[Rd] Alpha and Beta testing of R versions

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Fri Nov 4 12:58:11 CET 2005

Martin's point is generally very valid, but in the case of the 2.2.0 
release remarkably few of the bugs found since release were new in 2.2.0.
One thing we have learnt is that none of the testers seem to look at HTML 
help (which accounts for 2 of the 4 2.2.0-only bugs I counted).

What we need most is persistent help in testing each release, especially 
on unusual platforms.  How do we `incentivize' that?

On Fri, 4 Nov 2005, Martin Maechler wrote:

> [Mainly for R-foundation members; but kept in public for general
> brainstorming...]
>>>>>> "Simon" == Simon Urbanek <simon.urbanek at r-project.org>
>>>>>>     on Thu, 3 Nov 2005 12:16:25 -0500 writes:
> 	  <............>
>    Simon> As Brian was saying, the error was fixed in R
>    Simon> immediately after the release - strangely enough no
>    Simon> one reported the error during the alpha and beta
>    Simon> cycle although both the GUI and R binaries were
>    Simon> available for download :(.
> Unfortunately, the phrase "strangely enough" could be replaced with
> ``as almost always''.
> Maybe we (the R-foundation) should give serious thoughts to
> offer prizes for valid bug reports during alpha and beta
> testing.  These could include
> - Reduced fee for 'useR' and 'DSC' conferences
> - being listed as helpful person in R's 'THANKS' file
>  {but that may not entice those who are already listed},
>  or even in the NEWS of the new relase
>  or on the "Hall of fame of R beta testers"
> In order to discourage an increased number of non-bug reports we
> may have to also open a "hall of shame" though...
> Martin
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Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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