Due to the impending Sugar 0.84 release and the need to have a simple answer to the question "does build X work?" Colin, Elsa, and I came up with the beginnings of a smoke test procedure over dinner on Thursday. This is meant to be a <20min sanity check for developers to make sure nothing horrible has exploded, and to verify that the build is functional enough to go on to more in-depth (and interesting) testing. It can also be used to verify that your new development/testing environment has been set up correctly, or as a quick (but boring) intro to Sugar's basic functionality.
This smoke test only tests Sugar. It uses some Activities in Glucose to verify basic sugar functionalities, but it does not smoke test that Glucose Activities themselves work; we'd encourage Activity maintainers to make smoke tests for their Activities. We even started a howto write smoke tests, which will improve as we read other howtos on doing the same thing.
As you can see, these are still drafts and have just gotten to the point where they're first usable. Edits/comments/criticism/help welcomed, both regarding the tests and the format they're listed on in the wiki. (Cross-linking of features and tests to keep track of coverage is somewhat onerous right now, but I can't think of a simpler way yet.)
Work on this will continue; I'll be running these smoke tests myself on Monday and Tuesday during QA Party Time. One thing we're in desperate need of is a link to step-by-step "here's how to set up to test our latest build" directions. Can someone point us in the direction of whatever is considered canonical for this release?