All posts by Shmuel Gershon

Hi! I've been testing software and firmware (embedded SW) for a while. I like the testing subject very much, and this is my opportunity to add my two cents to it. I am no keynoting expert (yet?), but two cents everybody has in his pockets... so enjoy, and let me know your Testing Thoughts!

BotT: Ctrl+Enter on Firefox

The Bug of this Time!
For simplicity’s sake, let’s abbreviate, and wherever you see BotT, you know that’s Shmuel’s “Bug of this Time“.

I picked a bug from the FireFox BugZilla database (BugZilla is a (free) (opensource) (reliable) tool for tracking bugs).
The bug is Bug 233853 – cnn.com, Ctrl+Enter goes to http://www.cnn.com.com/.

This bug is very particular. Let’s first analyze the Bug Description:

User-Agent:
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040207 Firefox/0.8

I believe that’s good enough for a Build Identifier. It is the common practice on the DataBase to provide this info (check for yourself). And, from what I’ve seen, no much information on the system OS is given until asked by the programmers.
My belief on where this comes from: From one side, basic information on the environment can be very healthy for bug debugging. But on systems such as this, where the parameteres can change _so_ much from user to user, and people all over the world are running this application with different settings in different operating systems on different computers to do different things… Well, with so much differences, you better leave for the programmer to chose which information he wants :).

* Enter ‘cnn.com’ in the URL field.
* Press CTRL-Enter
* Firefox changes the URL to ‘www.cnn.com.com’.  Firefox prepends ‘www’ and
appends ‘com’ to whatever URL I type.
This does not happen if I provide a protocol or start the URL with ‘www.’

That is a very simple bug, with very simple reproduction steps.
It happens all the time to a lot of people, but Rick was the first to decide and report it.
Anyone can reproduce it from these instructions.

I pressed CTRL-Enter as I’m used to opening links in a background tab in
Mozilla.  I guess Firefox does not yet support opening background tabs.

Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Type a URL (sans protocol & ‘www’) in the URL field. (e.g. cnn.com)
2. Press CTRL-Enter
3. Notice Firefox prepends ‘www.’ and appends ‘.com’ to whatever URL you entered
without first attempting to connect to the URL provided.

Actual Results: 
Firefox prepends ‘www.’ and appends ‘.com’ to whatever URL you entered.

Expected Results: 
Firefox should just attempt to connect to the URL as typed.

This is an extension of the first-and-quick reproduction process.
It has additional information (like the background tab statement), a reproduction page that is not specific (in order not to have the discussion limited to cnn.com) and the expected results.

Pretty good!

Wait, if it is pretty good, and simple, and quick, why it is featured as the BotT?
Answer: Take a look at the bug thread — it has 46 posts, since 11/02/2004 until 16/10/2006! In almost three years, the bug was rolling back and forth between sides, until they get to some conclusion.

Continue reading BotT: Ctrl+Enter on Firefox

A Bug with a Helmet

Israel’s National Road Safety Authority held lately very interesting ad campaings, in print, radio and TV that are aimed to increase accident-awareness for Israeli drivers.

In this country, 95% of all accidents are due to reasons which include “human factors”. While 2005 statistics show that the “Deaths in Accident” relation to the population-total was low when compared to other European contries, the same statistics demonstrate that Israel is one of the worse countries on the “Deaths in Accident” compared to number of vehicles.
That means: Our vehicles kill more people than vehicles in other countries do. This is a very scary conclusion, and I learn from it that our drivers are careless (or could not care less!) about road-accidents.

Ad Campaigns can effectively increase consciousness when done right.
Here is how the Road Safety Authority approached the problem, and how you can adapt this in your tests.

See the picture:

[Image removed from original server]

The Caption says: “He is close to your bumper. He is fast, he is furtive… He can be unexpected… And if you don’t look for him, you’ll not see him. Slow down and look for the kid in the road!

Another strong advert in Radio went like this: “He is approaching, and he is fast. On the road, always look for the man with the helmet!

See the pattern? It is not “look for some kid that may be around”, or “check if there’s a motorcycle”… Stop and find that motorcyclist driving overthere!
The common to both announcements is that you are left with the impression that there are children and motorcycles everywhere.
They ARE there, somewhere where you can’t see them. You don’t want to hit them, so please be careful.

Continue reading A Bug with a Helmet

Bug of This Time!

One of the sections I want to have in this blog, is a list of cool bugs and a review on the bug report.
I’ll take a bug report out of some bugzilla list, like the Mozilla or the OpenOffice, explain the bug and review the bug description.
My aim is to learn cool techniques and ideas on bug reporting, and also to try to spot bad patterns and poor descriptions.

Wait! Should not this section be called “Bug of the Month“, or “of the Week“? No, no. I do not want to limit myself to just one bug per period. Neither I want to commit to bring a bug every week… So it’s the “Bug of this Time“! :)


 

At “This Time”, instead of listing a bug found elsewhere, I’ll describe a ‘Privacy Bug’ I once found in the printer of a company I worked for.They had some Xerox printers that performed as Fax as well.

In some (most) of the machines, when you wanted to print a Transmission Report on a delivered fax, you had to drill-down on the printers’ menu, and press the “Transmission Report” option. Send your fax, and after success, a neat report, with a reduced image of the first page of the fax sent is printed out. Cool.

Continue reading Bug of This Time!

Happy New Testing Year!

This time I could not miss it.
I’ve been planning this journal for months. Even after I had the layout and graphics done, and had all the major sections figured out, starting to write content was quite hard.
I began making a list of topics that would interest you and me, even drafted a handfull of posts(!) — and waited for the next-week/next-month/next-round-date to start publishing text. The angels of procrastination as guiding star…

This time I could not miss it.
First day of the year — a very round date to start.
My ‘dieta’ can wait, in 2007 I am writting a blog on Software Testing!

Why would you do this? Don’t you have enough things to do?“, you would ask, and I would understand then that you’ve been talking to my wife and/or my boss :).
Well, I am doing it for you and the world, and for me. I want to clarify to myself what I think, and lapidate my philosophies. I also passion to teach and discourse, so this is a very good opportunity to be my own teacher of testing and of writing. If you or others can benefit from these as well, even better!
((Funny thing is, the posts are password protected, because I probably have to ask permission to my employer before publishing this. So I am writing to myself meanwhile… I will be able to measure my advance throughout the years, yuhuu!))

In the next few posts, I’ll present a bit of what I do, and of what I will cover on the journal.

Be my guest;
 – Let me know your Testing Thoughts!