Robert V. Binder

Archive for Technology

Open Source Tools for Model-Based Testing

Open Source Repositories

Open source tools for model-based testing are listed in five groups: Binaries, Fielded, Club, Beta, Development.

Read More

Britannica Brat

March 19, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Technology  |  6 Comments

I’ve been reflecting on the recent announcement that Encyclopedia Britannica (EB) will no longer publish in print. Subscription to its web site is now the only offered media.

My full set of the 15th edition (1974) rests on the lower two shelves of a bookcase in the room where I’m writing this…

Read More

The Spreadsheet Experiment

March 10, 2012  |  Blog, Mobile Apps, Software Testing, Technology  |  2 Comments

Having spent many years on the bleeding edge of test automation and model-based testing, I recently tried an experiment to see to what extent Excel could support a test plan for manual testing of mobile apps.
In a earlier post, I explained some of the thinking behind my new course “How…

Read More

Testability Part 4: White Box Strategies

March 8, 2012  |  Blog, Software Testing, Testability  |  No Comments

This post covers part four of my 2010 talk on testability. White box testability refers to specific programming practices and components that can improve or hinder testability.
Since Dykstra’s 1968 note “Go To Considered Harmful,” practices for producing clean, well-structured, readable, and maintainable software have been the subject of extensive discussion,…

Read More

What I Learned Building a Software Product with Tcl

February 25, 2012  |  Blog, Business, Networking, Process, Software Products  |  7 Comments

Through Google Circles, I happened to see David Welton’s very interesting reflection on the Tcl programming language (posted in 2010):
http://journal.dedasys.com/2010/03/30/where-tcl-and-tk-went-wrong/
About ten years ago, I chose to develop a commercial automated software testing tool with Tcl and Tk. This post explains that decision and its consequences.
Despite testing tools that tout “visual programming”…

Read More

The Genesis of How to Test Mobile Apps

February 16, 2012  |  Blog, Mobile Apps, Software Testing, Technology  |  2 Comments

Around December 2011, the millionth mobile app was released. This is is an amazing milestone. It shows how important the mobile space has become and how rapidly it’s evolving.
I wondered, have any of these apps been tested? My guess: probably only a few.  So, I know what will happen — once users get…

Read More

Real Users of Model-based Testing

I think’ve finally found a good visual metaphor for model-based testing. In Aliens, Ellen Ripley uses the power lifter suit to battle the Alien Queen. Model-based testing is like the power lifter suit. It has to be driven with intelligence and skill, but it’s your only hope against the super bugs that…

Read More

If It Moves, Test It

The FDA has just published a new draft of guidance about mobile technology in FDA-regulated systems. This guidance is open for comment and isn’t binding yet.
So, what does this mean for testing FDA-regulated products with mobile technology?
The draft guidance defines when mobile platforms are considered as part of a regulated system or not. The criteria for inclusion…

Read More

Déjà vu All Over Again – The Mobile Testing Nightmare

I attended a great talk today about testing mobile applications, given by Lee Barnes of Utopia Solutions. It recounted the Rubik’s cube permutations that affect mobile app quality and reliability: multiple stacks, multiple handheld devices/form factors, constrained battery life, constrained memory/processor, variability of wireless connectivity, different behavior in dedicated…

Read More

Competent, Mediocre, or Dangerous?

A Chicago Tribune article recounts how a software bug in an infusion pump lead to brain-death for a patient in 2009 (“Medical Industry Taking Hard Look at Software Faults,” Christine Mai-Duc, Chicago Tribune, August 31, 2011, p. 19)
It reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates and…

Read More