Saturday, February 13, 2010

I know you'd have a test case for this !!!


Here is a question answer session for my blog readers.


Context:

The image at the right was taken at a ticket counter at Bangalore City Railway Station. Passengers wait for their turn to buy tickets. The officer inside the room asked questions like "Which station, Which train, Number of passengers?"
Once the passenger gave the details, ticket was given after collecting the fare.

There was a display put up to help the customer with details of the ticket.

Now, with the message : "There are unused icons in your desktop" overlapping the fare details/breakdown, some of the questions arise:

* Is it a bug? How risky is it to ignore such messages?
* Is the purpose of the display served?
* If the overlapping of the message on the display is a bug, will you fix it?
* What if it is not fixed?
* Which tester will think of these kinds of tests?
* Do you wear the hat of a non-tester and say: Hmmm, there is a workaround. I'll not fix it.
* I do not know how to fix it.
* It might be a bug but it is a limitation of the technology. [Cannot fix]

Finally one question:

"IS THERE A PROBLEM HERE?"
(Thanks to Ben Simo)

Please feel free to question, think, comment, argue and discuss :)

18 comments:

James Marcus Bach said...

This is a security and stability bug. It indicates that there may be many things not properly configured in the platform.

The general approach to identifying these sorts of things in advance is to think: "Platform" then "automatically included functionality." If you understand the platform, this should trigger thoughts such as "what about periodic automatic updates (should be turned off)?" and "What about standard keyboard commands that bring up special menus and options (should all be disabled)?"

-- james

sunjeet81 said...

The "unused icons.." message being a windows OS generated information message,i think the application should be smart enough to handle such OS level ( on which it is running) interventions.

e.g. - something like a full screen mode operation where messages are overridden and not displayed in the foreground .

however,this could also have implications of maybe serious OS levels alerts being missed .

Ajay Balamurugadas said...

@James Marcus Bach,

Thanks James for your comment.
Valuable points indeed.

* Maybe they did not test the 'P' in SFDPOT.
* Or the people who mattered were OK with this bug not fixed.
* Or they missed running a set of cases which would reveal similar problems.
* Or they failed to notice this as an issue.

Regards,
Ajay

Ajay Balamurugadas said...

@sunjeet81:

To start with: I think its a warning message (as indicated by the Warning icon).

"i think the application should be smart enough to handle such OS level ( on which it is running) interventions."

Did you mean to say: The application must be designed to handle such interventions?

If yes, I agree. It again depends on what information is blocked by the intervention.

In this case, the main purpose of the display(fare details) is not achieved if the warning message is not blocked.

Nice point: "...this could also have implications of maybe serious OS levels alerts being missed "
I was just wondering which was more important to the customer:
a. The display of information from the application.
b. The OS generated messages.

I'd go with 'a.'

Regards,
Ajay

testingideas said...

This is completely Environmental setup issues as clearly pointed out by James.
If the tester has understood the requirements(a display system) and how the same will be implemented at the client site(in this case railway station) clearly he might have come up with test cases.

Santosh Shukla said...

My take on the posed questions:

* Is it a bug? How risky is it to ignore such messages?
A. Yes it is a usability bug. The software can be programmed to skip such non-critical OS warning messages.

* Is the purpose of the display served?
A. No

* If the overlapping of the message on the display is a bug, will you fix it?
A. No, I will leave it because the operator's clicking on cancel [X] icon is a cost optimum solution than handling all such OS warnings.

* What if it is not fixed?
A. Not a big deal. A little communication from the user to operator can solve the issue.

* Which tester will think of these kinds of tests?
A. I will. But still would choose to ignore this as a P3/P4 bug. However, I would be more concerned if such OS warnings/errors were handled by the application.
I would be looking for a serious S1 bug there. Will test for all the OS critical warning/error message handling then.

* Do you wear the hat of a non-tester and say: Hmmm, there is a workaround. I'll not fix it.
A. Yes

Santosh Shukla
http://proudtester.blogspot.com

Krishnaveni said...

