Gerph returns to ROUGOL to talk testing – 17th May

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Following up his talk back in November on the topic of the RISC OS Build Service (formerly JFPatch-as-a-service), Gerph will be returning to the RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL) on Monday to talk about software testing, and how the build service can be used to help with it.

Systems and software need to be well designed and tested. Ideally, they should be easy for end users to understand and interact with, and be robust enough not to cause problems – but in the real world, software rarely ships without bugs. Developers therefore need to get useful feedback when things go wrong, but the tools available on RISC OS – not to mention the many inherent flaws in the system – can make this difficult. To this end, along with the build system, Gerph developed RISC OS Pyromaniac, a command-line only re-implementation of RISC OS.

There are different testing levels, and a number of principles that can and should be applied, and Gerph will be talking about these and explaining why they are necessary, before moving on to discussing theoretical examples. He will then move on to a more concrete example, a small section of a program every RISC OS user will almost certainly have used – Edit. Covering a really basic example, this will be followed with a more involved one, showing how to make tests for a module.

Gerph has put online a very short survey to gather a little information about how RISC OS developers feel about testing and the build service – it is entirely anonymous, and the results will be made public in due course. If you fall into the target audience, you may help out by completing it – although you may wish to participate in Monday evening’s meeting first, to find out more about it. And if you want a head start, you can also watch Gerph’s previous talk.

The talk will take place on Monday, 17th May, starting at 7:45pm, with the meeting open for people to join from 7:30pm. As it’s an online meeting, directions to the venue are dead easy – there aren’t any; you can attend without setting foot outside your own door, don’t have to worry about what trains or buses to catch, or whether traffic will be heavy or a parking space difficult to find.

All you need are a suitable piece of kit to run the Zoom software, and the log-in details. It’s up to you to have the right hardware and software running, but you can get the log-in details by contacting ROUGOL (or, if you attended last month’s and other recent meetings, you should find the same details will work again).

Beyond that, get rid of any annoying family members or pets for the evening, settle down into your favourite chair, snacks and drinks on hand, and enjoy!

Looking ahead to next month, the 21st of June will see ex-Acorn programmer Michael Stephens talking to the group about his work on RISC OS, which includes updating it for the StrongARM processor, the Phoebe kernel, and the 32-bit work after Acorn at Pace.

Further ahead, don’t forget that this year’s RISC OS London Show is currently scheduled to take place on Saturday, 30th October, at the St Giles Hotel, Feltham.