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Linsider: Testing Limits

Apr 27, 2000, 19:23 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael J. Hammel)

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"The status quo of software development says to design, implement and test. Open Source has changed many of the rules of the status quo, or at least how we view it. But are these changes sufficient to provide the quality we desire? Expectations aside, how well can we measure the quality of open source? The answer lies in the test process - understanding what it is and why it's used, and then actually using it."

"Reading about Red Hat's recent troubles with its Piranha release I was struck by a thought: Linux, as a whole, lacks a formalized testing organization. In 20 years of development, having worked for 7 different companies ranging in size from a 5 man startup to the behemoth that is Samsung, this is the first time I've seen software released to the world with no formalized testing applied. A lack of formalized methods hasn't particularly slowed development, but has it helped? Are formal testing practices even necessary?..."

"Testing isn't overlooked in open source, but it isn't formalized and it seldom has any defined goal other than the generic "find a bug". Whether this is good or bad depends on who you talk to. So far, open source has done a decent job of producing good software, but a lousy job of delivering product in a timely manner...."

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