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Showing posts from December, 2013

Book 'em, Danno!

So I submitted a short piece to The Ministry of Testing . A bit of fluff, really. An amusing (I thought, but remember that I do laugh at my own jokes most of the time) conceit. An animal-based classification of the brokenness of software. The editor,  Simon , asked me to tidy it, to tighten it, to tweak it. I tidied, tightened, tweaked and teased out the core thought more clearly. And then suddenly it was an e-book. With monster graphics. Get it here: My Software Under Test and Other Animals . Image:

The On in Wrong?

I am not Ben Simo and this is not exactly a security issue at  but I was surprised to find that when I searched for Stoke on Trent at Premier Inn 's web site I was given a list of matches that included Abu Dhabi and Dubai ahead of the less glamorous but geographically more plausible Crewe and Uttoxeter. As I was on a mission to get a hotel near my brother's house at a price I was prepared to pay over Christmas I sailed gaily on past this oddity and, despite being a little frustrated by other aspects of the search result presentation and site navigation, booked the room I needed pretty easily. After that I went back and with a couple of minutes poking about, found that results are a mixture of at least proximity and quite relaxed string matching. In the case above, on appears in Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) and others. (Although searching for just on does not find Stoke-on-Trent.)

Critic Thinking

It's not a  typo , the title. I've been thinking about how - like a professional critic - a professional tester frequently needs to bridge the gap between the connoisseur and the consumer, to take the desires, constraints, needs, sensitivities and complaints of both into account when trying to make sense of and assess a product. I used to spend a lot of time on music: I'd listen to tens of new records every week and go to gigs all the time. I could, and did, talk about subtleties of a drum sound, listen to tracks because of who produced them, argue about whether this or that 12" single was dark acid techno or acid dark techno or dark/acid techno or whatever. I would play records because I appreciated technical aspects of the sounds on them as much, if not more than, the music. I would deliberately seek out ever more subtle or challenging sonic experiences, such as   Dog Pound Found Sound  (which I actually played on the radio). Or records made by someone linked to