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Re: Reviving Debian QA

Stephane Bortzmeyer wrote:
> > What is debian-qa and is it eatable?
> I agree with Adam that the goals seem very broad. Reading your message, one 
> could think that Debian-QA is everything in Debian. Is QA really the technical 
> direction of Debian or is it more a "sweeper" checking packages in the back 
> office?

Well, it has to be defined and accepted.  In my eyes the QA group
is both, a sweeper and a group maintaining packages.

> I do not find a document on the Web server <http://www.debian.org/devel/> 
> describing what is QA (my management wants me to do QA here, with ISO 9001 and 
> so on, but it's probably not the same).

Unfortunately Debian QA "died" before it was born for some reasons.
In my eyes it is now time to work out rules and revive it.  The growing
number of packages and maintainers dictate a certain need for QA and
the growing number of maintainers should make it possible to work
on it as well.

> >   Although we have strict rules (Policy) that defines requirements for
> >   packages there is still missing a "department" which assures that
> >   every package is packaged well and integrates in the system nicely.
> Isn't it the job of developers? And isn't checking the role of every other 

Oh well, sure it is.  But developers behave different.  Some of them
follow each policy change and each suggestion at once, some others
are waiting until lintian tells them what to do, some are waiting for
bug reports and some are still different.  Please keep in mind that
we have >500 registrated developers, all thinking differnt and working
in a differnt envirionment.

> >  . Check old bugs - and work on them
> > 
> >  . Check packages with lots of bugs - and work on them
> This is the normal job of any developer. I took over dupload and squashed two 
> dozens if bugs. Am I doing QA?

Looks like.

> >  . Check if packages are policy conforming
> Isn't it done by dinstall? I had several packages rejected by it, so there is 
> a control.

Dinstall only checks if the pgp signature is proper.  There are no
checks for policy yet.

> > If you find packages which lack support for some of the features
> > mentioned above the proper action would be to file a wishlist bug
> > report.  The bug report has to point to accurate documentation or
> > better include a description of the missing feature and a description
> > how to solve this.  It would be best if the report would include a
> > proper patch/menu file/doc file etc.
> I'll add one: one of the worst packages, with respect with the BTS, is the BTS itself <http://bugs.debian.org/bugs.debian.org>. Bugs, even important and easy-to-fix, are obviously completely ignored, which is a shame. Next QA goal: fix the bugs (no, I cannot do a NMU, I'm not root on the machine which runs the BTS).

Gecko is working on debbugs.  The BTS has three maintainers so you
should be able to convince Ian, Guy or James to apply the changes



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