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  1. #1
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    Multitags: good or bad

    I'm going back and forth with Segue over SPR 25575 which I'm told "is amongst a collection of bug reports that point out
    defects in the recorder's tag buffer." Basically, if you turn multitag off, any attempt to change more than one tag while recording causes incorrect tags -- the first tag to be changed becomes the only tag available for any subsequent change attempts.

    This is driving me crazy since I really don't like using multitags unless a specific GUI object requires this as a work around for non-standard behavior. This bug has been present in every version of Silk 5.

    My question is this: Can anyone tell me why multitags are a good idea?

    I've heard the argument that multitags insulate scripts from GUI changes, but don't we want to know when a GUI changes? Why in the world would you not want to know?

    I certainly see the benefit for specific objects that may have a tag dependent on some other condition. But as a default, I find that multitags often cause misidentification of GUI objects during recording and at runtime. Also, it seems like we want execution errors to occur at the point where the software changed, not down the line when we find we're somewhere other than where we think we are.

    Thanks



    ------------------
    Steve Vizzini
    Test Automation Developer
    mechanic

  2. #2
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    Re: Multitags: good or bad

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by svizzini:

    >> My question is this: Can anyone tell me >> why multitags are a good idea?

    FWIW,

    I have never found a use for multitags and turn them off first thing. However, if Segue would've written the code to support a specific to increasingly general match it might have worked, but as you have discovered it takes the first object that it finds and uses it making the end result wrong far more times than is it right.

    You need a specific tag in order to identify a specific object and you want the testcase failure rather than have Silk make incorrect assumptions. There are already enough assumptions being made consciously when writing automated tests. We don't need the tool to add in yet another error-prone variable that adds to long term maintenance.

    John J. Miller
    johnm@mcdata.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Multitags: good or bad

    About a year ago someone posted to QAPUSER a note titled "Multitags are evil".

    I turn them off every chance i get.

    Today i've been looking at the setting MultiTags keyword. This looks like a useful to make sure that they people using my code have this setting turned off.



    ------------------
    Bret Pettichord
    Tivoli Systems
    Bret Pettichord
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  4. #4
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    Re: Multitags: good or bad

    This is a can of worms! People have very definate ideas on this one way or another.

    However I like multitags for special occasions. I never use what Silk records as a multi-tag because I don't personally find it valuable. In fact I find it error prone.

    However if I am looking for a control that has several different forms of labeling this multitag "thing" can be real usefull.

    Let us say I have to test two different versions of an application. The newer version has engineering "toying" with labels. So I could have a button with two unique captions like:
    "activate photon torpedos" // newer
    "fire the lasers" // older dr. evil response

    With multitags this isn't an issue and I don't have to have seperate frames for something this trivial. I can simply employ the multitag statement like so:

    Becuase of multitags I can now ge to the Activate button without resorting to all kinds of programming tricks, or looking for context of the window. Because if Silk cannot find the first label it will then look for the next.

    I know that sometimes this thing can backfire and many people get upset about it.
    My advice is don't use it unless you need it, and when you do need it don't let Silk select how you want to use the tag methods.

    Anyone use this for multi language apps? Actually I think this is where I would employ this technique the most.

    BTW I remember the multitags are evil message .. I think it was from Daniel Suits (aka Mr. Cluey). I thought it was a very funny title.


    ------------------
    "Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!"
    Sincerely
    Richard Weth
    Sr. QA Engineer
    mailto:rick_weth@yahoo.com
    phone(408) 487-3846



    [This message has been edited by rick_weth (edited 01-18-2000).]
    Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!
    Sincerely
    Richard Weth
    Sr. QA Engineer

  5. #5
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    Re: Multitags: good or bad

    Multitags are indeed a mixed bag and improper use can lead to serious debugging headaches. However, as Richard stated, multitags can be used to resolve some unique problems that would require special coding tricks to resolve.

    Multitags are also very useful for testing localized or "OEMized" versions of your application. Some of our applications are customized for our OEMs who specify different window or control captions, bitmaps, and static text strings.

    Tony Mrozinski
    Sr. Software Test Automation Engineer
    Home Networking Operations
    Intel Corporation

  6. #6
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    Re: Multitags: good or bad

    multitags are required in a case where a single control may have its tag change, such as a dynamic pushbutton which has a label that adapts to the action of a dialog box. they are also useful when for whatever reason, Silk periodically just doesn't seem to be able to locate an object on a particular browser in the same manner as on another, but the better solution here is keywords, e.g.

    netscape tag "blah"
    explorer tag "something else"

    In some cases I've experienced even multitag falls short and you substitute the tag string with a method or function that fetches a tag based on conditions e.g.

    tag GiveMeTag()
    STRING GiveMeTag()
    if someconditiontrue
    return "blah"
    else
    return "something else"


    ------------------
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It doesn't matter if I go to heaven or to hell, I have friends in both places.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [This message has been edited by Matt Sullivan (edited 01-19-2000).]
    <BLOCKQUOTE]<font size=1 face=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]quote:</font]<HR]It doesn't matter if I go to heaven or to hell, I have friends in both places.<HR]</BLOCKQUOTE]

  7. #7
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    Re: Multitags: good or bad

    I am of the opinion that unless it is absolutely necessary, a tag/multitag should NOT use caption text. Instead it should use the WindowID.

    Examples given in this thread point out cases where the text on a pushbutton is dynamic at runtime. While the caption may change, the WindowID is always the same (if it indeed is the same button). Because of this, I rarely have a need for MULTITAG. In fact, I usually OR together two expressions in a TAG statement before I use MULTITAG.

    One of the most notable areas where WindowIDs can't be used successfully is with child dialogs. At least for the apps I have tested, child dialogs always have a WindowID tag of "$0".

  8. #8
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    Re: Multitags: good or bad

    using the ID is a great suggestion for when testing an exe. when testing a web site, however, the caption or index is often the only thing you have.
    <BLOCKQUOTE]<font size=1 face=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]quote:</font]<HR]It doesn't matter if I go to heaven or to hell, I have friends in both places.<HR]</BLOCKQUOTE]

  9. #9
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    Re: Multitags: good or bad

    One related tip:

    You can play around the multitags by editing the file htmlpage.inc in the case of web testing.

    For example I changed the line
    under "winclass HtmlImage : Control" to
    Now Silk will record only INDEX tag for HTML images.

 

 

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