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authorJoel Sherrill <joel@rtems.org>2018-11-21 10:39:04 -0600
committerJoel Sherrill <joel@rtems.org>2018-12-17 18:34:29 -0600
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Thanks to Scott Zemerick <scott.zemerick@tmctechnologies.com> for the analysis and ideas that led to this.
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+.. comment SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-SA-4.0
+
+.. COMMENT: COPYRIGHT (c) 1988-2008.
+.. COMMENT: On-Line Applications Research Corporation (OAR).
+.. COMMENT: COPYRIGHT (c) 2016-2018.
+.. COMMENT: RTEMS Foundation, The RTEMS Documentation Project
+
+Introduction to Pre-Qualification
+*********************************
+
+RTEMS has a long history of being used to support critical
+applications. In some of these application domains, there are standards
+(e.g., DO-178C, NPR 7150.2) which define the expectations for the
+processes used to develop software and the associated artifacts. These
+standards typically do not specify software functionality but address
+topics like requirements definition, traceability, having a documented
+change process, coding style, testing requirements, and a user’s
+manual. During system test, these standards call for a review – usually
+by an independent entity – that the standard has been adhered too. These
+reviews cover a broad variety of topics and activities, but the process
+is generally referred to as qualification, verification, or auditing
+against the specific standard in use. The RTEMS Project will use the
+term “qualification” independent of the standard.
+
+The goal of the RTEMS Qualification Project is to make RTEMS easier
+to review regardless of the standard chosen. Quite specifically,
+the RTEMS Qualification effort will NOT produce a directly qualified
+product or artifacts in the format dictated by a specific organization
+or standard. The goal is to make RTEMS itself, documentation, testing
+infrastructure, etc. more closely align with the information requirements
+of these high integrity qualification standards. In addition to improving
+the items that a mature, high quality open source project will have,
+there are additional artifacts needed for a qualification effort that
+no known open source project possesses. Specifically, requirements and
+the associated traceability to source code, tests, and documentation
+are needed.
+
+The RTEMS Qualification Project is technically
+“pre-qualification”. True qualification must be performed on the
+project’s target hardware in a system context. The FAA has provided
+guidance for Reusable Software Components (FAA-AC20-148) and this
+effort should follow that guidance. The open RTEMS Project, with the
+assistance of domain experts, will possess and maintain the master
+technical information needed in a qualification effort. Consultants
+will provide the services required to tailor the master information,
+perform testing on specific system hardware, and to guide end users in
+using the master technical data in the context of a particular standard.
+
+The RTEMS Qualification Project will broadly address two areas. The
+first area is suggesting areas of improvement for automated project
+infrastructure and the master technical data that has traditionally been
+provided by the RTEMS Project. For example, the RTEMS Qualification could
+suggest specific improvements to code coverage reports. The teams focused
+on qualification should be able to provide resources for improving the
+automated project infrastructure and master technical data for RTEMS. The
+term “resources” is often used by open source projects to refer to
+volunteer code contributions or funding. Although code contributions in
+this area are important and always welcome, funding is also important. At
+a minimum, ongoing funding is needed for maintenance and upgrades of
+the RTEMS Project server infrastructure, addition of services to those
+servers, and core contributors to review submissions
+
+The second area is the creation and maintenance of master technical
+data that has traditionally not been owned or maintained by the RTEMS
+Project. The most obvious example of this is a requirements set with
+proper infrastructure for tracing requirements through code to test
+and documentation. It is expected that these will be maintained by the
+RTEMS Qualification Project. They will be evaluated for adoption by
+the main RTEMS Project but the additional maintenance burden imposed
+will be a strong factor in this consideration. It behooves the RTEMS
+Qualification Project to limit dependence on manual checks and ensure
+that automation and ongoing support for that automation is contributed
+to the RTEMS Project.
+
+It is expected that the RTEMS Qualification Project will create and
+maintain maps from the RTEMS master technical data to the various
+qualification standards. It will maintain “scorecards” which
+identify how the RTEMS Project is currently doing when reviewed per each
+standard. These will be maintained in the open as community resources
+which will guide the community in improving its infrastructure.