Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The who's who on quality in ubuntu

With the renewed focus on quality this cycle, things might start to look a bit confusing for everyone as to who is doing what in regards to quality in ubuntu. If your interested in helping out, it's certainly easy to get lost. Let me do my best to clear the waters and shed some light on what teams exist in the quality realm and what they are doing. First, a list of teams:

  • Ubuntu QA Team
    • Canonical Platform QA Team
    • Ubuntu Testing Team
    • Ubuntu Laptop Testing Team
    • SRU verification Team
  • Product Strategy Quality Team
  • Ubuntu Bug Squad
  • Ubuntu Friendly Squad
  • Ubuntu+1 Testing Team(s)
  • Ubuntu+1 Maintenance Team
  • Ubuntu Localized Image Testing Teams
  • Ubuntu Flavors QA Teams
    • Edubuntu
    • Lubuntu
    • Xubuntu
    • Kubuntu
    • Ubuntu Studio
    • Mythbuntu

Let's march down the list one at a time and discuss what each team does. If any of the descriptions sound interesting, be sure and follow the links to find out more information and/or to join the team.

Ubuntu QA Team
Mailing List: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-qa
IRC Channel: #ubuntu-testing
Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-qa
Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/QATeam
Blog: http://qa.ubuntu.com
This team’s mission is to help test ubuntu. The testing takes many forms and the team helps maintain a set of manual test cases usable for many different types of testing.

Canonical Platform QA Team
Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~canonical-platform-qa
This team is made up of Canonical employees who are performing qa for ubuntu. They are responsible for helping keep the testing infrastructure going, as well as coordinating and performing daily smoke testing, SRU's, and iso testing.

Ubuntu Testing Team
Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-testing
This team is a focus group of the ubuntu qa team specializing in performing iso testing, SRU testing, as well as manual application testing.

Ubuntu Laptop Testing Team
Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-laptop-testing
Wiki page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Testing/Laptop
This team is a focus group of the ubuntu qa team specializing in ensuring laptops work properly with each ubuntu release by testing isos for basic functionality across a wide range of laptops.

SRU Verification Team
Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~sru-verification
Wiki page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/StableReleaseUpdates
People in this team perform the verification of packages that are candidates for a Stable Release Update. The candidate packages exist in the -proposed repository and need testing before they are moved to -updates.

Product Strategy Quality Team
Blog: http://qualityhour.wordpress.com/
IRC channel: #ubuntu-testing
This team is made up of Canonical employees from the product strategy team. They are responsible for things like unity and enhancing the end user experience inside ubuntu. The quality team is specifically focused on making sure all of those ideas and features are put to the test before being deployed to the greater community of end users. I am personally excited to see this team focus on quality and solicit feedback and help from the community. If your interested in helping improve the ubuntu user experience, this team's mailing lists and IRC meetings are a great place to start.

Ubuntu Bug Squad
Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~bugsquad
Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BugSquad
Mailing List: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-bugsquad
The bug squad! These wonderful folks pore over, triage, and assign bug reports. They act as the critical piece of communication and help between developers and users.

Ubuntu Friendly Squad
Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-friendly-squad
Website: https://friendly.ubuntu.com/
Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuFriendly
This team is focused on making it easier to find and use laptops and computers that work "out of the box" with ubuntu. If you have ever had the experience of having ubuntu not boot on that old laptop, or boot to a black screen even though your desktop pc works marvelously, this is the site for you. I recently made use of the site to find out just how well supported the laptop I wanted to purchase was, in addition to which components I should look for (and avoid!) in order to have ubuntu work with my hardware.

Ubuntu+1 Testing Team(s)
IRC Channel: #ubuntu+1
Forum: http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=412
These team(s) are composed of people willing to be on the front lines and always running the next version of ubuntu. They provide help and support amongst each other, and valuable bug reports and first responder feedback to the development teams. The structure is rather informal, and the requirements are low -- you simply need to commit to running the development release and learn how to submit good bug reports.

Ubuntu+1 Maintenance Team
IRC Channel: #ubuntu+1-maint
Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PlusOneMaintenanceTeam
This team is brand new for this cycle, and they have a very specific goal that is key to delivering quality in precise. They're goal is to have the archive be ALWAYS installable and usable. For anyone who has ever run the development version of ubuntu in the past, you know how difficult a task this is! Thus far the team has done an excellent job, and it's been noticeably easy to run precise throughout the cycle.

Ubuntu Localized Image Testing Teams
Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PrecisePangolin/LocalizedImageContacts
Ubuntu's wonderful LoCo teams showoff the true meaning of ubuntu and the spirit of FOSS. In addition to the many other activities LoCo's do, some are providing localized iso's for there users. If your a non-English speaker, you understand what a blessing this can be when your having to install ubuntu. Since these images contain additions to the standard iso image, they must also be tested for bugs.

Ubuntu Italian Testing Team
Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-it-testing

This team is a wonderful example of a loco team doing testing for ubuntu. They organize goals each cycle typically surrounding creating a localized Italian iso, as well as doing laptop testing to ensure ubuntu works on common laptop configurations.

Ubuntu Flavors QA Teams
Do you like using ubuntu, but find yourself using one of the official flavors of ubuntu instead? These teams produce there own isos and packages, in addition to supporting different subsets of software. Each flavor has there own method of doing QA, but the goal is the same -- to deliver quality releases for there users.

IRC Channel: #edubuntu
Webpage: http://www.edubuntu.org/

IRC Channel: #lubuntu-qa
Launchpad Page: https://launchpad.net/~lubuntu-qa
Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/Testing
Mailing List: https://lists.launchpad.net/lubuntu-qa/

IRC Channel: #xubuntu-devel
Webpage: http://www.xubuntu.org/contribute/qa_bugs_testing
Mailing List: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/xubuntu-devel

IRC Channel: #kubuntu-devel
Webpage: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kubuntu/QA
Mailing List: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/kubuntu-devel

Ubuntu Studio
IRC Channel: #ubuntustudio
Webpage: http://ubuntustudio.org/

IRC Channel: #ubuntu-mythtv
Webpage: http://www.mythbuntu.org/testingandreporting

Whew, all done :-) It is worth noting that although I attempted to be comprehensive with this list, it is not exhaustive. Are you doing QA work in ubuntu that I didn't mention? Let me know about it! Or, perhaps you have an idea for some work that doesn't fit into one of the above. Let me know about your ideas as well! I have already found this community to be full of interesting people and ideas, and likely you will be able to find someone to help you move forward with your plan.

If any of this work interests you, please do contact the appropriate team via the links above or simply contact me directly and I can help get you connected. A big thank you to all of these people for their commitment to helping make ubuntu great!


  1. How about accessibility quality?

    1. Alan, I missed your comment on this last week. I would love to know about the team.. Can you send me details?