ebase Software Review & Testing

Welcome, and thanks for your interest in testing ebase software. As you may have heard, ebase is an all-volunteer effort. We're very appreciative of (and actually entirely reliant upon!) contributions from people like you. (If you'd like an evaluation copy of ebase so you can learn more about its features, please get one from the downloads page).

Our testing program has three goals:

  • Identify places where ebase can be improved, and gather community input on how improvements can best be made.
  • Develop online documentation (at this website), beginning with a comprehensive list of features, for users & future testers.
  • Enlarge our community of expert users, implementers, and developers who can support others in using ebase.

Resources you will need:

  • If you haven't done so already, get in touch with the review program coordinator, Camryn Porkandi, to let her know you'll be providing input.
  • You'll need an account on the ebase community web site. If you don't have an account, contact the review program coordinator to get one. Only by logging in to your account at ebase.org will you be able to contribute content or comments to product documentation.
  • To file bug reports, you'll need an account on our bug tracking software, Bugzilla. If you don't have an account, contact the review program coordinator to get one. Once you're logged in to Bugzilla, you'll be able to generate bug reports automatically from within ebase.
    You may also use Bugzilla as a forum to describe new features you'd like to see added to ebase.
  • To communicate by email with other ebase reviewers, implementers, and developers, you'll need an account on the ebase developers' listserv. (Note that this is not the same as the ebase users' listserv.) If you're not subscribed to the developers@ebase.org list already, contact the review program coordinator to be added to the listserv. The developers' listserv is the forum for general discussion of ebase products from developers' & implementers' perspectives; posts there reach a wider audience than details tracked in Bugzilla.
  • Finally, you'll need an up-to-date version of the ebase material you'll review. If you're reviewing our new web site, you've arrived! This is it.
    Ordinarily, ebase software file downloads and installation instructions are available at the downloads page, but for alpha test versions, please email the review program coordinator for a private download link.

Once you have everything you need to participate in the review process, please proceed to the review procedures page below for specific instructions:

Specific instructions for providing software review feedback

Steps to take each time you review or test ebase software:

 

  • If you're testing ebase software, log in to your copy of ebase and note its release date. If you're not sure you have the latest release, look at the software downloads page to see if a newer release of your software is available, and install the latest release if you don't have it already. This way, you won't be observing bugs that have already been fixed or asking for features that have already been added.
  • Log in to your Bugzilla and ebase.org accounts—each in its own browser window—so that you'll be able to add content/comments to either location as needed.
  • If there are specific features you want to review, look in the documentation area for the software you're reviewing to see what other reviewers have noted about these features already. Check Bugzilla to see if bugs in these features remain unresolved or have been fixed but need confirmation by a tester. These initial steps will help you make the best use of your time, learning from previous reviews' work and focusing on aspects of the software that are not yet throughly reviewed.
    If the features you want to review do not yet appear in the documentation for your version of ebase, you can add the feature you're reviewing to the documentation (see below).
  • As you review ebase, submit observations (bug reports or feature requests) to Bugzilla (see below).
  • Submit additions & revisions to the documentation section of this web site (instructions below). You can also post comments (instructions below) to any documentation page or Bugzilla report; all sincere questions & observations are welcome!
  • For each feature you test, please report both positive (works as expected) and negative (bug apparently not fixed) test results. Without your positive results, we won't know when we've tested enough. Without your negative results, we won't know where more work is needed.

    Here's an example:
    I tested my ability to create new staff logins (user accounts) in ebase. I found one method that works fine, and documented it here. I also noticed that another method, which used to work, appears to be unfinished... so I filed a bug report on it.
  • [coming soon: link to page describing how you can migrate data from your own ebase install for use in testing.]

    File a Bugzilla report from ebase 2.8

    ebasePro 2.8 can help you to file a bug report automatically. Here's how:

    • Log in to your Bugzilla account, If you don't have one already, read more about Bugzilla under "Resources," here.
    • When you encounter an ebase issue you want to report, choose "Report a bug" from the ebase Scripts menu:

    Initiate a bug report from the Scripts menu

     

    • You can also use the keyboard shortcut <control>-9 on Windows or<command>-9 on a Mac.
    • ebase will automatically fill in parts of Buzilla's reporting form, and provide you with a list of questions to help you complete your bug report. Please specify what "Component" of ebase you're reporting a bug in: is the problem with a report, with the Links or Log features, in the documentation? Please also provide a title for your bug report in the Summary field, and and answer the questions in the Description field as specifically as you can. You may also add additional information in the Description field.
    • Click "Commit" at the bottom of the screen. Bugzilla will send notice of your bug report to one or more ebase volunteers responsible for the component you specified. Your report will be reviewed, and action will be taken ASAP! 

    You can also add your comments to existing bug reports:

     

    • On any Bugzilla list of bugs, click on a bug's ID number to open it
    • Type your comment in the "Additional Comments" field
    • Click "Commit" at the bottom of the screen.
    • Bugzilla will store your comment and share it with all ebase volunteers who're watching the bug report you commented on.

     

    How to contribute to ebase's online documentation

    Anyone with a login on this ebase web site can contribute to ebase's online documentation. If you're not sure you're expert enough to write documentation, don't worry! Some documentation is better then none at all, and if others notice inaccuracies in your work they can make improvements. You're welcome to borrow text from the manual for a previous version of ebasePro, since many features in 2.80 are quite similar. If you find part of the ebase documentation that's unclear or inaccurate, you can make changes. Here's how:

     

    To Revise an Existing Page of Documentation

     

    1. Click the Edit tab below the page's title.
    2. Make changes to the text in the Body field.
    3. Further down, under "Revision Information," you may leave a message summarizing the changes you made. (This step is optional.)
    4. Click "Preview" to see what your changes will look like, and revise further if necessary.
    5. Click "Save" to commit your changes. Each version of each page is preserved, so it's always possible to revery to an earlier version if a mistake's been made. If there are any previous revisions to a page, you can click the Revisions tab to see them.

     

    To Add a New Page of Documentation

    1. Choose an existing page of documentation as the context for your new page. Every page follows from some previous page, called its "parent" page. For an example, click the "Up" link below to see the parent page for this page. More examples: if you're going to add documentation about ebase's Log features, start from a parent page about the ebase Log. If you're going to add a page documenting how to use a report, add it from a page about ebase's reporting features. (The choice of parent page is not critical, as pages can be reorganized later... so if you're not sure, don't worry.)
    2. Click the (admittedly small) "Add child page" link near the bottom of the page. A "Create Book Page" form will be provided.
    3. Give your new page a title, and type your text in the Body field. Click "Preview" at any time to see how your work will look when published.
    4. Click "Save" to commit your new page. Voilà - you're a published contributer to the ebase project, helping hundreds of others better use free technology to change our world.