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NetCAT 6.0 Plan

NetBeans Community Acceptance Testing program

Goal of the program

NetCAT 6.0 will be done for stabilization period of NetBeans 6.0 from Beta 1 to RC1 date. Its primary purpose is to help test NetBeans 6.0, get early feedback on main features and IDE quality. Secondary purpose is to serve as customer acceptance - ask community for Go/NoGo for RC1 in a form of survey.


NetCAT 6.0 will be organized and lead by Jiri Kovalsky as the main engineer from Sun. Jiri will organize program and perform high level communication with community and internal engineering teams. He will closely work with QE engineers from each QE team responsible for main IDE areas. Areas and names of responsible QE engineers are available here. These engineers will watch feedback on mailing lists to help users with issues and to better understand NetBeans 6.0 quality. They will also organize work inside their QE teams and prepare data for weekly NetCAT reports. They will also serve as primary contact for developers in case of hot threads. In addition Jiri will announce all the surveys, Betas, etc. to the NetCAT team. Test specification written for 6.0 will serve as a starting point for participants with lower knowledge in some IDE area.

Community participants selection process

NetBeans user community members who are willing to intensively help to test NetBeans 6.0 will be asked to apply for participation some time before Beta 1. All volunteers must apply for program participation via a web form selecting their primary and secondary area of testing offer. We will select only 60 members plus 30 substitutes based on their profile and recent activity in community. Only up to 1/3 of all people can be folks who participated in previous NetCAT programs. The limitation on number of NetCAT participants is because past NetCAT programs showed that higher number of people generates tons of emails. Thus NetCAT mailing list became heavy traffic which discourages many participants resulting in low participatition and early resignation. Inactive members (<20 CAT points) will be replaced after 1st and 2nd period.


This part talks about what tools will be made available mainly to plan on their timely development.

  • NetCAT home page
  • Overall quality dashboard will be available on some netbeans.org page and will include "NetCAT" column displaying bugs filled during NetCAT program.
  • NetCAT perticipants use simplified IZ form for their issues. This form provides [[[60cat | [60cat]] prefix to each submitted issue subject.
  • Mailing list netcat_at_netbeans_dot_org is created and all responsible QE engineers subscribe there to support users.
  • Final CA survey will be available to ALL community.

Community Acceptance (CA) survey

  • CA survey will be focused on critical-to-quality (CTQ) areas i.e. to get acceptance for NetBeans 6.0 release drivers.
  • CA survey will not be accessible only to NetCAT participants but everybody from NetBeans community.
  • If more than 20% of all survey respondents select particular IssueZilla bug as critical, it becomes RC showstopper by definition, it must be fixed and new RC build must be produced.
  • If more than 30% of all survey respondents do not accept the RC build in some CTQ area, QE and Development departments will have to compile a detailed analysis evaluating all critical issues pointed out in the survey. Its purpose would be to either recommend the release or request more bugfixes and postpone it.

Apps to be developed:

Some of the applications will be running on qa.netbeans.org web.

  • Participant subscription form
  • Simplified IZ query/submission forms
  • NetCAT dashboard (in case it's not part of overall QE dashboard)
  • CA survey form


Schedule depends on overall NetBeans 6.0 schedule.

  • 8/27 - Program announced on nbusers and nbdev lists. Volunteers submit their applications.
  • 9/3 - Participants selected. Alternate members are selected as well.
  • 9/17 - Beta 1 release. NetCAT team starts testing Beta 1 and daily builds.
  • 9/24 - First weekly report out.
  • 10/5 - 1st Period innactive users replaced.
  • Mid of October - Beta 2 release.
  • End of October - Final CA survey questions defined.
  • Begining of November - 2nd Period innactive users replaced.
  • Mid of November - Last weekly report out.
  • RC1 release - CA survey open.
  • Go/NoGo - CA survey closed, results processed.


NetCAT members will collect CAT points for their feedback:

Activity type CAT points
Email 1
Bug 4
CA survey 10
Other surveys 5
Docs review 5

We will reward all active NetCAT participants (>40 CAT points) by a T-shirt plus limited edition NetCAT 6.0 pen and 3 best members (CAT points/days of service) by $50 vouchers at NetBeans shop.

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