I recently discovered Mimi & Eunice, a comic strip by Nina Paley. It's really inspired most of the time. I really love the simplicity of the drawing and the sharp dialogs.

I felt curious about it and clicked the site's About link and read this:

Q. I have a great idea for a cartoon. Will you draw it for me?

A. No.

I enjoy the straightforwardness in the answer. You just can't say you don't understand or took it wrong. Easy. Simple. Perfect.

It also reminded me of a Rework essay: "Draw a line in the sand". I find Nina Paley's answer draws a pretty clear line in the sand.


Smoke Tests

I learned what Smoke Tests are. A software smoke test would be the test or set of tests that are made to the software system first after a new build to assure the program performs some basic actions so it is ready for some other more stressful testing.

I've been thinking about it. In some development projects I've been involved, the testing team did not have any smoke testing. But the development team did perform some basic testing before handing a new build to the testing team: just run the program and check it displays basic data in screen when feeding test input.

In a different project, the development included unit tests that where compiled and run together within the build process, making the build process fail if tests do fail. Not performing a smoke test suite on a new build is not a big deal when there is a good set of unit tests compiling and running together with the application build.

Unit testing lowers the probability of a fatal failure on a new build, but it doesn't cancel it at all.

Funny why the name for these tests:

The phrase smoke test comes from hardware testing. You plug in a new board and turn on the power. If you see smoke coming from the board, turn off the power. You don't have to do any more testing.

Kaner, Bach, and Pettichord. "Lessons Learned in Software Testing".
Wiley Computer Publishing, 2002, p. 95.