QA is a big space, and there are many ways you can help. If you have no experience, you can help make Thunderbird better. Jump in, and you too can feel you contributed to the new release of Thunderbird.
How You Can Help in Thunderbird QA
Ways you can help maintain and improve Thunderbird's quality:
- post items of interest to thunderbird QA in mozilla.dev.apps.thunderbird newsgroup, web, mailing list with "[tb-qa]" in the subject
- participate in community testing: Bug Days, Test Days, QA New Release Candidates of upcoming versions, i.e. point releases, Thunderbird 3 (3.0, 3.1 aka 3.next, etc), betas, and/or alphas.
- run nightly builds and early releases on a daily basis
- stay informed of QA activities and announcements
- Talk to and get help from other testers in IRC channel #tb-qa. IRC Instructions
- subscribe to thunderbird-testers announcement list
- mozilla.dev.apps.thunderbird newsgroup, web, mailing list
- mozilla.dev.quality newsgroup, web, mailing list
- Planet: subscribe to Mozillamessaging's Planet, moco planet
- watch bugs and patches "in real time":
- Participate in Patch Love
- help with Tests, QA support and Documentation
- Report Bugs
- contribute suggestions, participate in planning and development by:
- How to ask good questions
- Bug writing guidelines
- Bug triage
- Bug queries
- Getting Involved in Mozilla Messaging
- Weekly events
- Thunderbird 3
- Performance Problems, Memory Usage
- Thunderbird: Getting backtraces/performing profiling on OS X
- Help triage, improve and reduce the bugs reported to our bugzilla database. Bugday information. Previous / planned QA days.
- Suggest bug groupings to be triaged in Thunderbird:Bugdays_Planning
Give love so that patches get checked in, and patch authors stay involved in Thunderbird.
Some bugs need more work to be usable for our developers. Those bugs are marked with the Keyword qawanted. The idea there is to figure out a way to reproduce, find a proper test case and then add that information to the bug.
QA New Releases
Release candidates for new versions/releases are run through QA (Quality Assurance) testing to ensure we ship high quality code. To properly QA a new release we need many volunteer like you from each OS. To be notified of testing opportunities, please sign up for the testers mailing list and/or you can set up to watch wiki pages at Upcoming / In-progress New Releases | Past releases.
If you can handle some risk**, a fantastic way to help speed development and improve the Thunderbird's quality is to continuously run test builds in your daily work.
- ** Ability to "handle the risk" means you have great backups of your profiles and mail store, and have some tolerance for risk. Dataloss is rare, but is always a possibility. Stability is amazingly great nightly for branch builds, but not guaranteed. Fixes to major problems don't come overnight, especially trunk builds. But many people run unsupported builds. Branch nightlies are branded Lanakai, and trunk nighties are code named Shredder.
- Some extensions won't work. But many like enigmail and calendar work if you use the right download for trunk or nightly. Many work if you override the version check and carefully test. Determine individually which ones work using Nightly Tester Tools extension.
- You can also run the current "production" version of Thunderbird at the same time.
MozMill is a tool to use for UI automation in any mozilla platform developed application. It can provide Thunderbird with the capability to quickly repeat tests in a consistent manner, being another aid to avoid faults creeping into the application with the constant development.
MozMill is still being developed, however the basic concepts are there and it is possible to run tests manually, see this link for an example within Thunderbird.
Litmus is used to organize and assist human (i.e. non-automated) testing of mozilla software products. We need your help to:
- add new tests - pick from the list of bugs with in-litmus? flag
- fix unvetted v3x tests reported to be "unclear", sorted by summary/title
- run tests (you can run these tests at any time)
- Trunk - The baseline test plan for Thunderbird accessibility and localization L10n.
- Work in progress tests
If you need more information, please post on IRC or in newsgroup.
Documentation and Procedures
QMO, quality.mozilla.org, is a new facility providing integrated QA environment. QMO are preparing to roll out this functionality for Firefox, but for Thunderbird to leverage the QMO infrastructure, we need volunteers to step forward to review, plan and build the Thunderbird specific pieces.
Ideas for Thunderbird's unit test framework can be found here.