[TIP] A rare philosophical thought

C. Titus Brown ctb at msu.edu
Fri Aug 1 11:16:33 PDT 2008

On Fri, Aug 01, 2008 at 01:01:59PM -0500, Bob Clancy wrote:
-> On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at  1:28 PM, C. Titus Brown wrote:
-> >... "testing" is really just "running the code", under actual or
-> >likely-to-be actual circumstances.?? The quality of your test effort 
-> >can
-> >be measured by how reflective it is of the actual circumstances under
-> >which the code will be used, and the cost of the mismatches.
-> >
-> >Thoughts?
-> Testing goes further than your definition above.  It also has to include 
-> things that "might" go wrong (prioritized by risk and impact).  In other 
-> words, testing should be a little bit like defensive driving.  Mybe my 
-> view is a little more "classic QA" than what programmer testers normally 
-> think of, but past experience has shown me that bugs often happen on the 
-> fringes beyond what is obvious or usual.  While "test driven" might not 
-> encourage such corner cases, I believe they have to be added as time, 
-> testing resources permit.  It's important to use the risk and impact 
-> measures so you don't go hog-wild creating useless tests that are not 
-> productive in finding real bugs.

I think this is covered -- if the code is actually going to be used in
such a way that it crashes, or the program doesn't satisfy the actual
needs of the user, then that is an *actual circumstance* and a mismatch
between what was tested.

On other words, if a buggy bit of code is never actually run by anyone,
is it a bug in any real sense?

Ehh.  I'm probably being too programmer-centric and perfectionist.

C. Titus Brown, ctb at msu.edu

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