Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Archive for November, 2008

Instant Wiki

Posted by cadsmith on November 30, 2008



Tiddlywiki has an html file that can be installed on local storage as a wiki app. The snapshot shown above is from a laptop instance; another was created on a flash drive which allows portability between devices. Google chrome was not able to save edits. Flock seemed to work okay.


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Mage Init

Posted by cadsmith on November 25, 2008

The Software Test Engineer’s Handbook, 2008, Bath and McKay, describes some of the common software testing approaches. It was intended as preparation for the International Software Testing Qualification Board (ISTQB) advanced level test analyst certification and can be read in a linear fashion to build up a basic taxonomy. Acronyms are also presented in the index, e.g. website analysis and measurement inventory (WAMMI). goal-question-metric (GQM), Testing and Test Control Notation (TTCN-3), cross-site scripting (XSS), or 1044-1993 IEEE Standard Classifications for Software Anomalies. Also see test links.

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Subtle UIs

Posted by cadsmith on November 24, 2008

There is a common logic behind various website designs such as Google, Amazon and Imdb. The goals are to achieve clarity and make the user’s life easier. Navigation and search are key. They reinforce the user’s ability to quckly get the idea and complete the task. The site ID, home page, search, sections and utilities are easily found. This is the thesis of Don’t Make Me Think, Krug, 2005, a popular book about empirical web usability testing. Wikis are another aspect of this quickness approach. Also see author’s site and additional resources.

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On Dasher

Posted by cadsmith on November 23, 2008

When it comes to reviewing and interacting with data from multiple sources, there are alternatives to stand-alone disks or centralized servers. This is seen with the web cloud and virtualization, or CPU clusters, or the popularity of wireless or mobile devices such as smartphones, or expectations for software radio. Applications can include status, testing, diagnostics or business intelligence.  Since the number of existing products is limited, a topic of study might include how to customize user-interface solutions when the sources are not pre-defined or can change dynamically. Browser-based computing has been around for several years. There are tools that allow the end-user to create a solution through scripting. This can interface platform APIs. Previous posts have looked at javascript, Ajax, Ruby on Rails, PHP, SQL and RSS. Recently read Greasemonkey Hacks, Pilgrim, 2005, 352pp, about a utility that runs on browsers between add-ons and web sites. It showed how to compare prices across book marketing sites and how to remember everything that was read for purpose of search by keywords or metadata. It can be downloaded from greasespot and run on browser such as firefox, using source installed from userscripts. On windows XP, these and original scripts might be put into directory c:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<randomized name subdirectory>. Some of the tasks that might be useful include searching groups of sites for tagged material, doing metrics with or without a common API, using data-driven protocols for storage-less and state-less processor networks, or manipulating data feeds possibly for semantic web.  See links for greasemonkey or additional tags such as javascript, webdevelopment, css, firefox, microformats, dhtml, html, xml, and xhtml.

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Feed Frame

Posted by cadsmith on November 19, 2008

In previous posts, we have looked at feeds as updates for resources and commentary. It can also be useful to convert their current contents into a web page. For example, links can be inserted into a wiki by pasting from rss2html sourced from a bookmark site such as delicious using selected tags. This is the case for The Art of Debugging with GDB, DDD and Eclipse, Matloff and Salzman, 2008 based on gdb tag, and Lab Notebook from notebook tag. The wiki itself supplies another feed. It is possible then to translate between content management system (CMS) types such as bookmarks, wiki, database, spreadsheet, documentation or website.

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Gently Down the Stream

Posted by cadsmith on November 18, 2008

Due to the growth of social networking, recently added more resources under twitter and rss tags.

Friendfeed followers may have noticed expansion of feed circuit to Twine from delicious via rssforward. The latter is needed since onlywire has a limited set of sites that it can post to, and Twine does not have a built-in feed input to complement its output subscriptions. Zigtag has a delicious import function given login settings or external bookmark file and sends an email when completed.

Published this site to feedburner. Started reviewing Toluu blog feeds which easily connected to google reader.

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Posted by cadsmith on November 15, 2008

Installed ping.fm google gadget for networks: twitter, facebook, friendfeed, wordpress, and delicious.

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Deconstruction Site

Posted by cadsmith on November 11, 2008

Added Test Information Space site search gadget. For example, keyword “media” was found in various pages on 4 sites. Since it uses a script tag, it does not yet seem to be supported for insertion on wetpaint, office live or google sites, though these can be among the set of search links. Each also has a local search box. The URLs of items found can be linked and the search bookmarked.


This gadget locates pages. A complement might be a way to input data across boundaries. Would also be useful to have a way to categorize parts of a document, in order to enter or display by category, contents or date, and refer to any part externally as a data object. Use cases might include activity or contact lists and logs, or replacement for multiple files or applications. There seem to be various attempts to do this, e.g. using outlook, email, notes, spreadsheet, database or microformats. Each eliminates constraints due to a previous structure, e.g. topic, document, folder or server, and adds capabilities such as search, sort, navigation, and summary. Web2 sites add social aspects such as blogs, wikis and multimedia contents which allow multiple authors, commenting, tagging and feeds. A solution that ports across mobile, devices, desktop, web and cloud would be nice. Semantic versions might indicate automatically highlighting likely combinations of data objects for desired purposes. It is valuable to be able to circumscribe a set and identify as an object to handoff as a link to a post or dialogue.

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Easing the Feed Speed Limit

Posted by cadsmith on November 10, 2008

Onlywire simultaneously posts bookmarks to multiple sites, e.g. del.icio.us, twitter, furl, or connotea. An icon can be added to the browser toolbar that prompts for tags and comment. They request that it be promoted on the user site using a javascript command, e.g. googlepages.

There are things yet to be done. Some sites were not available, e.g. zigtag, twine or buru, and it seemed to have difficulty with blinklist and simpy. The site promotion was not immediately activated using html widgets on wordpress or office live. The onlywire bookmark list did not seem to include all recent links though they had appeared on target sites. Use of the browser button sometimes lands on a blank page labelled “Bookmark Saved” rather than returning to the original page. Had not yet tested the API to allow applications to automatically bookmark. It would be nice to have an RSS feed of bookmarks from the site, e.g. to use in friendfeed, though the latter does input from some of the individual sites.

Incidentally, LinkedIn blog feed app can post entries on one’s full profile. Blog posts to Twitter can use Twitterfeed.

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