Better Software Magazine Articles

Developers ... Start Your Engines: Reuse with Source Code Searches

Source code search engines can help you find chunks of reusable code. These search engines differ from generic text search engines by organizing the results to reflect the way code is organized—into functions, classes, packages, etc. These reviews of some popular engines can help you rev up reuse in your work.

Alan Berg
Test to Impress: Getting the Most Out of Ajax Developer Tools

Ajax applications are very popular and can be flexible and dynamic, but only if you find the bugs first. Stuart Halloway has the details on tools that Ajax developers use and that will keep your applications dressed to the nines.

Stuart Halloway
Static Electricity: Power Up Your Build Process with a Static Analysis Tool

Keeping source code functional in the midst of ongoing changes can be tricky, but there are tools available to help you keep bad code under control. In his article, Tom Copeland puts the spotlight on PMD, an open source static analysis tool that can illuminate source code problems and help power up your build process.

Tom Copeland
A Look at Canoo WebTest

Need to get the scoop on the latest software tests and trends? You've come to the right place. Get one reviewer's opinion of Canoo WebTest, an open source tool that supports Web application development through test automation.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
FitNesse: An Open-Source Tool for Acceptance Testing

Testing is a critical aspect of agile development methods. In the acceptance testing process, testers and customers write the automated tests before the code is developed. Then, developers run the acceptance tests to verify that the code delivers the expected functionality. FitNesse is a
widely used open source tool that helps automate the development and execution of acceptance tests. After a brief introduction about where FIT and FitNesse "fit" in the Agile development methodology, Micah Martin demonstrates the FitNesse tool and how to drive development with FitNesse tests. In a sample project he presents the tool in use and shows how you develop the tests before the code has been written. Find out what techniques you can use to create FitNesse tests and how the framework operates in a "live" development environment. Take away a list of
available resources and some tips to get started.

Micah Martin, Object Mentor
Navigating the Minefield of Open Source Test Tools

Each year more and more open source development tools, including test tools, are available. By choosing to use open source test tools, companies expect to save money and take advantage of the community of shared development. Recently, there seems to be an abundance of open source testing tools being released, including tools for automated regression, load testing, test management, and defect tracking. But how do you know which tools are right for you? Based on his real-world experiences using such tools, Jeff Jewell covers the issues that you are likely to encounter as you evaluate open source testing tools. Learn where to find open source test tools, the challenges you
face in choosing these tools, and what you will need to do once you find the right tools. Find out if your organization is ready to use open source tools and how to find the right tools for you.

Jeff Jewell, ProtoTest LLC
Open Source Disk Imaging with Frisbee

Need to get the scoop on the latest software tests and trends? You’ve come to the right place. Get one reviewer’s opinion of Frisbee as well as some facts straight from the developer’s mouth.

Chris McMahon's picture Chris McMahon
Managing Agile Test Departments

What is the impact of agile methods on test departments and testers? How do you manage testing in an agile test department? Robert Martin, an early adopter and proponent of agile development practices, discusses his experiences and recommendations for how to organize and run an agile test department. He describes the principles, practices, tools, and metrics that are important to successful test management within agile development. Agile methods change the role of test departments from verification to specification. With agile methods, you develop tests before the code, and the tests become the detailed requirements documentation. This paradigm shift has a profound impact on both the test team and the programming team. Learn about the test management problems that often arise in making the transition to agile development and common solutions that address these issues.

Robert Martin, Object Mentor
FitNesse: Automated Specification

Micah Martin introduces the open source tool FitNesse.

Micah Martin
Why is Linux so Reliable?

In the last few years, we have become accustomed to living in a Windows-centric world, and yet software reliability in PC systems is still a long way from being anything desirable. Systems crash on a regular basis, and to many it has become a fact of life. There is, however, an upstart operating system called Linux whose software development process would at best be characterized as chaotic by formal process models. Les Hatton describes the dramatic inroads Linux has made in the PC server market. Learn why Linux is so reliable and easy to work with when its development processes appear to flaunt most of what we believe to be beneficial.

Les Hatton, Oakwood Computing, U.K.

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