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Our big software upgrade is nearly complete - we need testers!

Hi everyone, Bruno here!

I wanted to give you all an update on the work I’ve been doing over the last few months, as the big software upgrade is nearly ready to roll out, and we could use your help testing it. I’ll give you a few details on what the upgrade means, and I’ve put together some info on how you can help with this last step of the process.

The software we use to run Textillia is called Drupal - we built the site on the previous Drupal version (Drupal 7) which is now several years old. Now, we need to move to the current version (Drupal 8) so we can use all its new functionality, as well as improve security and performance. The best part is this will be the last “big” software upgrade we’ll need to do, as once on Drupal 8, the upgrade method has switched to using many small upgrades that take less time to perform, instead of one huge one every few years.

The upgraded site will set us on a path to further build out all of the tools we want to add to Textillia. We have so many plans to expand the functionality and continue to build you a solid and long lasting sewing community home, with all the features you’ve been wishing for!

In terms of the upgrade process, I’ve completed all of the code needed, and have created a copy of the entire site to test everything out before we roll out the upgrade. After a period of testing, I’ll run the final upgrade on the real site (it’ll be down for a while when we do this), and then we’ll also need some people to help give it a once over to make sure everything is as it should be once it’s complete. Being that Textillia already has a lot of functionality, we could definitely use a bunch of people’s help combing through and looking for bugs. Whether you have experience working with websites or not, as long as you’re familiar with how Textillia works, we can use your help.

What do we need to test?

  • Functionality: We’re only upgrading the software, not adding new functionality at this stage. There will be minor changes in how some things work, but no major new features at this point. This means that we’ll need people who are familiar with the existing functionality to help make sure things work as they should.
  • Data: As part of the upgrade we’re also moving all of the data from the old system to the new one, so we need to verify whether all of the data gets moved correctly. We’re doing some of this work automatically, but would like to do some manual testing as well.
  • Layout and display: The upgraded layout should look generally the same. We need to make sure the layout isn’t broken anywhere, especially on phones and tablets.

I’m hoping we can wrap up the testing period around June 15 (extended a couple more weeks thanks to medical detour!), so that gives us about three weeks. Want to help out? Head over to this forum post to volunteer, and get all the nitty gritty on how to become a tester!

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help, and let us know in the comments if you have any questions about the upgrade in general or about how being a tester works!

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