Archive for February, 2008

Posession Is Nine-Tenths of the Correct Spelling

Monday, February 11th, 2008 by The Director

A typo in Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword:

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Fun with the Gregorian Calendar

Sunday, February 10th, 2008 by The Director

As some of you know, the old calendaring system in use with certain Western countries from Roman times, called the Julian calendar, had some problems with not keeping up with the sun or something esoteric. To correct this, the Church made some adjustments to leap years and whatnot and blah blah blah (you want the details, go to Wikipedia).

However, this little bit of historical trivia lends itself to some fun with your date entry fields.

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Recruiting

Sunday, February 10th, 2008 by The Director

I’d like to hire Charlie. He has QA in his DNA.

Keeping Your Secrets As Secure As The Nation’s

Friday, February 8th, 2008 by The Director

Some people have excoriated the New York Times editorial staff for publishing classified material. It’s time to excoriate the Web crew for a less-than-good practice. If you want to visit the site and read its material, you might have to log in. But if you fail to log in, the site passes back what you typed in the password edit box:

Oops, I failed
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Why, is it…..? Yes, there it is:

My password, passed back
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Dude, that’s just poor form, passing that data back and forth unencrypted. That is unencrypted, ainna?

A Testing Best Seller

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 by The Director

Over at The Daily WTF, they tell the story of how QA made a best seller….accidentally:

As part of the aggressive testing strategy mentioned earlier, the HBSP logistics team would fill their down time by executing test cases. First they’d run through the “Zero Result Search” test, then the “Many Result Search” test, then the “Single Result Search”. Then they’d add that single result – Who’s Got the Monkey? – to their shopping cart, create an new account, submit the order, and then fulfill it. Of course, they didn’t actually fulfill it – everyone knew that orders for “Mr. Test Test” and “123 Test St.” were not to be filled. That is, everyone except the marketing department.

When HBSP’s marketing department analyzed the sales trends, they noticed a rather interesting trend. Oncken’s 1974 Who’s Got the Monkey? was a run-away best seller! And like any marketing department would, they took the story and ran. HBSP created pamphlets and other distillations of the paper. They even repackaged those little plastic cocktail monkeys as official “Who’s Got the Monkey monkeys”. And finally, sometime in 2002, the updated version of Who’s Got the Monkey? was posted to HBSP, which was then picked up by the searching system, which, in turn, caused the “Single Result Search” test case to fail.

The perils of testing in a live database; I can tell you all about them, as I’ve had my share of consolation prizes delivered to me at work for contests I or my automated minions entered daily.

How do you avoid it? One way I’ve found helpful is to use your company’s domain in all test e-mail addresses and making sure that those entries, orders, or visits are stripped from data extractions delivered to fulfillment houses or to the customer as a measure of visits. Of course, if your application is passing data to a third party, good luck! I hope you win more than the coupon packs that I got.

Disney Saw QA Coming And Barred The Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 by The Director

After entering a contest on Disney’s Web site, I find they’ve barred the doors:

Access denied
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When you rely upon a bunch of widgets and snippets and bits integrated into a single site, it would behoove you to make sure that you can reach them all from your production servers.

Just a thought.

Why Not Use Epoch?

Monday, February 4th, 2008 by The Director

Biography.com offers an instance of label/control mistmatch on its Hollywood Power Couples Sweepstakes form:

The label says Age, but the controls select birth date
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The label says Age, but the controls allow the user to select the birth date. Oh, but you know what to do, says the designer/developer tandem, but you and I know conceptually that it’s not the same thing. Much like “designer” or “Developer” and “real job.”

Fine, I Object

Friday, February 1st, 2008 by The Director

In related news (related to this), MovieTickets.com spits a JavaScript error when you view a specific movie title in it (like this):

MovieTickets.error
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Man, do I hate to see it when Web sites that would take my credit card number get the simplest things wrong.

 

Eye Spy Teh Suck

Friday, February 1st, 2008 by The Director

Hey, congratulations to whatever agency put together the marketing campaign for the film The Eye, and by “agency,” I mean whatever shirt-tail relation of some producer got nepotted right into parting some of uncle’s picture from some of its money (and don’t forget to get uncle that special set of titanium golf clubs he wanted, or that introduction to some of the hot chicks down at your community college, whichever he wanted for the deal).

I mean it’s bad enough we start with this on the small, non-trailer playing banner you get on reputable sites like MySpace.com (thanks to froggiegirl again for her suggestion and please to think I am part of MySpace):

The Eye Banner with misspellings

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