Still Life

A Series of Mental Snapshots

Posts Tagged ‘bug’

Bugs In the Wild: WYSIWYG in WordPress Edition

Posted by Steve on April 22, 2009

I ran into this issue when creating my post for importing/exporting individual tables in MySQL. The issue resolves around the principal of WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get).

For one of the MySQL commands it was necessary to have two dashes (or minuses) next to each other, as can be seen in my the post mentioned above.  In the WordPress text editor displayed the two dashes properly in both the visual and HTML views, but after I had published the post, the two dashes where displayed (and when copied acted) as a single dash! For example the character in the quotation is seen as two dashes in the editor “–” but as can be clearly seen it is displayed as a single dash.

I tried for a while to resolve the issue, but I ended up just spacing out the dashes, like so “- -“, so that it could be seen that there were actually two dashes.

I feel this falls under a WYSIWYG type issue as in the text editor I was able to see the two dashes properly, but then when the post was published the same thing was not displayed therefore what I was seeing n the editor was not what I got in the post.

–Steve

Posted in Bugs in the wild, Testing, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The use of videos in bug reports

Posted by Steve on October 7, 2008

I recently came across a topic at the software testing club website that was discussing the use of videos in bug reports. After reading through the comments, it was clear there were a few main concerns:

1. file size
2. Serial viewing order – harder to skip and get to the point.
3. No search options.
4. Requires detailed attention in whole viewing process.

Firstly I want to address what the main ‘limitations’ are and then I will go into the benefits I see.
1. File Size.
If you get a decent tool, you don’t have to worry about this. You can export your videos in flash (if high res isn’t necessary) making them ~100KB. Now a days at a normal big box store you can get a 500GB hard drive for under 100$, so you are looking at about 5 million videos for 100$ (or 500 000 videos at 1 MB each). To me that isn’t really what I’d consider a limiting factor. Note, this does not really address any issues that may happen in a bug tracking database, as it really does depend on how the database is set up.

2. Serial Viewing order – harder to skip and get to the point.
The way that I use videos (described below) this is not an issue. A test video used properly should not be long enough for this to be a problem.

3.No search options
Again if you have a short video, and you use the video accompanying another bug report, you will not have any problems.

4. Requires detailed attention
Again if you are using videos correctly this should not be an issue.

So how should videos be used in reference to bug reports…?

Firstly in my opinion a bug report will never be replaced by a video (well unless it is mashup of video with text) because there are things that you can easily and quickly describe in text. Videos are only helpful for certain things, a few of them are as follows:

  • Remembering your course of actions when you hit a bug. I am sure it has happened to everyone once where they notice a bug but they have no idea how they got there.
  • Helping to illustrate time sensitive bugs; for example you find something where, in a web form, you press save back save quickly and it causes a problem.
  • When a developer may not believe you. Often I have filed bugs that developers do not believe happen (sometimes because it is intermittent behaviour), a video is proof, words are just that… words.
  • When someone else on the test team has to explain a bug you filed. Wording can be tricky and filing a bug report is somewhat of an art. At times it is difficult to understand what the person that filed the bug meant, but if you have a video you can often figure it out.

There are other uses for videos, those are just the ones that jumped to the fore front.

What has to be remembered is that, like anything else, it is all fluid! Sometimes videos are appropriate, sometimes not, it is always a judgement call; you have to think to yourself will a video add value. If you are unsure maybe ask the developers or your team lead what will be most helpful to them! I think video is extremely useful with certain cases, so try not to disregard it too quickly.

–Steve

Posted in Testing | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Anatomy of a Bug Report — Presented via a MSOffice ‘Bug in the Wild’

Posted by Steve on September 13, 2008

The importance of a bug report is definitely understated; it is the difference between something getting fixed, and something getting filed away. I am going to present my version of a ‘good’ bug report through reporting a bug I found while I was MS Office 2007. First though I am going to outline the sections:

Title
The title is actually the most important part of the bug report, it is essential that it is possible to know what the whole problem is simply based on the title. If you cannot express what the bug is completely in the title, you have to think more about before reporting it.

