Monday, March 16, 2015

Lantern update

Hey

Lantern is progressing nicely today. I've received a number of submissions and it seems that brightness ranges are all over the place. Thanks to everyone that has contributed. This data will be very useful for analysis and the more you can send, the better.

I wanted to test a theory, that firmware-based brightness control device, one that is based on /sys/class/backlight/*/type being equal to firmware, keeps the panel dim but lit when brightness zero is requested a raw driver will happily turn the panel backlight off. This is a common issue with many laptops. There is no consistent behavior. Users don't know what to expect when they hit the brightness control all the way down.

To test that theory I've created a test provider for plainbox (which is the project I'm hacking at work most of the time). It's a big change from a tiny script that fits on one's screen to a large (it's large!) body of code feeding of a pretty big set of data files and scripts.

I did this to ensure that the solution is scalable. We can now do interactive tests, we can use i18n, we can do lots of complicated things that are useful as we expand the library of tests. Using a toolkit simply helps us along the way in ways that simple shell scripts cannot hope to.

Currently I've added two interactive tests:
  • test that checks if software brightness control works at all
  • the brightness zero test I've outlined above
There's also a number of supporting jobs that detect and enumerate devices, collect logs and put this all together. You can see all of the details here.

So once again, I'd like to ask for your help. Look at the instructions and run the test suite. It takes about a minute on my laptop. Less if you already know all the instructions and don't have to follow along. As before, send submissions to my email  address at zygmunt.krynicki<at>canonical.com. If you come across any problems please report them.

You can also contribute translations (see the po/ directory for the familiar stuff), tests and discussions.

Thanks
ZK