One of the most exciting things about working for Symbian is that its model enables a wider variety of contributions than source code. Contributions of all forms are valuable, including words (in the form of discussions in the various forums and Ideas site etc) but also test effort.
There are many areas of platform testing that are resource-intensive and common between companies, for example interoperability testing and multimedia playability testing. Therefore one of the specific ideas we have been working towards is a web database to enable community memebers to coordinate testing efforts and collaborate. This will help reduce R&D time and costs for everyone.
The database is simple enough. The community can contribute test definitions, and the database will sort these to prioritise the least-recently-run tests by showing these first. Then community members can contribute test time by running the test and recording the results, as either a pass or Bugzilla entries for failures.
Various spins of the database are possible. The image below shows a mock-up of one view – a playability testing database (see also this wiki page). Other spins include a plug-fest database for maximising hardware interoperability testing (such as Bluetooth devices, or HDMI), or a multimedia device-to-device interoperability database for testing content generated on one device can be played back on another.
Of course, it’s not perfect – the playability database especially needs careful integration with existing test strategies to actually realise the cost savings (the benefits from the other spins are much easier to realise).
However, by working together as a community these ideas can be rapidly improved, so please feel free to add comments here or on the wiki page. We are also hopeful that very soon we can announce a contribution by one of our members of this database!