Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2011

Random text tool

I recently blogged about some of the tools I use, and how some are so useful I keep using them. As I mentioned, randomness is pretty useful, and I have tools to help me generate random text.

A few of my readers requested a copy of my simple random text generating script, so I've decided to open it up for everyone to use and test. It will have bugs, like all software, please send details and I'll try and fix them.

If you are interested in what UTF-8 is and what all that Unicode stuff is about, there is a great article by Joel Spolsky that explains all, and the wikipedia page is ok.

To use it...

First download the script, its on GitHub. The script is fairly short and is all in one file. You don't have to 'install it', its not a GEM.

Second, make sure you have Ruby version 1.9 or greater. You need version 1.9, because Ruby didn't handle UTF-8 well in older versions.

Thirdly run the script like this:

ruby fuzzutf8.rb

That will give you some usage examples.

Typically …

2 minutes on Bing Maps

Consistency, is one thing I test for in software. For example, if software refers to something by a particular name, then [usually] it should always refer to it by that name. Furthermore, when it uses that name e.g. 'London Tube Map' I would expect to see such a map, when I click to view it, and not another kind of map e.g.: a street map.

Conventions, These are also an important part of software. People will [usually] expect your software to use conventions that are appropriate for the field. For example, The traditional London Tube map is a schematic diagram, designed to show the relative positions of the stations rather than their geographic location. Though, sometimes it's actually useful to have geographic information, e.g.: is Queensway (Central line) station very close to Bayswater (Circle line)? So if a map isn't using the schematic form, then the geographic form also has it uses.

I would be surprised if I received a London Tube map that was neither schematic or…

Testing Mindset

Once upon a time there was a young and naive tester, he was new to the world of software testing. He often felt he didn't have what it took to be a tester. Sure, he found the odd bug, and he enjoyed his work, but he also often missed bugs, issues or problems.

After a while, he admitted to himself that this was a problem, and decided to seek help. He stood up from his desk and walked over to his test manager's desk. His manager was wise and experienced. He was the Mr Miyagi of testing, and as such was always offering zen-like advice for his team. A simple question about where the stapler had escaped to could turn into a somewhat baffling series of Haiku, leaving our young tester baffled.

Our novice explained his problem, and his concerns about how maybe he wasn't cut out for testing. The wise test manager smiled, thought for a moment and then opened his little Moleskine notebook. He turned carefully through the pages, settled on a page, looked up and said: "I overheard…