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    Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    I have studied regression testing in effort to make my master's thesis, but after months and months of work I am still unsure about the actual definition of regression testing.

    My current definition of regression testing is rather broad: "Regression testing is retesting of previously tested program (or system) in effort to verify that the change in the system or its environment has not produced new errors". By my definition all testing after the initial test run is regression testing, so there is no place for "ordinary" testing in program maintenance process.

    Is this definition too broad, what do you think? If so, how would you define regression testing? Should there be place for "ordinary" testing too in the maintenance process? How would you then separate regression test cases from "ordinary" test cases? What the hell is "ordinary" testing anyway? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    OK, You seem to be confusing a very simple issue.
    Ordinary testing is the testing of new features, functionality, and screen elements.

    Regression testing is the testing of the original features, functions, and screen elements to insure that any new code did not change or inhibit the operation of the original code.

    There is also Retesting, which validates that a specific fix has been implemented and is functioning as it should. This retesting is usually done utilizing the original tests which uncovered the bug. Not to be confused with Regression testing. These definitions may vary from culture to culture, but generally I believe they are accurate.
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    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    ~ Winston Churchill ~


    ...Rich Wagner

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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    Rich -- Based upon your highly accurate, although somewhat brief, thesis, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Master of Software Testology, magna come loaded!

    Actually, I agree with what you say, although my real level of discomfort in both posts comes from the use of the overly ambiguous term "Ordinary", which I don't believe is an industry standard term. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    I agree completely with your definition of Regression and Retesting, and as I think about it, I can't come up with an industry standard proper label for "Ordinary" testing -- am I just getting old fast, or have we discoverd a gap in our terminology? Suggestions to fill that gap?

    Sincerely,
    David

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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    Originally posted by Chopperdog:
    Rich -- Based upon your highly accurate, although somewhat brief, thesis, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Master of Software Testology, magna come loaded!

    Actually, I agree with what you say, although my real level of discomfort in both posts comes from the use of the overly ambiguous term "Ordinary", which I don't believe is an industry standard term. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    I agree completely with your definition of Regression and Retesting, and as I think about it, I can't come up with an industry standard proper label for "Ordinary" testing -- am I just getting old fast, or have we discoverd a gap in our terminology? Suggestions to fill that gap?

    Sincerely,
    David
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">David,
    I think Rich has just codified ordinary testing for us nicely. I misread your post though and though it was Magnum come loaded...Suddenly I have images of Rich as Dirty Harry...Do you feel lucky punk?
    [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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    Neill McCarthy
    Agile Testers of the World UNIT!

    For more contextual Musings visit http://www.testingreflections.com/ and now at http://www.sqablogs.com/neillmccarthy/
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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    David is correct, I don't know of any standard for Ordinary Testing, I was trying to put it into an obvious laymen's terms as classified by Juhah. Actually we call it fix testing, functional testing, new feature testing and sometimes @$%&#* testing.
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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    Neill, Actually to fill the gap I suggest, (drum roll please!), "Software Testing" Tah, Dah
    Personal Comment

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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    Originally posted by Rich W.:
    Neill, Actually to fill the gap I suggest, (drum roll please!), "Software Testing" Tah, Dah
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">Rich, it will never fly [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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    Regards,
    Neill McCarthy
    Agile Testers of the World UNIT!

    For more contextual Musings visit http://www.testingreflections.com/ and now at http://www.sqablogs.com/neillmccarthy/
    ---

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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    Not sure if it is a good idea but I want to add my vision. In my project (a specific one) if I need to say which is "OrdinaryĒ testing, it would be R&R (regression and retesting). Because all small changes fall into retesting, while for such big and old product as mine new major features are something unordinary.
    Iím afraid this is not the only such product in the world. So I vote that test design is the thing that is not ordinary testing.

    P.S. Iím sorry to have no ordinary vision [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    ?:the art of a constructive conflict perceived as a destructive diagnose.
    Ainars

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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    Originally posted by Rich W.:
    OK, You seem to be confusing a very simple issue.
    Ordinary testing is the testing of new features, functionality, and screen elements.

    Regression testing is the testing of the original features, functions, and screen elements to insure that any new code did not change or inhibit the operation of the original code.
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">Your definition was very helpful, because it cleared the differences between functional and regression testing...

    There is also Retesting, which validates that a specific fix has been implemented and is functioning as it should. This retesting is usually done utilizing the original tests which uncovered the bug. Not to be confused with Regression testing. These definitions may vary from culture to culture, but generally I believe they are accurate.
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">... but I stick to Kaner's definition with that one. ("Repeating a test that exposed the problem is regression testing")

    My biggest problem was to decide is using new test cases regression testing or not, because some authors think that regression testing is only using old test cases. That wrong assumption made my work problematic.

    I try to make the definition and the steps of regression testing as clear as possible. I made following simple step-by-step regression testing guide to clarify the differences of functional and regression testing. It would be very helpful, if you could point out any flaws or errors that you might find.

    When developing a new program start from step 1.

    1. Develop new test cases for testing new functionality in program and add them into test suite.

    2. Test program with test suite.

    3. Correct faults by making changes into program.

    4.
    -Add old test cases, which revealed fixed errors into regression test suite.
    -Add old test cases, which validate old functionality of the program into regression test suite. Use regression test selection techniques to select needed test cases.
    -Develop new test cases to validate the old functionality of the program and add them into regression test suite.

    5. Test program with regression test suite. If no errors found, go to step 7, else go to step 6. Use test case prioritization techniques to find errors earlier.

    6. Correct faults by making changes into program. Go to step 4.

    7. End testing and make a new test suite for program by combining old test suite with regression test suite.

    Steps 1 and 2 are functional testing and steps 4 and 5 are regression testing. During program maintenance process, if you add new functionality into program, start testing from step 1. If you remove old functionality or make minor changes (bug-fixes), start testing from step 4.

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    Re: Discussion about the definition of regression testing

    Juhah,
    You quoted Kaner:
    ("Repeating a test that exposed the problem is regression testing")
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">I don't really disagree with this statement. All tests that uncover defects should be placed into the regression suite to insure that the defects do not migrate back into the code at a later time. Believe me, they do!
    So the test that uncovered the defect will be rerun during the regression cycle, but most importantly the test will be run during the "fix testing" in the form of a "retest" to validate that the defect has been fixed. This is important because the Regression suite is usually run at or near the end of the test cycle prior to delivery and we would prefer to know earlier in the cycle if the known bugs have been fixed or not. Hopefully, very few defects are to be found during regression testing.

    We in fact run the full regression suite here as soon as the application is received from development for two reasons.
    1. Because we can...It's fully automated and easy to launch.
    2. Our application is basically very old and full of spaghetti code, so prone to have unknown effects when new code is added.
    Personal Comment

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