[Gta04-owner] Looking for Beta-Testers with GTA04

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Sep 19 09:38:57 CEST 2017

Hi Josua,

> Am 18.09.2017 um 23:23 schrieb Josua Mayer <josua.mayer97 at gmail.com>:
> Hi Nikolaus,
> Am 18.09.2017 um 17:55 schrieb H. Nikolaus Schaller:
>> Hi,
>> do you share the nostalgic view onto Openmoko?
>> The Letux-OS project is looking for GTA04 owners (A2/A3/A4/A5)
>> for permanently testing and reporting bugs.
>> Especially for the Kernel.
> We talked about this before, but I'm going to ask anyway:
> Can this be automated?
> Perhaps using some known working base system on sdcard, and then kexec into a different partition where some tests could be attempted, and killing the session after say one minute?
> I wonder if this is something we migth want to do to track mainline ....

Yes, something like that can be built and it might help in some cases.

But it can never replace human creativity in finding bugs.

There are quite fundamental reasons:

One is that you can only test what you can formally specify. For example we can test automatically if it compiles, if it can be installed, if the kernel boots up to a login:. If some peripheral devices are present etc. This is what the hw-test script basically tries to do (with limitation).

But there are areas you can never test automatically. For example if charging works in all situations and with different power supplies. Or I currently have found a strange bug in 4.14-rc1 that the display on the OpenPandora shows only blue/black instead    of white/black and other colors. On the GTA04, it works.

Just two examples that happen and can't be tested automatically. Unless you add a camera and try to detect if the picture matches some expectation...

But then the second reason comes: building an automatic test with 100% coverage needs infinite complexity of the test setup. So at some point we spend more time working on the test setup than fixing bugs and adding new features.

And not to forget: if a single person is building the tester, this certainly does leave out some test cases which are important for others.

So in total we should not try to do too much automatically, although it is tempting for an automation engineer to do so :)

We (the community) should just try to *use* the software in as many different scenarios as possible.
Especially in scenarios the developers don't think of.

And that is what real people can do much better than any automatic testing.

>> Please let us know any test results (even if everything works
>> for you). This will make the GTA04 more useful for you - even
>> if it was stowed away some years ago.
>> Wouldn't it be nice to give it longer life than modern (and
>> admittedly better) devices? Believe me - it is and can still
>> be fun to work with old technology. It does not always need
>> to be the newest one.
>> BR and thanks,
>> Nikolaus


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