Hi Ajay,

Here are my answers for your questions:

1. Is it a bug? How risky is it to ignore such messages?

Yes its a bug. If that is a display posted to help customers with important information, then it must have been ensured that the customers get the complete information. The message could have been taken care of by clicking the 'x' symbol on the corner of the warning pop-up window so that the information is seen fully. It would be better if appropriate action too is taken for the warning displayed, so that such warning message doesn't appear.

2. Is the purpose of the display served?
No, the purpose is definately not served.

3. If the overlapping of the message on the display is a bug, will you fix it?
I would first close that pop-up by clicking the "x" and also ensure that appropriate action is taken to resolve that warning.

4. What if it is not fixed?
In that case, the popping up of that warning message should be intimated to the person issuing tickets at the ticket counter so that he conveys the intended information to the passengers.

5. Which tester will think of these kinds of tests?
It would be good if all testers think of these kinds of tests.

Anonymous said...

* Is it a bug? How risky is it to ignore such messages?

'Is your water colored? What are risks if it is colored and you drink it?'

If drinking water seems to be colored then, is there any problem there? Then what about cool drinks that does not look like water which most of the people see or presume to be as?

Few may be allergic to colored waters or few may be addictive or favor water that looks like colored and vice versa. Or something else which are not aware of.

Discomfort to person 'A' may be comfort to person 'B'. Risks are there always. It is upto individual to know how worst it can be. Few risks may do favors and few risks may not.

When can it be a bug for anonymous? Do anonymous enjoy the risks and costs from what she sees as bug?



* Is the purpose of the display served?

Display can be put to cover complete screen. Doing so still user will have look at it for fraction of second or few seconds or keep on looking at it or she may not look at it.

But reading or understanding of the message displayed, serve to know the surprises if any?

Just advertising (displaying) on banner that woodland shoes as most gripful and resistant to external factors will serve the purpose?

Experimenting with each user of each geographical location, may help to understand whether the advertisement serves or not. Is this possible to do with each user on geo?



* If the overlapping of the message on the display is a bug, will you fix it?

A GUI of an application beyond the GUI of an other or others is a bug?
How worst I need to bear surprises if it is beyond one another that seems as overlapping?

Does the wrist watch covering the part of dermal, is a bug? Does it depend on how comfort she feels for that overlapping and cost that she pays for it.


* What if it is not fixed?

Who does not want it to be fixed?
Who want it to be said or printed or written as fixed?

If 'fixed' or 'not fixed' is problem then, fix or not fix give birth to new fix until someone value the need of fix.



* Which tester will think of these kinds of tests?

Which tester can think of all tests so that nothing more remains? How long did she take to get all (bad word for now) tests?



* Do you wear the hat of a non-tester and say: Hmmm, there is a workaround. I'll not fix it.

If 'fixed' or 'not fixed' is problem then fix or not fix give birth to new fix.

Did one wear the hat of tester when said It is too bright, illuminous and everything visible to me? There might be creature that cannot see when it was bright and hot. There might be something which is not observed in brightness.

Do one wear the hat of tester when said it is dark and nothing is visible to me? There might be creature that can see when I was not able to see. There might be something observed only in darkness.

Individual and situation specific.



* I do not know how to fix it.
Initiation



* It might be a bug but it is a limitation of the technology. [Cannot fix]

If 'fixed' or 'not fixed' is problem then fix or not fix give birth to new fix.

Ajay Balamurugadas said...

@Santhosh Shukla,
Thanks for your time and crystal clear points.

Just a clarification:
> However, I would be more concerned if such OS warnings/errors were handled by the application.

What risks do you perceive if the warnings/errors were handled by the application?

Regards,
Ajay

Ajay Balamurugadas said...

@Krishnaveni,

Thanks for the comment.
> It would be better if appropriate action too is taken for the warning displayed, so that such warning message doesn't appear.

