As you may have noticed, I am currently working on Binary Clock 3.0 for Palm OS. The WristPDA suport basically is there, but there still is this one little annoying fatal alert that I can’t reproduce, don’t know where it hides and generally can’t do much against.

Anyways, since I have my silent Acer notebook, running Gremlins over night is finally possible without getting my family in a “Kill him” mood. For all of you new to the term, gremlins are the automatical testing tool in the Palm OS emulator/simulator. What they do is simple – they fire random clicks, taps, drags and characters at your application until it breaks.

Sounds good…but totally sucks for Binary Clock for a variety of reasons:
They tend to hang around Global Find all the time
Don’t ask me why, but 50% of the time I see the gremlins taping around global find entering crap text. Basically, they waste my poor Centrino Duo’s cycles testing the Palm OS…as if PalmSource couldn’t afford an Acer Aspire :-) .

They seem to restart the application way to often
Same thing as above. Binary Clock gets restarted all the time, and thus the gremlins keep hanging around the hint form. Great!

They dont seem to exercise the functions “hidden behind menus” very much
Dont ask me why this happens…but 10000 gremlins didnt manage to change the Binary Clock color…

Please don’t take this as “gremlins are bad” – but gremlins or any other “screen mass tappers” are IMHO not useful as sole testing tool. They may find the one or the other bug, but can not replace the human testing crew doing a few “hammer tests”… . What do you think?

Related posts:

  1. Training wheels…or why people rarely drive unicycles
  2. Binary Clock 3.0 is here…and it supports the Watch Face mode of the WristPDA!
  3. Binary Clock 3.1 released
  4. Binary Clock 4.1 released
  5. Food for the analysts

4 Responses to “Where gremlins suck…”

  1. Have you tried switching Gremlins? I.e. specify run gremlins 0 to 999 and switch after 1000 (or 2000, 3000, 5000, take your pick) and then stop. This gives you a much greater variety. I routinely test with a totat of 1000000 events, specifying to run gremlins 0-99, switch after 10000 events with a stop after 1001 events.
    And yes, it restarts often, but it is testing non standard launchcodes.

  2. Hi Ton,
    where do I change the settings?

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  3. This only works on ‘the good old Emulator’. On the PalmOS 5 simulators no such luck. The only thing you can vary there is the random seed resulting in a different event sequence.

  4. Hi,
    oops =).

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

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