Preconditions
Pretty straight forward, put what needs to be setup before the bug occurs, it can also include what machine configuration you used (if its meaningful)

Steps To Reproduce
Another straight forward area of the bug report. what you want to aim for here is that someone who knows nothing about the bug and possibly very little about the product can reproduce it. There preferrably should be no questions about how to hit the problem again (I do realize this is problematic with the bugs that appear to happen ‘randomly’)

Bug Details
The important things to include here are what the problem is (as you see it) and what you think should be happening. If you do not but a suggestion or desired outcome, the bug is not nearly as useful.

Frequency
This is a field that does not always apply, it generally is important with bugs that have to do with scalability and ones that seem to happen intermittently.

The Bug Report:

Title: Having the ‘Create Source’ window open results in any other open window becoming unusable

Preconditions:

  • Two instances of MS Office Open

Steps to Reproduce

  • In the first MS office window click the references tab
  • In the toolbar click ‘Insert Citation’
  • In the drop down list click ‘New Source’, the create source window will open
  • Click the mouse onto the second Office window

Bug Details

  • At this point nothing can be done in the second open window, you cannot click, or manipulate the window in any way.
  • Desired Outcome: The second MS Office window should not be affected by the Create Source window in any fashion
  • Note: A further issue is that a new Office window does cannot be opened (for example from the start window)

Frequency

  • Anytime the Create Source window is open

So there you have the bug report, if I had access to the proper software I would also have made and attached a video of the problem, video is a great bug reporting tool, one that I suggest is BB TestAssistant .

Let me know what you thought of my bug report! Does it match how you file bugs?

–Steve

Posted in Bugs in the wild, Testing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bugs in the Wild: In Flight Edition

Posted by Steve on August 29, 2008

I was recently on an air canada flight down to San Francisco to visit my parents and I had a touch screen in flight entertainment system (here is a link to a picture if you want to see).

The first thing that I start with is simply watching a TV show, as I wanted to relax a little, but as the flight progressed I decided to see what the entertainment system had to offer. I notice there is an option to listen to music, so I navigate over to there and start setting up a playlist. This is where I noticed the problem. The whole playlist (if it is over 5 songs long) does not fit on the screen, therefore there are arrows that you can click on to go up and down on the playlist; and if you get to the top or bottom of the playlist the respective up or down arrow gets disabled. Makes sense, why would you need to go up anymore if you are at the top of the playlist, right? Because of the title of the post, obviously this is wrong! What they forgot to take into account is that when you click on song that is at the bottom of those displayed on the screen, the screen re-centres around that song, thus if you click the fourth song on the list, you can no longer see the first song, and at this point in time the go up arrow is also still disabled!

There is of course a fix to this, you can simply click the down arrow and the up arrow will fix itself, but if you were really malicious you could have so that both arrows got diabled and you would have to exit and re-enter the audio screen.

I thought this was a fun little bug in a real world situation.

–Steve

Posted in Bugs in the wild, Testing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bugs in the Wild, the Irony Edition

Posted by Steve on June 18, 2008

It has been a while since I wrote a post specifically about testing, and I ran into an opportunity that I couldn’t resist. I am attending a software test conference, CAST, that is in Toronto, in about a month. I am looking forward to this because there are some good speakers lined up, and I am attending a tutorial that is going to be done by Jerry Weinburg, who if you do not know, has written a whole host of books on various topics that relate in many different ways to testing.

Now where the testing part comes in is when I got an e-mail this morning stating that I have officially been signed up for CAST, and can go see what I am signed up for. I decide to click on the link to give the website a little look, and I was very glad I did, because it gave me, as you can seen in the screenshot below, a humourous dose of irony.

Yes, that is correct, there is a very large, noticeable and common mistake in the text, an apostrophe is accidentally displayed as: �

I did notify them of this error before putting up my post, just to give them a little heads up, but I did get a good laugh that there was a bug on a website for a software testing conference!

–Steve

Post Script:
If you have interest in the conference, you can check it out here: http://www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org/drupal/conference

Posted in Bugs in the wild, Testing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »