation with Dave Murphy , a very active
member of the QA/Dev teams and currently one of the Admin for the
Checkbox project on Launchpad . I spoke with him regarding our (The
Docs Team's) interest in moving the very technical and detail-oriented
hardware documentation out of the Wiki and try to get it more
centralized with the Hardward Testing and QA teams into some kind of
As an example, I showed him our WiFiDocs section and how there were all
these articles about different cards, different manufacturers, different
drivers, etc., and that the Wiki is not the best place because it's
tough to maintain. Once someone puts it in, they forget about it and it
just sits there. No bug report often goes to the hardware team, etc....
leaving the information just hanging out in space. Based on our
conversation, it sounds as though "some" of this might be replaced once
this project gets completed.
Here is how he descibed the Checkbox project:
"Checkbox is a combination of a test runner and test suites that allow
anyone to determine whether their hardware is working with Ubuntu (or
indeed at all), and whether Ubuntu is working. It serves both users and
the QA process. Checkbox in Hardy/Intrepid (it was renamed from hwtest)
populate Launchpad with basic hardware information and test results,
although LP currently does very little with the data (not even
presenting it nicely).
Want to try it yourself? If you haven't already done so, go to:
System > Administration > Hardware Testing
"That will submit your data to LP, ready for when they do start
presenting the information. Checkbox in Jaunty will be able to speak to
both Launchpad (for general hardware information) and the QA testing
site (still in development, for test results).
For Launchpad: the final piece is presentation of the data already
collected, along with linking it to bugs, answers, packages etc.
Alongside the presentation aspects, we've also started (yet another)
wiki - http://testcases.qa.ubuntu.com. Our target for Jaunty is to get
all the pieces out there, and for Jaunty+1 we're going to really pushing
the idea of contributing tests so the platform can be tested in every
For QA purposes: the final piece is converting our internal application
into a public facing one (in progress)
Side Note: Matt, from the sound of things, this might be replacing or
upgrading/updating "http://hwdb.ubuntu.com/" <http://hwdb.ubuntu.com/>
Unfortunately, I agree with him that there are two sides to the hardware
- making it work, and making sure it works.
While the QA team is responsible for "making sure it works", the only
place that exists on "how to make it work" is either a 'fly-by-night'
article in the wiki, a posting in the forums, or a quick Google Search.
Other than that, there really isn't a clear place within the Community
for that information to reside. As I was explaining, that is kind of
the main issue I'm trying to help resolve as part of this cleanup process.
According to him, this type of information "should be in a Launchpad
Hardware Database", but that's in the 'long term plan', not the short
term one. Eventually the two WILL BE quite tightly coupled in terms of
hardware information. Unfortunately, even though it IS planned, until
it goes into Launchpad and they choose to address it, the timetable is
quite a ways out there.
As per our mailing list discussion, I did present him with the site
"http://www.ubuntuhcl.org/" as something that we were looking into as a
possible alternative, and to help give him some understanding of what we
"kind of" had in mind. When he asked me what our plan B/C was, I
mentioned that I might propose extending an invitation to the
owner/developer of that site, but that would be at the discretion of the
rest of the team and only as a last resort because it's rough to have
information in too many places instead of a centralized location. I
explained that we would much rather work with the QA and Dev team to
keep it all centralized so it will play nicely with each other.
While he is quite busy preparing for the next launch, he did inform me
that he would bring the topic of the hardware documentation up with a
few people and let me know what he finds.
When I have more information, I will pass it along. Until then, I
recommend that we hold off on organizing, cleaning up, and updating any
hardware related documentation that is associated with specific
manufacturers or parts. There is plenty of other stuff to clean up and
organize in the meantime.
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