The blogs of Black Marble staff

Another way to automate the application

Just been to the panel 'CLR Leveraging Dynamic Features' and seen IronPython demo'ed to control a VB.NET application. It was used to load the assembly,  create the form, and allowed the triggering of events, but better still allowed the dynamic creation and binding of new controls from the IronPython command line.

Though I had seen IronPython used before from the command line, the new bit for me was the second part of the demo when it was embeding within another language. In the session example it was run from within a C# application, to control the VB.NET form using Python commands - VERY CLEVER

So now to automated my testing system I can control the windows events

  1. Use the system I have previously, send the event trigger using reflection
  2. Use IronPython to script
  3. Use  UI Spy tool and associated framework I saw yesterday



Channel 9 Sparks Feeding Frenzy!

Channel 9 were giving away 1600 t-shirts in 21 minutes - there was a feeding frenzy and the sharks were on the floor.

Funniest thing I've seen in a long time.



Richard's Day 2 Keynote thought

Just a quick one here, WE HAVE SO MANY OPTIONS!!!!!!!

I see the short term issue for many prople will be which technology is best, do I go BizTalk now, grow something in house or wait a while for Windows Workflow Foundations.

My feeling is that WWF is the long term answer, but that does not help us today, business workflow is a dangerous area to try to run with beta code. It is usually too business critical, choices choices choices....................



Vista Automated Testing - Do we need trained pigeons?

Just been to the Windows Vista: Developing for Test Automation and Accessibility Using Programmatic Access to UI session by Thomas Logan, this is very interesting given the bits I have done over the past year on UI testing.

The UI Spy tool and associated framework is a great way to navigate and control the running of an application, but does not really seem to address, what  I consider, a major problem working out if the UI control clicks had the required result e.g. In the session example it is hard to work out if the buttons presses generate the right polygon.

Is the answer that interns are cheap? or could we look at trained pigeons, taught to click a touch screen when they see the right polygon? No I think a better bet is to add a property to any control that we need to check a result on, but this is still not straight forward in an example like the one used in the session i.e. a nested set of cycling tests. Maybe the session sample is making life harder than most business applications were we could run a relatively small set of test data, as I did on my GUITester  and you would use in Nunit.

All this said this looks a great way to control the actual running of the application under test



Richard's first thoughts at the PDC

I have wandered round after the PDC keynoted confused; before I came here I thought I had a plan on what to concentrate on but after the keynote all that went out the window!

I am at a loss as to which session to go to as there is so many wildly different areas I want to know more about!

The big item that struck me most today was Anders Hejlsberg on LINQ.  I can see that being a hugely important technology for me, as I have many projects where I want to pull data from disparate sources. If you haven't come across LINQ yet look at


ps. Is it me or have the WPF demo designers been rarther influenced by Star Trek Next Generation consoles!



Meeting the Channel 9ers

A great evening.

We went for pizza and met irascian who was most interesting to chat to, and a Microsoft 9er (2nd from left in picture) who did the channel9 redesign, I think his name is Adam Kinney.  Met Scoble, and stayed for a very interesting discussion about life, the universe and Microsoft.

Then went on to the Westin Bonventure and met some of the guys from the Avalon team, as well as Tim Sneath who I remember from his days at TVP.



Registering and meeting '9'

Richard and I registered today.  Saw the "Big Room" which is the name for the aircraft hangar where commnet, hol, and the channel 9 sit down is all happening.

Posted a couple of pics to the Channel 9 website, of me and Richard with the 9 guy and Richard lounging on the 9 guy bean bags.  Also available in our gallery.

Picked up our PDC 'T' and bag, so now we can blend into the LA fashion crowds :)



Microsoft PDC

Robert and myself are off to the PDC in LA next week, get in touch if you want to meet up.