Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

NetCAT program logo

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 6.8 development 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 6.8. 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 subscribe to netcat@netbeans.org mailing list and add your record to a registration Wiki page. If you do not register in the Wiki, you will not be considered as NetCAT participant. This means your exception reports will not be directly filed as [68cat] issues to IssueZilla, your activity will not be monitored and you will not be entitled to receiving any recognition in the end.

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

   As a member of the NetCAT 6.8 program you will be expected to provide us with feedback on the two functionality areas you chose to focus on in NetBeans 6.8. 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, mailing list and web forum 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.

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 10% or more of CA survey respondents identify a particular bug as a showstopper, the bug must be fixed before FCS.

   Last but not least, we will watch activity of all NetCAT team members and the best participants will get recognition from us! 30 most useful participants will receive a small gift and 3 top contributors will get a recommendation in LinkedIn.com and publicity on NetBeans homepage plus other channels.

5. What is already covered by NetBeans QA ?

   We plan to perform full testing on the latest version of JDK 6 and JDK 5 and acceptance testing on JDK 7 and OpenJDK. We test NetBeans IDE on the following operating systems: Windows XP (full), Windows Vista (acceptance), Ubuntu 9.04 (full), Ubuntu 9.10 (acceptance), Mac OS X 10.5 Intel (full), Mac OS X 10.6 Intel (acceptance), OpenSolaris 2009.06 (full), Solaris 11 Sparc (automated) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (automated). 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 beyond 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 6.8 IDE. Besides, note that IDE's minimum screen resolution is 1024x768 pixels.

Recommended Hardware Configuration

Processor  Memory   Free disk space 
~2.6 GHz CPU 1 GB 850 MB - 1 GB


8. How is activity of NetCAT participants monitored ?

   Both NetBeans engineers and NetCAT program coordinator will watch NetCAT team and evaluate individual members by their activity on the mailing list and web forum, number and quality of bug reports, number of reviewed tutorials, number of contributed patches, number of completed surveys and other types of feedback. In the end of the program NetBeans engineers will select top contributors by simple voting process.

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 6.8 coordinator.

10. Should I use development builds of NetBeans?

   We would really appreciate it 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.

   If publishing on http://bits.netbeans.org gets broken, please use http://deadlock.netbeans.org as a backup source of daily builds.

11. Not listed here ?

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


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

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About this Project

QA was started in November 2009, is owned by Marian Mirilovic, and has 98 members.
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