Thursday, 30 November 2006

New JIRA beta out

Oooh wish I was running JIRA here... keen to try out the new beta. Might
have to download it at home and put it on me laptop.

One feature that looks nice is the SVN/CVS commit functionality now can
force a 1-to-1 relationship between SVN/CVS checkins and JIRA issue
numbers in comments (The 'Commit Acceptance Plugin'). So JIRA can reject
changes if they don't contain JIRA issue refs via a pre-commit hook. Nice!
Great if you have developers who are guilty of sneakin in bug fixes and
changes without telling anyone :-) Tho if they are really sneaky, can
still sneak changes against other bugs/changes.

Saturday, 18 November 2006

Madonna... oink oink!

Two pics of Madonna the pig are up for sale on shutterstock - taken last weekend when we were down at Ray and Judy's place.


Thursday, 16 November 2006

Christmas (or whenever!) wish list:
  • Photography stuff:

    • Canon Speedlite 580ex or 430ex (prob 430ex to get started, then 580ex if want to run multiple flashes - use 580ex as master) - got a 430ex! :-)
    • 28-70mm f2.8 L lens... mmmm £824
    • Bowens two head kit (either 500 watts or 250 watts)
Any kind soul want to donate to my xmas fund?!

Photography course

Have started a night school photography course through London Academy of Media, Film and TV that I'm enjoying.
First two sessions were going through the technical stuff about ISO, aperture, shutter speed etc, then flash and light last night. I know most of this already, but have picked up a few tricks - how to expose using the cameras meter in full manual mode, using grey and white cards for correct white balance and exposure etc.

Posting pics up to my flickr account in this set - will keep adding as I go along.

Next week will be cool - doing portraiture in the studio, so proper studio modeling flashes with softboxes and reflectors.

I'ld love to do the studio lighting, architecture (done in London in The City where we live) and fashion photography courses they run also... have to save some (or earn!) more ££ first!

Wednesday, 15 November 2006


'Kaizen (Japanese for "change for the better" or "improvement", the
English translation is "continuous improvement", or "continual
improvement) is an approach to productivity improvement originating in
applications of the work of American experts such as Frederick Winslow
Taylor, Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Walter Shewhart, W. Edwards Deming and of
the War Department's Training Within Industry program by Japanese
manufacturers after World War II. The development of Kaizen went
hand-in-hand with that of quality control circles, but it was not limited
to quality assurance.. [snip] A closer definition of the Japanese usage of
Kaizen is "to take it apart and put back together in a better way." What
is taken apart is usually a process, system, product, or service.'

Just came across this term somewhere (can't remember where). Sounds like
what I like doing - tearing down processes/systems (whether it be
applications, protocols, or the general 'culture' of how things are done)
and putting faster, cleaner ones in. Might have to do some reading up on

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Bug on the apple

Doh! Looks like someone was a bit speedy releasin the new code for the UK Apple store's MacBook page...
So Apple aren't perfect then :-) (IE6.0/WinXP Pro)

Checkin out the source shows:
var gallery = new Gallery(galleryConfig);
</script> ript>


Only had my MacBook for a month, and it's already been superceded. Doh! Apple released the Core 2 Duo MacBooks last night. So I wonder - if underAppleCare, a Macbook Core Duo gets a fault that warrants a full replacement, do they dredge up an old Core Duo one or do you get a 'free upgrade' to Core 2 Duo?

Ooooh and they're cheaper too... have a RAM and hard drive upgrade on the White 2GHz model.
I had to pay £100 more to get the upgrades to 1GB RAM/80GB HDD...
2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
1GB memory (was 512MB)
80GB hard drive (was 60GB)
Double-layer SuperDrive
£879.00 inc VAT

Test Management in JIRA?

From the i'm-frustrated-with-excel-spreadsheets-to-manage-testing department.

