Code Testing



  • The following is from a conversation between @PJH and myself. We couldn't find a way to make the conversation public, so I'm going to paste each reply here.

    In presummary, I was suggesting that it might be useful if we had a dedicated category where people could post their code, or links to their unfinished software, for review by other forum members. Naturally, this has been inspired by this topic. Here goes...

    @Keith said:

    Would it be useful to have a dedicated category or subcategory where people can post their own code for other people to test and abuse? I'll have a personal project ready in a couple of months which would benefit from such testing.

    If people aren't interested, they could always mute the category. Also, I would suggest only making it available to leaders, to limit potential abuse.

    @Keith said:

    Further thoughts:

    You could have a top level category, which is leader only. I haven't thought of a good name for it yet. Within that, you could have subcategories such as:

    Code Review where people can post snippets of code to get feedback or ideas for other approaches.

    Trial by Fire where people can post links to working software for other people to test and try to break.

    By keeping it leader only, people won't have to worry about Google indexing any exploits or links to old code.

    @Keith said:

    Ooh, ooh, also automatically assigned badges based on the number of topics you've started in those categories. Something like Glutton For Punishment. Maybe even a manually awarded TRWTF for a horrendous code listing or linked app.

    Okay, I'll stop blathering on now...

    @PJH said:

    Wouldn't a group (my new toy if you hadn't noticed) specifically for this be a better idea? Not all leaders are necessarily interested and some non leaders might be. Could create a top level category that's read only except to group members and a sub category that's group members only...

    If you float the idea in Lounge (or perhaps Meta may be better) see if there's any interest?

    @Keith said:

    As long as it won't be indexed by Google or visible to unauthenticated people, I'm sure either approach would be fine.

    Perhaps a poll would help to gauge interest. Options could include:

    • No dedicated category - just create ad-hoc topics elsewhere if the need arises.
    • Dedicated category visible to leaders and above.
    • Dedicated category visible to specific groups.

    Some sort of hacker or tester group would probably make sense.

    It might also be interesting to get feedback on dedicated badges for the category.

    @PJH said:

    Read only category would be accessible (self advertising for newcomers e.g. I'm not enamoured of the idea of a private clic /ghetto on here that only those in the know, know about.) and intended for stuff that's not particularly private. Sub groups could be made private.

    @Keith said:

    Would it be invisible to guests though?

    @PJH said:

    Could be done. Read only for trust level 0/1, read/write for group members should block Google and anonymous but would hinder the self advertising aspect I mentioned.

    @Keith said:

    My feeling is that people would rather not advertise unfinished code too widely. How about if you also had another subcategory for completed projects from members of the community, where they could advertise the work that they've done? That could be visible to everyone, with the other subcategories hidden. I still don't have a good name for the main category.

    I think we need wider feedback on these ideas.

    @PJH said:

    One suggestion:

    Main (largely) accesible category: "Gamma testing" (a group for those wanting testers or who want to test)

    'Private' subcats "Alpha", "Beta", "Gamma" to be (ab)used as required.

    I thought it would be worth getting general feedback from the community before trying to refine these ideas into a structured poll.

    Do you think this would be useful?

    If so, please suggest ideas for category / subcategory names and badges, as well as any other thoughts.


  • BINNED

    So, coding help that had a barrier to entry on the expense of security?

    Sounds good to me. I guess it beats just linking to Github or whatever if you want to discuss just a bit of code, or want to keep the repo private.

    Is the idea to have one group or multiple ones? I'm not sure if I missed that in the pasted bits or it wasn't discussed. "Alpha", "Beta" and "Gamma" might be based on some kind of a trust level as well. If the project will end up being closed source in the end, but you're ok with sharing some of the code in the early phases it would make sense for "Alpha" group to be more restricted than the latter ones.



  • I liked the idea, and since likes don't have much meaning, here's a +1.

    I also agree having the category not indexable by Google. My specific case is to avoid my mott555 handle being easily linked to my gamertag, but I could also see users not wanting their stuff readily available to the Internet masses yet.


  • BINNED

    @mott555 said:

    I liked the idea, and since likes don't have much meaning, here's a +1.

    PJH did fix them with new badges, if only partially.


