What Makes us Shudder about Localization Testing II

How many bugs are enough? Here are some approaches you can take to be clear on bug definitions.

"A Little Paranoia Can Go a Long Way"

How many bugs are enough? A strange question, indeed. Everyone knows that measuring productivity and quality by bug numbers is, to say the least, a disputable activity, and that productivity in testing is a far trickier variable. Let us open up some of the suitable approaches you can take as a test lead who wants to be clear on bug definitions, avoid unnecessary bugs and help the team learn more.

The assumption is that most customers want only relevant bugs logged. Once you log a bug in the testing phase, everything becomes more expensive, because each bug is managed and meets several people during the cycle. To wit:

  • Find ways to eliminate the bugs prior to product testing: This can be done through automation pre-testing, proper software QA prior to testing phase, well planned globalization and internationalization, and well-timed milestones to name a few.
  • Know which behavior can be ignored, so that 99% of what to enter as bugs actually gets fixed. Your "not-a-bug" list could (not) contain these items:
    • Localized dialogue boxes do not have to match source layout, if they appear OK
    • Context menu hotkeys
    • Non-localized components such as product names
    • Very trivial cosmetic bugs, e.g.1 pixel misalignments
    • Functional bugs caused by a missing key component
  • Provide training and feedback to your teams to avoid duplicate and non-reproducible entries, not only before the project starts but also as it progresses.
  • Be sure to have the testing types well defined in your testplan, in order for your engineers to perform the right testing. Otherwise you might end up with dozens of minor language errors that your Turkish tester finds on the product's functional testpass, which you know cannot be fixed. Or one and the same bug might get logged 4 times only with a different platform specified. Solve like issues before you start!
  • Focus on "postponed" and "won't-fix" bugs in previous versions, especially ones with low severity and priority: do they need to be logged?

To continue reading, please download the full PDF version of this article, published in the September 2003 issue of the Localisation Focus magazine.

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