[maemo-developers] QA process = bug fixing disincentive?

From: Riku Voipio riku.voipio at nokia.com
Date: Wed Nov 4 14:46:57 EET 2009
ext Henrik Hedberg wrote:
> Tim Teulings wrote:
>>> Except how do you try to prevent abuse (whether intentional or
>>> accidental)? At least with the version number you've got some safety
>>> check (although it is in no way comprehensive). It also requires more
>>> changes at more levels (I bet), so harder to implement.
>> I think it is time to decide (again?) if we trust developers in their
>> atempt to get their software/package into extras or not. 
>     Currently, we trust ten random testers rather than one well-known 
> developer.
>     Why could not we trust well-known developers who have track record 
> of producing high-enough quality software? They may have their own 
> methods for testing, like couple of active and skilful dedicated testers 
> for the application domain. I see that more trustful than those random 
> testers who vote subjectively based on their opinions of an user interface.

Every company has software testers, yet it doesn't mean they dont trust
their developers :) But even highly skilled, well-known developers are
just humans and make mistakes every now and then. Therefor, testing and
QA process is needed.

The problem with "just trust the developer" and "skillful dedicated
testers" is exactly that they become rapidly used to their own UI
mistakes and stop caring about them. 10 random users is a bit extreme,
but in principle it is a very good idea. If random extras-testing users
don't like the Use Experience, chances are very high that actual
"extras" endusers don't like it either! Certainly there are cases where
testers will thumb down unfairly, but if we have enough testers it
doesn't matter.

QA process is always going to somewhat painful. Still, the pain needs to
minimized and the QA process must be presented in a way that developers
can see the advantages of it rather than consider it as arbitrary
hurdle. Currently it appears the package promotion website is simply too
crude for both developers and testers. At the minimum we need a better
communication channel between developers and testers so that any
misunderstandings can be cleared directly without resorting to ranting
here :)

> Sounds familiar? See Debian New Maintainers Process [1].

Being a longterm Debian Developer, and a for a while a Application
Manager for the New Maintainer process, I think applying such model for
maemo extras would be a very bad idea.

1. It is a massive hurdle of contribution, discouraging people from
joining (I don't see you in debian or NM although you create Debian
2. "Accredited" Debian Developers still upload crap all the time
3. It leads to complex workarounds such as sponsoring uploads for others

(In fact I hope we can some day dismantle NM it in Debian as well, and
move to a model where more people can upload directly, but _all_ uploads
are reviewed before accepting them in.)

ps. I also agree that guessing from version number is bad.
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