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User talk:Péter Hegedűs

OpenStack Quality Improvement Plan

Who we are?

We are a small team at the University of Szeged, Software Engineering Department who contribute to OpenStack. The members of the team are Béla Vancsics, Gábor Antal, Ferenc Horváth, Péter Hegedűs and Biswajeeban Mishra. We are relatively new in OpenStack development, but our strategic partner, Ericsson Hungary gives us an invaluable guidance. Our research and industrial focus is software quality from every aspect. We have experiences in writing static code analyzers for various languages, in static and dynamic testing methods, etc. For the list of our references, see: http://www.sed.inf.u-szeged.hu/softwarequality.

What do we plan to do?

We are targeting the hardening of OpenStack from the quality point of view. Obviously, higher technical quality would result in higher flexibility, enhanced reliability and stability, and most importantly much more effective maintainability.

Other than our years of expertise in software quality assurance we use different static analysis techniques and tools as the basis of our work. In this case we apply open-source tools (e.g. SonarQube) and our Python static analyzer (SourceMeter) as well. These tools analyze the source code of the OpenStack modules from time to time and produce a list of coding rule violations, object-oriented metrics and code duplications. By constantly monitoring the code base of the targeted OpenStack modules, these tools help us determine where we should focus our attention. The latest results produced by the aforementioned tool chain are publicly available at http://openqa.sed.hu/dashboard/index/1. We hope that this site will be frequently visited by developers who are also interested in fixing quality related issues. This way it can help organizing the maintenance of OpenStack, which will lead to a more convenient and improved development process in the long term.

The method of processing the large amount of available data to create actual fixes is the following. At first, we select those results that might indicate bigger quality issues like code parts with extreme metric values, components with large number of rule violations or large clones (i.e. copy-paste code parts). Then all the selected entries are manually checked to verify whether they are true hits or not. Even in the case of true hits we omit those of minor relevance and keep only the ones indicating real quality issues. From these remaining hits we create fixes by inspecting the affected code parts and performing the possible refactorings.

Several patches that were created this way are already in the review system. What is more, some of our quality related fixes (e.g. https://review.openstack.org/#/c/234170/, https://review.openstack.org/#/c/232020/) have already made it through, so they got merged.

Our intention is to keep up with this process, and continuously provide patches targeting internal quality improvements besides the usual activities like bug fixes, etc. We hope we get support from the community and our efforts help a bit to make OpenStack more reliable, more stable and a very long-lived project. You can read more technical details here.

Why do we do it?

As we already said, we have a strategic agreement with Ericsson Hungary, who actively use and develop OpenStack. We share experiences and mutually help each other so that we help contributing to Ericsson while they help us to get involved in OpenStack development. As a first step we thought we could do what we are the best at, which is improving quality. Since it might be also valuable to the OpenStack community, it seems like a good strategy to get involved in the OpenStack contribution and create value for the community at the same time. Nonetheless, it is a great way to learn the basics of OpenStack to be able to contribute in a broader spectrum in the future.