Archive for June, 2006

STARWEST 2006 Program Announced


The StarWest 2006 program has been announced and it looks great! Lots and lots of stuff with the same ol’ and brand new speakers:


How to Build Your Own Robot Army;Harry Robinson, Google, Inc.

Software Security Testing: It’s Not Just for Functions Anymore; Gary McGraw, Cigital, Inc.

Dispelling Testing’s Top Ten Illusions; Lloyd Roden, Grove Consultants

What Every Tester Needs to Know to Succeed in the Agile World Jean Tabaka, Rally Software Development

Say Yes-or Say No? What to Do When You’re Faced with the Impossible; Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.

Session-Based Exploratory Testing: A Large Project; Adventure Bliss, Captaris, Inc.


Essential Test Management and Planning; Rick Craig, Software Quality Engineering

Introduction to Systematic Testing; Dale Perry, Software Quality Engineering

How to Break Software; Joe Basirico, Security Innovation, Inc.

Managing Test Outsourcing; Martin Pol, POLTEQ IT Services BV

Becoming an Influential Test Team Leader; Randall Rice, Rice Consulting Services Inc.

Key Test Design Techniques; Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering

Implementing a Test Automation Framework; Linda Hayes, Worksoft, Inc.

Agile Software Product Testing Using Fit and FitNesse; Rob Myers, Net Objectives

How to Build, Support, and Add Value to Your Test Team; Lloyd Roden, Grove Consultants

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System for Testers; Chris Menegay, Notion Solutions, Inc.

Performance Testing Secrets in Context; Scott Barber, PerfTestPlus, Inc.

Model-Based Testing: The Dynamic Answer to Test Automation; Harry Robinson, Google, Inc.

Measurement and Metrics for Test Managers; Rick Craig, Software Quality Engineering

How to Break Software Security; Aditya Kakrania, Security Innovation, Inc.

Just In Time Testing; Robert Sabourin,, Inc.

Test Process Improvement; Martin Pol, POLTEQ IT Services BV

Establishing a Fully-Integrated Test Automation Architecture; Edward Kit, Software Development Technologies

Test Estimation Using Test Point Analysis; Ruud Teunissen, POLTEQ IT Services BV

Requirements Based Testing;Richard Bender, Bender RBT, Inc.

Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Test Management;Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc., and Esther Derby, Esther Derby Associates, Inc.

Risk Based Testing; Julie Gardiner, QST Consultants Ltd.



The Nine “Forgettings”
-Quantifying the Value of Your Testing to Management -Step Away From the Tests: Take a Quality Break -Management Networking -Skill Diversity: The Key to Building the Ideal Test Team -Building a Testing Factory -Keeping it Between the Ditches: A Dashboard to Guide Your Testing -Improving the Skills of Software Testers

Internet Explorer Beta 3 released


Internet Explorer beta 3 has been released and can be found here. The IE team and Dave Massy are boast of its new features:

  • New icons
  • Tab reordering
  • Authenticated FTP
  • Easy access to email (put it back)
  • Small details (for example, image resizing changes)

See some screenshots on the IEBlog.

What’s really cool is that the IE team has made, and still is making, EXTRA effort to listen to what users are saying about IE 7 and adding features and improvements based on feedback. If you like, dislike or have an idea about IE7 you can submit your feedback in 3 ways:

  • Internet Explorer External Feedback

    This is the best way to submit Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 bugs to the Internet Explorer team.

    You will need to have a Microsoft Passport account in order to use this site. Go to the Passport site to create an account.

    In order to submit feedback, go to Microsoft Connect, then select “Available Connections,” which will take you through a license agreement. You will see “Internet Explorer Feedback” as one of the list of programs available. Select “Apply” to enroll in the program.

    There is a best practices document included on the site outlining how to open a “good” bug.

  • Microsoft Beta Client Tool

    Report issues directly to us through the Microsoft Beta Client Tool (you will need to install this tool before you can use it).

    Although this tool may look like it was designed for feedback on Windows Vista, you can use it to send us Internet Explorer 7 bugs. On the first page of the tool, just make sure you choose “This install is an Internet Explorer 7 update on Windows XP'” and set the Area to “Internet Explorer.”

  • Newsgroups

    Post any questions or problems you have to the microsoft.public.internetexplorer.general newsgroup, either through a newsgroup reader or on the Microsoft Discussion Groups site.