Are you sure the warning messages must not appear at all?

> I would first close that pop-up by clicking the "x" and also ensure that appropriate action is taken to resolve that warning.
still does not answer the question if it would be fixed?

> 4. What if it is not fixed?
In that case, the popping up of that warning message should be intimated to the person issuing tickets at the ticket counter so that he conveys the intended information to the passengers.


If the person issuing the tickets had to read out the info, then why have a display system in the first place?

Regards,
Ajay

Anibal Gabriel said...

What a mountain of RUBBISH!

1) It is no bug;

2) It is part of Microsoft's stupidity, used to annoy users instead of letting them work in peace; and

3) It is VERY irritating, as I have as many icons as I damn want to have, and it's none of Windows' business, or of Microsoft's business to tell me whether I'm using all of them or not!

I was looking for some hint to get rid of that crappy message, and instead I find this huge stock of horse manure here, from purported experts! Bah!

Ajay Balamurugadas said...

Mr. Anibal Gabriel,

*Thanks* for your comment.

What a mountain of RUBBISH!

It is definitely RUBBISH to you as this might be totally irrelevant to you.

1) It is no bug;
I want to know your definition of bug. I want to learn from you too.

2) It is part of Microsoft's stupidity, used to annoy users instead of letting them work in peace; and

3) It is VERY irritating, as I have as many icons as I damn want to have, and it's none of Windows' business, or of Microsoft's business to tell me whether I'm using all of them or not!

I was just wondering if my blog and this blog post acted out as a medium to vent your frustration out.

I was looking for some hint to get rid of that crappy message, and instead I find this huge stock of horse manure here, from purported experts! Bah!

I'm so sorry, I had promised you a solution here right!!!

BTW, we testers have a wonderful tool (read Google) to help some real lazy people.

And for you, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/285107 should solve the problem. If not, let me know, I'll be ready to help myself learn something new. [In your words, give you a solution].

Once again, thanks for the comment.
Regards,
Ajay

Santosh Shukla said...

@Ajay,

Thanks for your time and crystal clear points.
Thanks for the appreciation.

What risks do you perceive if the warnings/errors were handled by the application?
The risks can be various. Sorry for not getting a relevant example in context of Railway Reservation System.
One example would be if the critical OS warning of low battery is consumed by the program and not handled well (like saving all data before standby/shutdown), the important data can be lost.

One point to your answer for @Anibal Gabriel,
the link pointed by you talks about "Low Disk Space Notification" and not "Unused icons."
I think the below link would be of more help to Mr. Gabriel to fix the problem he is encountering.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/stop-the-annoying-there-are-unused-icons-on-your-desktop-popup-balloon/

Thanks,
Santosh Shukla
http://proudtester.blogspot.com

Ajay Balamurugadas said...

Thanks for the correction @Santhosh.

I'm eagerly waiting for the user to comment back :)

The low battery is a good example. I can think of an update - against a specific virus ;)Maybe a security update.

Regards,
Ajay

Ajay Balamurugadas said...

@ Anibal Gabriel,

I'm sorry if my comments hurt you.

Here is an easy method to solve your problem:

http://www.cod.edu/dept/tlc/TIPS/unused%20icons.htm

1. Right-click an empty part of the desktop and click Properties.
2. Click the Desktop tab.
3. Click the Customize Desktop button.
4. Uncheck the Desktop Cleanup Wizard.

Regards,
Ajay

Keshav Murthy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharath Byregowda said...

I wanted to reply in the comments section, but since the reply grew long, I made it a blog post on my blog @ http://testtotester.blogspot.com/2010/03/reply-that-grew-long.html

Regards,
Sharath.B

Anonymous said...

Trying to understand here, where is the bug here? Probably a usability change request, but to me it is not a bug. You yourself gave the steps to disable this feature, if the feature is disabled and if you still see the balloon then yes it is.

My 5 paisa.

Hari Ohm.