Firestorm Beta Testing
Beta testing Firestorm is more properly called QA (Quality Assurance). This means using test builds of the viewers before general release, using them and actively trying to identify bugs, glitches and things that need improvement. In other words, being part of the beta (QA) team means more than just getting your hands on a “new shiny” before everyone else does. You will be asked to do specific tests for each release, the results of which are vital to helping us determine where there may be problems.
So, if you are interested in becoming an active participant in the beta team, and are willing and able to endure crashes, multiple relogs, full settings wipes (several times), and so on, then please read on.
How to Apply
In applying to become part of the beta testing team, you are explicitly agreeing to the non disclosure terms below.
Create an account on our JIRA
, if you have not already got one. This is required in order for you to access the beta test site.
If you need tips on creating an account, see Creating an Account
on our wiki page on filing a JIRA.
Either way, make sure you are logged in. Please use your Second Life name, NOT your Real Life name when creating an account on our JIRA. Both Username and Full Name should be your Second Life account name (no display names)
In the top right of the page you'll see a link that says 'Create Issue'. Click that and in the page that opens…
For 'Project', select 'Tester Applications, BETA'.
For 'Issue Type' select 'BTA'.
For the 'Summary' field enter your SL username, not your display name.
If you have more than one operating system and would like to have an alt added for testing additional operating systems, add their username here with your names separated by commas.
Set 'Priority' to Major.
For 'SL Avatar Name' fill in the SL username of your primary SL avatar that you would like used for beta testing correspondence.
Leave 'Patch attached' unchecked.
For 'Affects Version/s' select the current Firestorm release version. (For example, 4.7.5).
For 'Environment' copy and paste the entire environment from the Help menu, About Firestorm, Info tab in Firestorm for any machines and or operating systems you will be using for testing.
For 'Description' give us a brief explanation of why you think you would make a good member of our beta test team.
'Attachment' and 'Labels' should be left blank, they're not used for applications.
Be sure and keep an eye on the JIRA you created as this is where you will be initially contacted to complete your addition to our beta test program. Do not reply via email to any emails you receive from the JIRA, they will not work.
Your application will be assessed as soon as it is seen by the QA team lead to ensure it is complete and correct. If any corrections need to be made you will be notified in the comments section of your application.
There is a seven day “cool-off” period after your application is submitted until you are notified if you have been approved.
You will need to follow the instructions in your BTA once accepted, and at that time will receive an invitation to the in-world group, Firestorm Beta testers.
All information provided when applying to become a Firestorm Beta Tester on issue type BTA is strictly confidential and only accessible by you and Firestorm team members.
As part of the beta test team, you will be given access to test builds from time to time. Such builds are not to be circulated outside of the beta test team. Nor are direct or indirect web links to be shared with people who are not part of the beta test team. Doing so will result in immediate termination of beta tester status.
The reason for this is very simple: test builds are often known to have bugs, sometimes very severe ones. We test them anyway because there may be other aspects of the build on which we need to have feedback. Clearly, we do not want viewer builds which are known to have bugs - or which may potentially have severe bugs - to be circulated to the general public.
Procedure for a New Test Release
Here is an outline of the general procedure for each new test release.
A notice is posted to the in-world beta test group, announcing the new test build. Any specific directions are given at that time, often in an attached notecard.
Install the test viewer. Most of the time installs can be dirty and installed directly over your current Firestorm install. On occasion you will be asked to do a clean install which is a total wipe of settings, possibly including cache. A clean install is explained here
. If you are not given specific instructions on this in the new test notice or on the test itself, then assume that a clean install is not required.
In most cases, there will be a smoke test
to carry out; that is, specific things that we need to have tested. This smoke test is structured as a questionnaire: a description is given of what needs to be tested, and you are asked to fill in the results. This is a sample segment of such a test:
Once you have completed the test - and it cannot be stressed enough how vital it is that you do so! - continue to use the viewer as you normally would, and report any problems you find to JIRA
(making sure you select the correct viewer versions for Reported in
You are encouraged to use the in-world group to ask questions, to see whether specific issues are known or perhaps expected behavior. But bug reporting should be done to JIRA or your bugs may go unnoticed.