Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. What is the basic purpose of NetCAT?

   Simply put, the goal of this program is to get active NetBeans community members involved in testing the NetBeans IDE 6.5 Beta and RC builds. Participants will provide feedback on product usability, quality and performance. In return, these volunteers are given an opportunity to significantly influence the quality of NetBeans IDE 6.5. It is important to stress though that the NetCAT program is about quality acceptance and not about feature design.

2. How can I participate in this program?

   If you have an experience with software development and would like to help NetBeans become the best IDE, simply sign up to participate in the NetCAT as soon as possible because we can accept only 60 best candidates and 30 substitutes. Every applicant will be notified by July 11th. If you succeed to be selected you will be automatically subscribed to netcat@netbeans.org mailing list and receive further instructions on Feature Freeze milestone - July 14th.

3. Can you describe my responsibilities if I join the program?

   As a member of the NetCAT 6.5 program you will be expected to provide us with feedback on the two functionality areas you chose to focus on in NetBeans 6.5. Though it is perfectly acceptable to only evaluate the Beta and RC builds, we would truly appreciate it if you used and tested the daily development builds as well. As always, you can utilize the simplified bug submission form and netcat@netbeans.org mailing list to report your experiences.

   Furthermore, your input may also be requested via additional surveys during NetCAT. At the end of the program you will be asked to submit a Community Acceptance (CA) survey where you can express whether or not the new main features are ready for release.

   Please note that we will watch activity of NetCAT team participants and replace those who don't earn at least 20 CAT points by August 8th.

4. Are there any benefits for me ?

   Yes. The opinions you voice will be treated with care. You will have a chance to influence which bugs get fixed or to speak up via the CA survey where you can describe your satisfaction with newly added features. If 20% or more of CA survey respondents identify a particular bug as a showstopper, the bug must be fixed before FCS.

   Last but not least, every participant with more than 40 CAT points will receive a gift from us! Furthermore, the three most agile and three most helpful program members will win a gift certificate for NetBeans Shop.

5. What is already covered by NetBeans QA ?

   We perform full testing on the latest version of JDK 6 and sanity testing on JDK 5, JDK 7 and Open JDK. We test NetBeans IDE on the following operating systems: Windows XP (full), Windows Vista (sanity), Ubuntu 8.* (full), Mac OS X 10.5 Intel (full), Red Hat Enterprise 5 (automated), Solaris 2008.05 (full). The testing is done according to particular module test specifications.

6. What do RC, CA or FCS mean ?

Abbreviation Explanation
RC Release Candidate build
CA Community Acceptance program name
FCS RC build that has been accepted as First Customer Ship
FF Feature Freeze milestone i.e. no new features development after that date
HR High Resistance period when only high priority bugs (P1, P2) can be fixed.
CF Code Freeze milestone which declares codebase as ready for the first RC build.

7. What HW disqualifies participation in the program ?

   Your HW platform is not important, however, please familiarise yourself with the requirements of NetBeans 6.5 IDE. Besides, note that IDE's minimum screen resolution is 1024x768 pixels.

    Recommended Hardware Configuration

    Processor  Memory   Free disk space 
    2 GHz CPU 1 GB 1 GB

    8. How can I earn the CAT points?

       Input of each participant will be evaluated during the program based upon the various feedback types.
      Activity type CAT points
      Email 1
      RFE 2
      Bug 4
      CA survey 10
      Other surveys 5
      Docs review 5

      9. How come I can't access netcat@netbeans.org mailing list archive ?

         You most probably don't have "Observer" role in www project. Please visit this page and request Observer role. Your request should be granted shortly but please be patient or notify NetCAT 6.5 coordinator. However, this does not mean you will be allowed to post messages to the list. Only NetCAT team members are allowed to communicate via this list.

      10. Should I use development builds of NetBeans?

         We would really appreciate if you could download the latest development builds whenever you can because official milestone builds get out-of-date very quickly. The daily builds will allow you to verify that your problems were really fixed or still remain unfixed. It's not necessary to download new build every day but 2-3 days period sounds like a good compromise. You might also consider keeping the last stable build in case the latest daily one is seriously broken.

      11. Not listed here ?

         Don't hesitate to ask your NetCAT program coordinator Jiri Kovalsky !


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      $Date: 2009/11/02 14:13:06 $ GMT

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About this Project

QA was started in November 2009, is owned by Jiří Kovalský, and has 97 members.
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