Of course, GNOME 3 is one of the big new features of Fedora 15 – and the free software desktop in general. Fedora will be running three Test Days to aid in the final polishing and stabilization of the GNOME 3 release, and make sure Fedora 15 provides a good desktop experience. This is a great opportunity to help both GNOME and Fedora development and help make sure you can work effectively in GNOME 3 when it lands on your desktop. Even though these are Fedora events, you don’t have to run Fedora to join in, and since GNOME 3 will land in all the distributions soon, the testing will be just as valuable to your distribution: all the feedback will go to the GNOME developers for the benefit of all distributions. The first Test Day is this Thursday, 2011-02-03. You can participate just by visiting the wiki page, and following through the instructions you find there – it’s really easy! There will be other testers, Fedora QA team members and GNOME developers in the IRC channel – #fedora-test-day on Freenode IRC – all day long to help out and discuss issues with. If you don’t know how to use IRC, no problem – you can use WebIRC. If you click that link it will open the IRC channel (which is like a chat room) in a web page in any good browser.
The testing is broken down into small chunks and you don’t have to do every test – you can help out in ten minutes (plus the time it takes to download the image). Almost all the tests can be run entirely from a live image that you will find linked right from the Test Day page – there’s no need to have an installed copy of Fedora at all. You enter your results into the Wiki page, and you don’t need a Fedora account to do it – the page is open to editing without an account. Even if you’re busy on Thursday, you can do the tests earlier or later and your results will still be just as useful – all you’re missing out on is the on-the-day live interaction with other testers and developers in #fedora-test-day on Freenode IRC. Please note that the tests and results table on the page aren’t complete yet, and probably won’t be until Wednesday!
The testing will mostly see you booting a live image and doing normal things with it – running applications, configuration tools, interacting with desktop utilities: there’s nothing complicated or difficult in most of the testing, anyone can do it! You get to be one of the first to try GNOME 3 and help make sure it works well when it comes out, and the warm fuzzy feeling inside comes free. The more testers we get the better, so please come along and help make sure GNOME 3 really is made of easy.