Computer conferences are glorious and I love going to them, even though it means making eye contact with other humans and sharing air, and sometimes I even have to adjust my stride to avoid trampling people. Because they're full of nerds and the latest tech, and what could be more fun than playing with someone else's cool tech toys, and playing stump the chump with sales engineers? Nothing I tell you, nothing!
It's a bit of hyperbole to call openSUSE's openQA the coolest tech in the show, but it is mighty ingenious and useful, and it literally stopped me in my tracks as I was cruising the vendor floor. openQA is an automated build tester that records the entire distro build process in a series of screenshots, and then it creates an ogg/theora video out of the screenshots. Don't take my word for it-- go look at example. Just click the little movie clapboard on any item on the results page.
openQA finds and reports errors, and it's not just an OpenSUSE tool because it also works for RHEL, CentOS, and Fedora. OpenQA is the pretty front-end to OS-autoinst which was created and is maintained by Bernhard M. Wiedemann. OS-autoinst is distro-independent and should work with any Linux distribution. openQA and OS-autoinst can test everything from the bootloader and kernel to applications.
openQA and OS-autoinst still need work, so if you're looking to make your mark as a FOSS contributor consider lending a hand to these excellent projects. Learn more about openQA at openQA in openSUSE
New Release Next Week
openSUSE 13.1 is officially released next week on Nov. 18. Fun fact: openSUSE has a new release every eight months, and there are only three per version: .1, .2 and .3. So a .1 release comes out every other November. openSUSE 13.1 promises greater stability (not that it's ever been unstable), Amazon S3 integration, Samba 4.1, 32-bit ARM support, a a special Raspberry Pi build, and lots more.