Help Keywords : TEST 'HOW TO TEST'.
Help Category : Information.
Related Helps : Buglist, Builder, Tester, Vision..
Last Updated  : 2008-03-01 18:08:42.
How do I test?
So you want to help out the MUD by testing. Great!

You log onto the test port... read the most recent batch of Announce 
notes... and then what? Have no fear. This helpfile is designed to assist 
you with the stuff after you log on and read notes... the actual testing. 

So how do you do it? One thing that really helps when testing is a good 
understanding of how the MUD works. I don't necessarily mean from a 
coding standpoint - although that's good, too. What I do mean is that if 
you keep your eyes and ears open on the main port, you can learn a lot 
about How Stuff Works. It's something to be thinking about - be curious, 
and ask questions if you don't understand something. 

Let's go on to some real-world examples. Recently (at the time of this 
writing) we've been testing skills and spells for v3. One spell that we've 
been testing is the dust devil spell. Here's how I went about testing it:

First, I tested it as it was "meant" to be used - 'c dust bork', 'c dust 
steve', etc. It worked fine, so I went on and tested some "different" ways 
a player might try to use it. For example, I tried to create a dust devil 
with a ton of symbols in the name - symbols that usually carry special 
meanings in programming languages, like $, %, and @. It seemed to 
work fine - it created a mob with lots of symbols, and didn't seem to be 
messing up at all. I wanted to make sure, so I tried to use all the 
commands I could think of that would have to call the mob's name. Sure 
enough, I found one that crashed it - "consider all".

This isn't intended to be a "recipe" for you to test by... more an example 
of a way of thinking that can help you find bugs. Some good questions 
to ask yourself are "What could make this break?", "What options might 
I try if I didn't know how to use this command properly?", "Is there some 
way I can manipulate this command to make it do something it's not 
supposed to do?", etc.

Where Do I Post, and Why?
After you test something, it's good to post a note summarizing what you 
tested, your procedure, and what you discovered. If you find a bug that 
you think could be highly abusable, it's a good idea to post your find to 
Imm only - not to All. Here's a summary of when to use each board.

General - Use the General forum to post an overview of what you test - 
for example, "I tested W using methods X, Y, and Z. X worked fine. I'm 
wondering about Y, because I encountered a result I'm not sure what 
to do with. I've posted the results of Z on the Bugs board." You can use 
the General board for questions about the results of your testing, like 
in the previous example. It might be something as simple as "What's 
up with this result? Is it normal" or it might be something very complex 
that no one answers immediately. Don't worry about that - post it.

Bugs - The Bugs forum is for, well... bugs! Basically, if something says 
that it will do something and doesn't do it, it's a bug. If it makes the 
MUD crash, it's a bug. If you're ever in doubt as to whether something is 
a bug, and you've followed the steps in the "What Do I Do If..." section 
of this helpfile, feel free to post it. Nobody's going to nuke you if it 
isn't, but if you don't post it, a bug could go unnoticed and slip into 
the Main port!

Typos - on this board, you'll post any problems you find that are related 
to a message the game generates. Whether it's a misspelled word or a 
badly-formed sentence, this is the forum for you. If you find, say, a line 
that contains the wrong variable or player name, this is the forum you're 
searching for. 

All of this being said... nobody is going to shoot you (or nuke you) if you 
post something to the wrong board. More than likely they'll just be very 
grateful that you posted it at all. So don't be shy.

What Do I Do If...
... I have a question? 
          Imms are almost always available on the port to help people - we 
want to make testing an enjoyable and profitable experience for you. If 
you have a question, just ask! Ask on immtalk (you can make yourself 
a tier and you'll always have access to it), or type "who imm" and send 
one of us a tell! You can also ask another tester - if there aren't any on 
the test port, type "who tester" on main, and send one of them a tell.