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Help yourselves to our low hanging fruit!

March 13th, 2014 by

An update on what we’re doing and a call for help!



What was going on

From our previous posts you probably know what do we do these days. We are working on our goal to make Factory more stable by using staging projects and openQA. Both projects are close to reaching important milestones. Regarding the osc plugin that is helping out with staging, we are in the state that coolo and scarabeus can manage Factory and staging projects using it. We did some work on covering it with tests and currently we are somewhere half-way there. Yes, there is a room for improvement (patches are welcome), but it is good enough for now. We are missing integration with OBS, automation and much more. But as the most important part of all this is integration with openQA, we decided to put this sprint on hold and focus even more on openQA.

How to play with it and help move this forward?

During our work, we found some tasks that are not blocking us but would be nice to have. Some of these are quite easy for people interested in diving in and making a difference in these projects. We put them aside in progress.opensuse.org to make it easilly recognizable that these tasks can be taken and are relatively easy. Let’s take a closer look at what tasks are there to play with. Of course – it would be very cool if, through using the new tools, you find out other things that improve the work flow!

  • Helping staging. I already mentioned one way you can help our factory staging plugin.
  • Improving test coverage. It might sound boring at first, but is a quite entertaining task. We have a short documentation explaining how tests work. In summary, we have a class simulating a limited subset of OBS and we just run commands and wait whether our fake OBS ends up in correct state. This makes writing tests much easier. To make it more interesting, we use Travis CI and Coveralls. Big advantage of those is that it does a test run on every pull request and shows you how you improved the test coverage. It also shows what is not covered yet. In other words, it shows what should be covered next 🙂
  • What else needs to be done to make staging project more reliable is to fix all packages that are randomly failing. This is mostly packaging/obs debugging task. So doesn’t require any python and can be done package by package.
  • Last thing on the staging projects todo list for now is making the staging api class into singletons. For those who know python this is actually really easy. But while at it, you will be taking a look at the rest of our code and we will definitely not mind anybody polishing it or removing bugs!
coveralls in action

coveralls in action

Helping openQA

In openQA, currently we have code cleaning tasks. It’s about polishing the code we have – like removing useless index controller and fixing code highlighting. Or doing simple optimizations – like caching image thumbnails.

In case of openQA, you might be a little confused where to send your code. We have been doing some short and mid term planning with Bernhard M. Wiedemann, the man behind openqa.opensuse.org and one of the original openQA developers, together with Dominik Heidler. Now the code considered to be ‘upstream’ have been moved to several repositories under the os-autoinst organization in github. This code contains all the improvements introduced to extensivelly test our beloved openSUSE 13.1. The next generation of the tool is being developed right now in a separate repository and will be merged into upstream as soon as we feel confident enough, which means more automated testing, more staging deployments and more code revisions and audits. If you want to help us, you are welcome to send pull requests to either of those repositories and someone will take a look at them.

What next?

As we wrote, we are currently putting all our effort into openQA. We already have basic authentication and authorization, we are working on tests, fixing bugs and making sure the service in general is easy to deploy. And of course we are working toward our main goal – having a new openQA instance with all cool features available in public. Currently it is already kind of easy to get your own instance running, so if you are web or perl developer, nothing should stop you from playing with it and making it more awesome!

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