    Filed under: OT by post 3, And now, back to our scheduled programming



  • @Onyx said:

    "Alpha", "Beta" and "Gamma" might be based on some kind of a trust level as well.

    That set was half jest. Just threw it in as a suggestion.



  • @Onyx said:

    if only partially.

    What'd I miss?


  • :belt_onion:

    @PJH said:

    What'd I miss?

    Making likes have any actual meaning other than badge gaming. You changed the way the game is played.


  • BINNED

    @PJH said:

    That set was half jest. Just threw it in as a suggestion.

    Whatever the names, I think it's not that bad of an idea. Using those names as an example:

    Alpha: Actual, live code feedback. High trust level.
    Beta: Feedback on methods / algorithms. Medium trust level.
    Gamma: Here, have a binary to play with. Low trust level.

    Nothing stopping you from posting anything you want in Gamma, especially if the project is open source. But could provide a "trust buffer" for people who want at least some bits not as accessible.

    @PJH said:

    What'd I miss?

    Global stats are still off, but there's no fixing that, short of eradication of all likes in that thread.



  • Or the other way,

    alpha - new
    beta - been around a while
    zeta - long beard?
    Fuck zeta. Omega?


  • :belt_onion:

    With so many people willing to QA / code review for free, why the fuck can't we ever seem to find someone to hire where I work?!?!



  • I will break all of your toys if you hire me for 80k/year usd!

    But on a serious note, you're talking about a forum of dedicated programmers, from literally all around the world.

    You are localized, and your company is probably paying 50k/year tops for qa.


  • BINNED

    I was going by development cycle (even though I'm not sure gamma is a thing), you're going for member progression. Whatever. They can be called Huey, Louie and Dewey for all I care.



  • Couldn't possibly be less popular than "Questions Closed Elsewhere" on the old forums.



  • @darkmatter said:

    With so many people willing to QA / code review for free, why the fuck can't we ever seem to find someone to hire where I work?!?!

    If your company is typical, it's because there's no career progression for QA people. Almost every company out there has it set up as a dead-end role, where the only way to advance is to either enter management or become a programmer.

    Then people wonder why good QA people are hard to find.



  • @Onyx said:

    Global stats are still off, but there's no fixing that, short of eradication of all likes in that thread.

    Pulling that thread out of the badges logic was the first suggestion, hence my poll for it a while back. My ability to create a parallel set of badges sorta negated most of the perceived problems...


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    They also tend to view QA people as a necessary evil and an expense, instead of viewing them for the value that they bring to projects. It is hard to quantify how QA people save money or make money, so they just get put in the spreadsheet and highlighted in red.

    QA people rarely get the respect that they deserve, so very few good people go into QA. At least in my experience.



  • @Onyx said:

    Whatever the names, I think it's not that bad of an idea.

    So, to drag the conversation discourse somewhat back on-topic, would there be any mileage in creating such a category on here? Would there be enough interest in it for example?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I would be interested. I always like seeing other ways to do things, and discussions about why or why not they are a good idea. If there is traffic in there, it would be good for all of us.



  • Did we reach any agreement on the category structure?

    After the initial discussion with @PJH, my thinking was that there would be a top-level category (not yet named) representing forum-member-owned code, which would have global visibility. Within that, there would be three subcategories:

    • One to submit small code listings for review and feedback (I suggested the name Code Review). This would only be visible to a specific membership group or level.
    • One to submit applications that are under construction, with the intention of trying to exploit or break them (I suggested the name Trial By Fire, but perhaps something drier like Functional Testing would work better). Again, this would only be visible to a specific membership group or level.
    • One to submit completed applications to show off the projects that you've been involved in, without opening them up for abuse (perhaps called Completed Projects or something). This would allow global access, like the parent category, so would be indexable by Google.

    Can anyone suggest a better structure or better names?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I approve of this in general, and have no comment on the naming.

    The pinned topic description(s) should note that merely flaming someone for using a particular language is unacceptable in the topic. Might as well try to head the “You're using Java but you should be using VB.NET. You suck.”-style flamewars before they get started; they'd just get people's backs up (and language choice tends to be constrained by external factors).




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