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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: What does "supported" mean for us?
Date Tue, 01 Jan 2013 18:03:12 GMT
On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 12:58 PM, janI <jani@apache.org> wrote:
> On 1 January 2013 18:50, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:
>
>> On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 12:06 PM, janI <jani@apache.org> wrote:
>> > +1 to your definition of "supported", it is funny I just had somewhat the
>> > same discussion today.
>> >
>> > Regarding lifecycle, I would like to suggest that we only support the
>> > latest release, otherwise we stretch our resources pretty thin.  We can
>> of
>> > course have a statement that we in general will have a look at critical
>> > bugs, but they will only be solved in the latest release.
>> >
>>
>> And thinking a little further, there might be something between
>> "supported" and "deprecated", or at least there might be different
>> levels of confidence we might have.
>>
>> For example, I don't think we're doing any testing with Widows Vista.
>> We tested Windows XP, 7 and preview version of 8.  We have limited
>> resources.
>>
>> So is Vista supported?   It certainly isn't deprecated.  But neither
>> is it getting the full QA treatment.  Similar questions for Linux
>> releases.  We don't test every release of every distro.  We pick the
>> major ones, such as the Ubuntu LTS releases.
>>
>> One way of handling this could be:
>>
>> 1) Define our "Class A" platforms, the ones that we give the full test
>> attention to.  Similar to how we treat translations, this list can
>> grow given sufficient volunteers to cover the testing, and (if bugs
>> are found) the fixes.
>>
>> 2) Class A platforms (or "primary platforms" or "tested platforms" or
>> "supported platforms" -- whatever we call them) are the ones we
>> encourage users to use.
>>
>> 3) For other platforms we make a wiki-page per platform, were we can
>> track notes from users on an unique issues they find on that platform.
>>  These combinations are not supported, but may often work.  But we
>> make it easy to collect observations about AOO on that platform, and
>> make it easy for users to find that info.
>>
>> If we do this, then our support statement could read something like:
>> "We have tested and qualified Apache OpenOffice X.Y on the following
>> operating system versions.  Other operating system versions may work
>> as well, but may require additional configuration.  For the latest
>> information please consult the following wiki page..."
>>
>> -Rob
>>
>> I do not know this, but would it be possible to make a QA package (script
> or something) that would make it easy for skilled users to do QA of a
> platform (e.g. vista). I have f.x. vista running and could do it, but I do
> not have a clue what should be done, and there could be other users like me
> out there.
>

We have some automation, but not enough to fully test a release. It is
more at the level of checking a build to make sure it did not have
gross defects, so more of a "smoke test".  Most of the testing is
manual.  So if we had a model where a set of volunteers wanted to bump
a new platform up to a "fully supported" platform, then we would have
a set of automated and manual tests that the volunteers would need to
run.

-Rob

> Microsoft have something I think they call certification scripts, that
> checks if your platform is ok for a given product, could we do something
> the same, that would be a one-time effort.
>
> Jan I.
>
>
>> > rgds
>> > Jan I.
>> >
>> >
>> > On 1 January 2013 17:59, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:
>> >
>> >> When a commercial software vendor says a configuration is "supported"
>> >> it means something, typically that to the extent the software license
>> >> includes an entitlement to support, that the vendor will provide that
>> >> service for that configuration.  So saying something is "supported" is
>> >> essentially an obligation.
>> >>
>> >> With a volunteer-run, open source project, "supported" cannot mean
>> >> quite the same thing.   We're not obligated, in any contractual sense,
>> >> to provide anyone with anything.  That's the nature of a volunteer
>> >> effort.
>> >>
>> >> However, users and organizations considering OpenOffice will naturally
>> >> think in terms of "support", even if they user that term loosely.  We
>> >> use that term as well, in our release notes, etc.  But I think we
>> >> ought to have a more precise definition of what we mean when we say
>> >> something is "supported", in order to avoid any confusion.   This
>> >> question has come up recently, with regards to the status of Windows
>> >> 8, where that OS had not been released at the time AOO 3.4.1 was
>> >> released.
>> >>
>> >> So here's a strawman proposal for what "supported" means for us.
>> >>
>> >> 1) "Supported" is a statement we make about a specific version of AOO
>> >> used with a specific platform, e.g., AOO 3.4.1 with Windows XP SP3 or
>> >> AOO 3.4 with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
>> >>
>> >> 2) "Supported" means we encourage use of AOO in that configuration.
>> >> We have high confidence that the combination is stable, that it works
>> >> well and is safe.
>> >>
>> >> 3) Our confidence in stating something is supported should have a
>> >> solid basis in testing.  Something is not "supported" by us guessing
>> >> it should work.  It is supported only after we have successfully
>> >> completed testing of that release with that platform.  We probably
>> >> should define exactly what level of testing is required.
>> >>
>> >> 4) "Supported" also implies that the supported configuration is
>> >> sufficiently available and there is sufficient expertise that we have
>> >> confidence that users will have a high quality experience seeking
>> >> support on the forums and user list.
>> >>
>> >> 5) "Supported" also implies that we stand behind that release and will
>> >> take necessary steps to correct *critical* bugs, especially security
>> >> flaws, via rapidly produced point releases where necessary.
>> >>
>> >> Note that these are all expectations that a user might have, though
>> >> any given user might think that "supported" means only a subset of
>> >> these.
>> >>
>> >> What we probably really need is more of a lifecycle statement,
>> >> including when support for a configuration ends.
>> >>
>> >> -Rob
>> >>
>>

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