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Re: PLEASE TEST snapshots (long)

> On Thu, Apr 04, 2002 at 09:46:33PM +0200, Marc Espie wrote:
> 3.1-beta is really, really close.
> Please test the damn packages !
> Please test the damn packages !

    Request for Comments Regarding User-community Test Bed:

Would anyone be interested in an _informal_ but somewhat organized
coalition of advanced users establishng a test farm for ports and
general snapshots?  

I know that there are alot of people who thoughtfully keep themselves
out of the main kitchen, but might be able to offer different arch's
and versions without too much oversight on their part. Despite the
potential for abuse, an array of test systems loosely open to a wide 
audience could be valuable for the individual who has something to
contribute and test, but doesn't have the time or money to keep a
properly varied test setup on hand.

Most people on these particular lists can likely handle the operational
issues such as quarantine for one box at a time, updating from cvs,
dealing with out of space issues, reinstalling and banning after a
bad apple, their own self-defense and good behavior on other people's
systems, and so on. Many also are likely to have an extra non-i386
machine looking for a purpose.

If approved, such an effort would need to set up some coordination
facilities, such as a website, mailing list - agreements on how and
what to use for regression tests. If some very loose and easy to
abide by standards could be agreed on, the effort could produce a
more accurate report from the field on what is working, and other
benefits - maybe fewer surprise bugs in less popular ports.

This is just an idea. Seems to me that this kind of thing could fly
if very few regulations or other barriers to experimentation are
imposed. Just a bare minimum to get a better read, even if on an
inscrutable personal level for the experimenter. It would be outside
of and support in a (small?) way higher food-chain projects like
ports and obsd-only original development.

Sorry for the length - I am not proposing more complication for the
folks who are already very busy - not even to worry about this
becoming an orphan they might have to deal with in the future.  Just
a little bit of herding and it could be destroyed if it fails to
be useful enough or outlives its purpose. I think anyone of like
mind would agree that such a burden doesn't deserve to live.

Feedback? It is probably not a good idea to clutter the lists I
posted to (tech and ports) with the responses. Send them to:


I am willing to contribute some planning, various support services,
some hosting, a box, and to take responsibility for housekeeping
like status reports.

Of course, if any of the full-timers (and you know who you are)
think this is a bad idea, I'll respect that. Just thought I'd
dip my toe in before I went to alot of effort. Whoever weighs
in, I will post a much shorter note in a week to update folks
on what the dialogue results were.

p.s. I'd rather keep this out of misc right now; no offense to
them, just probably not the pertinent audience.


Rick Robino                                          v. (503) 332-4452
Internet Systems Architect                           f. (503) 439-8946
Wave Division Consulting                             @. wavedivision.com