Posted Mar 10, 2005 17:48 UTC (Thu) by iabervon
In reply to: Automated testing?
Parent article: Is the kernel development process broken?
The hard thing is that there's a ton of possible hardware of the sort you mention, not all of it you want to use in testing (burn another set of test DVDs each time to test the burner?), and lots of it requires user interaction to verfiy the results. People had problems with 2.6.11 where audio worked fine, except that a changed interpretation of their saved mixer settings meant that no sound actually came out of their laptop docking station's speakers. From the point of view of the user, that's a bug, but you need a sense of hearing, a particular configuration, and a particular idea of what that configuration is supposed to mean in order to notice it. Many of the audio-related bugs these days seem to cause the sound to be distorted in some way, rather than giving wrong results that are accessible to the computer.
That said, it would probably be useful to have a program which would notice when you changed kernels, and would notice when you tried a device you hadn't tried with the current kernel, and inform you that this is the first time with that kernel and ask whether it worked. Then you could compare the hardware that you'd tested with the new kernel against the hardware you'd used previously, and consider testing your USB PDA cradle in advance of the PDA's batteries being low.
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