It's less than 3 weeks to the F13 release, and therefore high time we started doing some consistent QA for Sugar on a Stick - which, for the uninitiated, is a Fedora Spin based on the Sugar Learning Platform. Here's the status as of the April 29, 2010 compose (which is identical to the current May 1st nightly build) for the main build and each of the Activities that ships by default.

Nightly build Tested by Boots? Neighborhood? Browse Etoys Chat
20100429.16.iso Mchua yes with telepathy-gabble update yes yes yes
Terminal Turtle Art IRC Log Write Record

Physics Read
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes, but no book files to open

What do these results mean, and how can they be reproduced? More details on the Mirabelle page. Basically, this is the most minimal of smoke tests; I'm not going to pretend that this is good work, but it's something that needs to happen, and the sort of thing where something is better than nothing. The goal was to come up with a way to verify, in under 1 hour total (from "start downloading image" to "finish reporting test results"), that a SoaS image and the Activities therein are minimally functional - they boot, they run, they do something, they shut down cleanly, and they save their results to the Journal.

The current smoke tests take me less than 25 minutes to execute from start to finish, so if we assume that the image can be downloaded and burned (I used liveusb-creator on my Fedora 12 system) in 30 minutes and results can be reported to the wiki table in roughly 5 - which matches with my timing (and I made that wiki page from scratch for the first round, too), we're set, and so I've closed a long-standing bug asking for SoaS test cases. For now.

The test page is linked to from the main getting-involved page, which needs a lot of cleanup. We'll probably hook the (under construction - anyone want to help make banners?) SoaS Fedora Spin website to openhatch when going through things with the mop n' bucket (although at this point I'm feeling more like breaking out a weed-whacker).

How can you help?

In terms of running the tests for the upcoming v.3.0 (F13-based) Mirabelle release, we're actually set. If this takes me less than an hour a day, I can do that for 15 out of the 17 days remaining with no problem (exceptions made for May 8th and 9th, when I will be off camping for my birthday). We need to come up with a better way of doing this for v.4.0, so better test cases, test case/reporting management systems, and Activity criteria (read: tests, please) are extremely welcome - that's all long-term, though.

In terms of getting Mirabelle ready to go out the door, right now we need:

  • this telepathy-gabble update to be pushed to the Fedora updates repo - it has +3 karma but is still in testing, and must be pushed before Tuesday; without it, collaboration in SoaS does not work at all. (By the way, I started a howto for testing updates, which needs some help - writing instructions on how to consistently get a VM running is surprisingly difficult.)
  • download/install instructions for burning the image to a stick, for every major operating system, that can be followed by a classroom teacher without technical expertise. We know the Blueberry install instructions do not fit this criteria, and would love for someone - probably a non-engineer - to help rewrite them.
  • quotes, stories, screenshots, and photos (CC-BY, please) from Sugar/SoaS users on what they've done with the platform, cool things they've tried, how this fits into a classroom, and so forth, to be used on the spin webpage and related links - bonus points if you can talk about contributing to SoaS as well as using it!

More coming as we find out what we need. The spin page itself is under construction (along with a SOP on how to make spin pages - the process right now is probably more complex/painful than it should be) and screenshots are on their way. Stay tuned!