ownCloud 7 Beta is out – help us test it!

We’re happy to make ownCloud 7 Beta available for testing. This release brings a massive number of features and improvements. Performance, stability, ease of use but also better sharing, more management and control over your ownCloud and many features for developers to better and more easily build on and connect to ownCloud. If you want […]

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We’re happy to make ownCloud 7 Beta available for testing. This release brings a massive number of features and improvements. Performance, stability, ease of use but also better sharing, more management and control over your ownCloud and many features for developers to better and more easily build on and connect to ownCloud.

If you want to help us make sure that ownCloud 7 will work for the setup you have, this is the moment to jump in and test. Especially if you have anything out of the ordinary – other than a Linux system with Apache, MySQL and PHP 5.3, or have large or many files, many users and so on, you should test before the release.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the how and what of testing, including some specific areas and scenarios we think can use your attentive eye!

oC 7 in action!

oC 7 in action!

What needs testing?

Let’s go over a list of major and minor changes in this release, and areas where developers have explicitly asked us for help.

  • New is server to server sharing, where you can directly connect two servers. This can use some testing!
  • ownCloud supports a variety of databases and of each, many versions. The more exotic your setup, the better, as long as it is within our supported databases list: SQlite 3.0+, PostgreSQL 9.0+ and MySQL/MariaDB 5.5+.
  • The same goes for OS’es and web servers: if you have gotten httpdx to run on Windows 95, give it a go! In all seriousness, the manual installation page gives some hints on what is supported and thus is in need of testing.
  • Upgrading needs testing. It would rock if you could backup your instance and try a upgrade to ownCloud 7, let us know what worked and what didn’t!
  • Not all our features have been extensively tested on all browsers. Mobile, tablet, desktop – give the main ownCloud 7 user interface a good workout.
  • Sharing no longer needs a shared folder. Really? Make sure it works, please!
  • ownCloud Documents has seen some serious love, including the ability to edit MS Word documents (via an auto-convert feature). Play with it and see how well it works!
  • The Activity app has seen a serious overhaul. It can tell you a lot more about what is going on on your ownCloud instance – see if it is All-Seeing or not!
  • Encryption: try to see if the tests work with encryption on, if you can change passwords and still decrypt, and how disabling encryption and decrypting your files works.
  • User management can use some testing. If you have a LDAP setup, it would be great if you could see if the ownCloud 7 beta works properly with it.
  • regression testing of the files app web UI (file operations, drag and drop, etc) and also the public page
  • Users but also app developers – help make sure that apps still work. For example, for apps that add file actions in the Files app, are they still there and do they work? Do the viewer apps like the text he PDF viewer still show the contents of files properly?
  • See if the “usnhare from self” feature works as expected. With this you can remove yourselves from a folder that was shared with you. Combine this with group sharing and also sharing multiple times with the same user through different ways! Like – share with a group, but have one member un-share the files…
  • And many of these things need to work not just in the web UI but also over WebDAV and with the sync client.

Now, it is time to go and break ownCloud! If you have experience with testing, check our issue submission guidelines and get on it! If you don’t have much experience testing and submitting bugs, no worries, just read below and we’ll get you up to speed.

Testing devices at a hackathon in Stuttgart

Testing devices at a hackathon in Stuttgart

Let’s do some testing!

Testing follows these steps:

  • set up your testing environment
  • pick something to test
  • test it
  • back to 2 until something unexpected/bad happens
  • check if what you found is really a bug
  • file the bug

Installing ownCloud

Testing starts with setting up a testing environment. But while the ownCloud Beta needs as much real-world testing, we urge you to not put your production data on it unless you have a backup somewhere!

Start by installing ownCloud, either on real hardware or in a VM. This is where a first need for testing scenarios comes in: we need to know if ownCloud 7 works correctly on a variety of databases, web servers and operating systems. We can’t test all combinations ourselves so make sure your needs are met: help test!

You can find instructions for installation in the documentation. Please note that we are still working on the documentation and if you bump into a problem, you can help us fix it. You can edit straight on github, no need to install anything!

The Real Testing

Testing is a matter of trying out some scenarios you decide to test, for example, sharing a folder and mounting it on another ownCloud instance. If it works – awesome, move on. If it doesn’t, find out as much as you can about why it doesn’t and use that for a bug report.

This is the stage where you should see if your issue is already reported by checking the issue tracker. It might even be fixed, sometimes! It can also be fruitful to contact the developers on irc. Tell them you’re testing ownCloud 7 and share what problem you bumped into.

Finally, if the issue you bump into is a clear bug and the developers are not aware of it, file it as a new issue.

Find the issue guidelines here. They explain where to look for existing issues and how to submit a new one.
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How else can I help?

Obviously, fixing problems is an awesome thing. You can get into code by starting here. And consider joining the ownCloud Contributor Conference if you want to help improve future ownCloud releases! If programming isn’t your thing, another useful contribution is triaging bugs. That is, determining if a bug really (or still) is a bug by trying to reproduce it, and if you can or can’t, notifying that in the comments section of the issue. We are also always looking for translators, designers and many others. Get involved in ownCloud on this page.

You Rock!

We’re very grateful for your help in this, and you should thank yourself as well: this is how you can be sure ownCloud works for you! So, time to go and find out what can be broken so we can fix it. Have fun and – let’s make this release rock!

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