  • Why do I have to press #1 for English? Bad usability.


    Today my wife sent me one of those “I’m American hear me roar” emails that was simply a picture of an American flag with text stating: Why the hell should I have to press ‘1’ for ENGLISH?!

    You’re right dear wife, and whoever created the political statement over the top of a pixelated American flag. Why should you have to press 1 for English? But since the statement is politically charged by the powerful American flag I’m pretty sure the question is nothing but a derogatory statement rather than a jab at the real issue… You see, if you ask me, the reason you have to press “1 for English” is because of bad design and usability:

    The way I see it is that we have two use cases when a system is designed for two languages and the majority is English:

    1. English caller
    2. Caller speaking other language (we’ll use Spanish as an example)

    Seems simple, in most cases the English speaking caller is going to be a higher percentage than the Spanish right? So why inconvenience the majority? That’d be like having all IE 6 users click an extra button to view content…Dumb. So why don’t we just do something like the following:

    You: Ring… Ring… Ring….

    Big Corp: Hello, welcome to Big Corporation! Hola, recepción al Big Corporation! Presione el número uno para el español (translated, I think: Hello, welcome to Big Corp, press number one for Spanish)

    You: Wait patiently for a second (note, no phone fumbling here!)

    Big Corp: Press 2 to get yourself into a loop, press 3 if you want to talk to somebody (even though you can’t)…..

    Makes sense doesn’t it? I know nothing about phone systems but it can’t be that terribly difficult in this day and age. Can it?

    Is $1000 enough for your stolen identity pain?


    Larry Dignan over at asks us how much our personal data is worth. He proposes “Stiffer fines, Safter Data“. I agree and disagree; stiffer fines will eventually lead to safer data, but it won’t happen right away. Enterprises need maintainable solutions and process that work first. In my opinion, identity theft lawsuits and media frenzy will drive this “solution”.

    How much is your stolen, used, and abused identity worth to you? Is $1000 enough? Has your identity been stolen? How much did it end up costing you money and time-wise?

    The importance of component integration testing


    What evil things could happen when you have lack of component integration testing? For example, when a team delivers A and B you naturally test A+B and then hopefully you test B+A.  Sometimes it’s not as easy as A and B though. Sometimes it’s as complex as H & I & T & S. A little exploratory testing goes a long way if you’re having trouble with the orthogonal array.

    Thanks Matt for sending this to me. The image comes from

    Free load testing strategy white paper from Borland


    Borland has released a free load testing white paper entitled “Choosing a Load Testing Strategy” to help market their product Borland SilkPerformer (formerly Segue). The paper is a good read and gets really interesting when they talk about home-grown testing applications, open source load-testing tools, testing with Mega-IDEs, Web only load testing tools, hosted load-testing services and of course Enterprise class load-testing solutions.

    Download “Choosing a Load Testing Strategy” here.

    Screen capture for FireFox: ScreenGrab


    A while ago wrote about the screen capture utility ScreenGrab by Andy. ScreenGrab is an extension for FireFox that allows you to capture a FireFox browser screen and save it as a PNG file in 3 different ways:

    • The entire FireFox window (same as the PC ALT+PrtScr)
    • The entire content of the site (scrolling content)
    • The content that is viewable in the FireFox window (ViewPort)

    Andy says he is working on adding the following features:

    • Being able to select a region to grab (using something similar to MeasureIt).
    • Removing my dependence on Java (much like the folks over at Pearl Crescent did with their PageSaver, based – like I said one would be eventually, on the Canvas widget).
    • All those configuration options people keep whining about (default save to location, default naming, different file types, different menu locations).

    • Making a shortcut key to do the grab.

    SnagIt vs. ScreenGrab + Kleptomania

    When making a choice on which to use for Web application testing here are some things to think about:

    • SnagIt won’t give you the OCR/text capture feature that Kleptomania has.
    • ScreenGrab won’t work in Internet Explorer.
    • ScreenGrab doesn’t have drawing tools.

    For Web application testing ScreenGrab fills a hole in one of my favorite tools Kleptomania because it captures content that requires scrolling. Putting the two together is about the same price as SnagIt. Neither are magic bullets for Web application screen and text capturing. TechSmith, if you add OCR/text capture to SnagIt I’m sold. Until then I’m sticking with ScreenGrab and Kleptomania.

    ScreenGrab 0.8 is free, download it here.

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