The lack of reasonably priced, extendable and usable (big feature for me!) Test Management tools is starting to annoy me... Test Director/Quality Center is too expensive for most places I've worked (you'ld think an Investment bank would be able to afford it but no! They are looking at some weird thing I've never heard of, so could be badly supported yikes!), and requires too much training/maintainence for a 'looseish' UAT process like we have here (ie there is a process, but too many people push outside it due to time restrictions and lack of testing knowledge). There are cheap/free alternatives around that I've tried, but they all seem lacking in lots of functionality, or just plain unsuable and inflexible.

I think JIRA (change/defect management tool) could probably be extended to include a Test management function --> if it had that, it would do everything that Test Director/Quality Center does excluding the linkages with automated testing (ability to schedule and fire off tests created with winrunner/loadrunner/QTP/Silk(?) and probably others), and would really help with the whole 'integrated' change management Suite if you don't care about running automated tests from the UI.

For sites that don't use automated testing, or automation platforms that don't play nice with Test Management apps, it could then provide a low(ish) cost 'total' change management system that hooks into scm also... mmmm dream on Rach!

A Test Case is not so different from the usual workflows - but it usually doesn't get 'closed' in the same manner as bugs/changes, and need to jump around in history against versions of test cycles (ie for regression testing). Then store results of testing and easily raise bugs/changes (mmm) on failures etc. From there, it's not a huge step to add requirements mangement also - as the linkages/relationships between requirements, Tests and Changes (defects etc) aren't all that different. Drop some reports into a dashboard specifically for Testing/Requirements, and bob's your uncle.

One day I'll do myself a el-cheapo Test & Requirements Management app (in Access if I'm desperate, or Java/JSP or something - might as well try to extend JIRA if I'm going that far, and if Atlassian still supply source code for your own tweaks :)) so I can work out the workflow/requirements of a good app myself, as I've never quite found one that does everything I want. Hmmmm wonder if Atlassian are lookin for a contract User Interface Designer/Business Analyst type person workin in London at London rates!

That's todays <rant/> for ya :-)

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Gmail grows!

Wow.. in the year or so I've had my gmail account, it's more than doubled in disk space avail:
You are currently using 83 MB (3%) of your 2781 MB.

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Bloglines - Wikipedia and the End of Archeology

Funny - Kerry and I were talking along these lines the other night. We were watching something where there were archeologists digging up rubbish in London somewhere, and I said in the future there wouldn't be much archeologilogical (sp?) stuff left, as modern people tend to recycle or throw stuff in a landfill, rather than just dump in in your back yard. Moved onto how the 'modern' era is more well 'documented', so archeology will be less field work, and more interpretation of the images/books/websites etc of our age. Then this turns up on slashdot today. Spooky!

Wikipedia and the End of ArcheologyBy Zonk on it's-a-wiki-past

Andy Updegrove writes "Far too much attention has been paid to whether or not the Wikipedia is accurate enough. The greater significance of the Wikipedia today, and even more for those in the future, is its reality as the most detailed, comprehensive, concise, culturally-sensitive record of how humanity understands itself at any precise moment in time. Moreover, with its multiple language versions, it also demonstrates how different cultures understand the same facts, historical events and trends at the same time. Today, archaeologists are doing digs to understand how people lived only 150 years ago, making guesses based on the random bits and pieces of peoples' lives that they find In the future, that won't be necessary, as archaeologists are replaced by anthropologists that mine this treasure trove for data."

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

I heart JIRA

I am so missing JIRA, the issue management tool I implemented and championed at Virgin Travelstore a few years ago. I miss lots of things:
  • Ability to schedule fixes into releases
  • Sensible workflows
  • Built in graphs/reports that work
  • Assigning tasks to groups rather than people
  • rss feeds (!)
  • Exporting to csv(excel), pdf, can't remember other formats
  • Usability! So easy to use compared to some other tools
  • and lots more stuff that I can't even remember right now....

Haven't found another tool that works better yet for change management. Stuck with MKS currenlty (yeah I'ld never heard of it before!) and ClearQuest in my previous contract. Tried Test Director/Quality Center, but that still doesn't seem so powerful.