Diaspora crowdtesting

CS Comrade Senya Public Seen by 401

Use "tests pods" to attract some community people to diaspora testing

I made an announcement of a test pod I've instantiated in a limited post in diaspora. If you are by any chance in my contact list, you can get there using post guid a06d24a0d50501345c5c00163eb64c50.

In any case I have to explain my idea so that we can discuss it as a community.

When some contributor finishes a pull request to diaspora code on GitHub it is marked as "needs review" and we only merge things when they are reviewed at least by one core team member. We have limited resources of people who do code reviews, so I propose an idea to speed up the process in some cases by using the resource of the community participants. It's not a "big change that fixes all the problems", but I believe it is worth trying.

So the idea is to make test pods cut from the federation. It can be achieved by faking a pod hostname in the diaspora configuration. I made such test pod, it is available there.The test pods may reach data in the real federation (fetch posts and people) but their messages aren't accepted by any real pod, because they can't discover a pod with a fake hostname.

Code reviews require lots of efforts and can only be done by people familiar with diaspora code base and who have RoR understanding. However testing unreleased diaspora version doesn't require any special knowledge (you don't even need to deploy diaspora), so it can be done massively. Let's call it "crowd testing". By being cut of the federation we can create any junk posts and profiles on this pods and not pollute the real federation with it. We can also create some interesting datasets, e.g. create 100000 post automatically and see what happens to the performance.

How it can help the development process:
- There are pull requests which require much testing and few actual code review. For example my jQuery update pull request, which may break something and you can't simply work it out of the code. If we ask the crowd to test it, we can save the time of the reviewer and make merging of this kind of PRs faster.
- If the crowd finds a bug in a pull request, then we can automatically move it to the "waiting for contributor" group without even disturbing a code reviewer.

Also this way we establish another way to communicate with diaspora community which can develop more excitement in users via their participation in development and may lead someone to become a contributor.

So here is the test deployment for this idea:
Link: Troublesome Space Test pod.
There is jQuery 3 update branch deployed there. So currently in can be used to find bugs in this pull request.

So far there are 4 people registered there. They did some testing but no one actually reported any results. Perhaps they just didn't find any issues.

I propose to advertise the test pod idea more (using our official channels, e.g. diasporahq account) and see if it eventually helps the development or not.


Poll Created Fri 17 Feb 2017 1:22AM

Let's promote diaspora crowd testing using diaspora hq account Closed Mon 27 Feb 2017 1:02AM

I can write a post using my personal diaspora account with an invitation to test PR 7303 or some other and then diaspora hq makes a repost.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 0.0% 0  
Abstain 100.0% 1 DS
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  

1 of 52 people have voted (1%)


Theatre-X Fri 17 Feb 2017 2:25AM

Sounds like something that can help.


Dennis Schubert Sun 26 Feb 2017 12:07AM

Alright, since no one answered, let me go ahead. I like the idea of having a publicly available instance to test some stuff, I don't however like the idea of making that any kind of development asset for some reasons.

How about the following... why don't you go ahead, write a nice public post about this and we'll use the HQ account to reshare that post? That way, we'll promote your pod, your post and it's also clear who is responsible for it. Plus, you'd get some credit for doing cool stuff.

How's that?