Skip to main content

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 you might use it like this:

ruby fuzzutf8.rb -c 100 -utf8_two_byte
ծݸԒ̂ƍՔ͌вЊޏΒđµʠ£أҋ‘ŷݟߢ؁ˬУԝψĭ͕ѼХׅ۲ѨÃːׁǡ ܮ͂ϗՎœߔƭ̷Ȼ̧ʕʏٔǝ͈ܰȄبǚŎڿξަدʓ׽߷ЊݑڷũɛӥѤ̸ôߋȭԭæúѫܚʽͫʔƦܾ߷Ûƕͱ՛عӯ̨֢د߻Ӈ

That's a hundred code-points of UTF-8, in the two byte range.

As operating systems sometimes have issues copying and pasting these code-points (e.g. Windows XP) You may prefer to redirect the contents straight to a text file. e.g.:

ruby fuzzutf8.rb -c 100 -utf8_two_byte > random_utf8_file.txt

You can then treat the output like any other file. You can open it in a text editor, but beware many programs can not handle random UTF8 well, You may wish to save your work first.

The script also allows you to keep a record of the code-point numbers generated in a separate file ( -o option). These can then be replayed at a later date should you need to ( -r option ). The script doesn't do a lot of validation, so you can probably have great fun tripping the script itself up with dodgy inputs and arguments ;-)

I'm confident the script has many bugs, but it is nonetheless quite useful, and has been useful in helping me to locate other bugs. If you are interested in random text generators, There is a windows tool that I've also found useful, called Babel from TestMentor. Babel allows you to choose the output by character set/codepoint range, which is also interesting.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The gamification of Software Testing

A while back, I sat in on a planning meeting. Many planning meetings slide awkwardly into a sort of ad-hoc technical analysis discussion, and this was no exception. With a little prompting, the team started to draw up what they wanted to build on a whiteboard.

The picture spoke its thousand words, and I could feel that the team now understood what needed to be done. The right questions were being asked, and initial development guesstimates were approaching common sense levels.

The discussion came around to testing, skipping over how they might test the feature, the team focused immediately on how long testing would take.

When probed as to how the testing would be performed? How we might find out what the team did wrong? Confused faces stared back at me. During our ensuing chat, I realised that they had been using BDD scenarios [only] as a metric of what testing needs to be done and when they are ready to ship. (Now I knew why I was hired to help)



There is nothing wrong with checking t…

A h̶i̶t̶c̶h̶h̶i̶k̶e̶r̶'s̶ software tester's guide to randomised testing - Part 1

Mostly Harmless, I've talked and written about randomisation as a technique in software testing several times over the last few years. It's great to see people's eyes light up when they grok the concept and its potential. 
The idea that they can create random test data on the fly and pour this into the app step back and see what happens is exciting to people looking to find new blockers on their apps path to reliability.
But it's not long before a cloud appears in their sunny demeanour and they start to conceive of the possible pitfalls. Here are a few tips on how to avert the common apparent blockers. (Part 1) Problem: I've created loads of random numbers as input data, but how will I know the answer the software returns, is correct? - Do I have to re-implement the whole app logic in my test code?
Do you remember going to the fun-fair as a kid? Or maybe you recall taking your kids now as an adult? If so then you no doubt are familiar with the height restriction -…

Software development is in the Doldrums

"Don't get off the boat."

"Seriously, never get off the boat," The instructor said, leaning forward and looking at each of us in turn.

"But surely if it's sinking..." We reply, somewhat confused and slightly incredulous. We've seen Titanic, we think to ourselves, we know how this sea survival stuff works...

"OK" He concedes, If things get really bad, "Get on the life raft if you can step-up from the boat to the life raft".

"But, But... the yacht is like 37ft long, Do we want to wait until that whole boat is lower than the life-raft? When less than 1ft of the yacht is above the surface? Meanwhile all the time the life raft is just there... floating happily alongside."

"Pretty much, yes," he said nodding.


That was about 15 years ago. Not much has changed since. The reasons are manifold. Firstly, the yacht is a decent shelter. The thin plastic of a legal minimum life-raft isn't going to protect you fro…