“Yahoo!” Is What I Said When I Crashed It

  1. I have multiple machines here in the QAHY lab.
  2. I have the Yahoo! Messenger program installed on multiple machines and it’s set to automatically log in on a couple.
  3. Yahoo! allows a single user to log in only on one machine at a time.
  4. I use custom status messages to share my wit, so I often open the dialog box that allows you to enter that text.
  5. On patch or installation days, it’s not uncommon for my PCs to contend and collide for which one is actually logged into Yahoo! Messenger.

I say this so you’ll understand that I wasn’t looking for trouble with Yahoo! Instant Messenger. I was just using the software like I normally do.

But when I had that Enter your status message dialog box open and another one of my PCs automatically logged into Yahoo!, it crashed the instance of Yahoo! IM that had the dialog box open.

In Windows 2000, it looks like this:

Windows 2000 crash notification
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In Windows XP, it looks like this:

Windows XP Yahoo! Messenger crash
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Because of the business rule that you’re only allowed to sign in on one PC at a time, you’d need a whole set of test cases to see what happens when the user has the program in various states when that automatic sign-off occurs. The test case that describes the presence of the Enter your status message dialog box, for example, fails in this instance.

Testing a rule like this or testing any application where users can work on the same record simultaneously multiplies the number of test cases, as you have to account for what happens on multiple machines or if the users operate on the same record concurrently. Too often, these tests are overlooked, even in robust applications.

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