I've been feeling bad lately for not updating the latest goings-on in QA Land, so here's a quick rundown!
Starting with the latest thing: I just put up the Fedora 18 Test Day schedule and sent out the Fedora 18 call for Test Days. Do take a look and consider whether a Test Day would be valuable for any of the Fedora projects you're involved with. It doesn't have to be to do with a piece of code, per se - we often run Test Days to check translations, for instance.
In general, the time between a Final release and the first composes for the next Alpha release is a fairly quiet one for QA, during which we work on ongoing projects and specific improvements to our processes based on the experience from the previous cycle. One significant between-releases project is the Retrospective. During a release cycle, anyone can throw a quick note regarding something they noticed working particularly well or needing improvement onto the retrospective page, then after the final release, someone - presently my humble self - goes through the list and works up specific action items where improvements could be made, usually as trac tickets. You can see from the page that we're working on a few improvements as a result of the Fedora 17 cycle, but it was actually a pretty quiet one: we made far more changes after the Fedora 16 cycle.
For Fedora 18 there are some potentially disruptive new features, and we've been doing what we can to anticipate the impact of these. In the last couple of weeks we've started some very early exploratory testing of the new installer UI that's scheduled to be included in Fedora 18. It hasn't yet landed in Rawhide, but we have received some test images from the anaconda team and started some initial testing on those. You can find details in the test mailing list archives: I'm intentionally not making it too easy to find, as this is still bleeding-edge code and we want to make sure you understand that before trying it out!
We're also keeping an eye on other potentially significant features like the Initial Experience feature which looks set to replace firstboot on GNOME installations of Fedora 18. We're working with the desktop team to try and ensure this lands as early as possible to give us lots of time to find any kinks in the install / first boot process resulting from this swap, ideally before the Alpha release.
We had an interesting discussion about possible adjustments to the Bodhi process for update feedback, and we'll be meeting with the Bodhi team this week to see if we can feed that discussion and other ideas into the design of Bodhi 2.0.
Personally, I've been doing Fedora 18 setup spadework (creating the release criteria pages, test day schedule and so on) and doing a few little odds-and-ends projects, like this draft for a set of Bodhi feedback guidelines, separated out from the proven testers guide where it currently resides.
We'll start ramping up for the Fedora 18 cycle in earnest with some RATS runs this week or next, and then with the first Alpha Test Compose which will likely arrive around August 7.