Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Testing on Foreign Platforms

Question:
I am testing a media player, which is developing for a foreign country. I have tested the player in Windows 2000 and XP, English version. Do I have to test the same on that foreign language Windows OS also? However I don't know that language. Then how to I proceed?

Posted by Don


Answer:
I once worked a contract for a company. They had a very stable product, on the English version of Windows (and PocketPC and Palm). Most of the testing went well until I tried to do a very common task. It didn't crash, it just wouldn't do it on the German version. Simple enough...A hard coded path was used when they should have used a different way of approaching the path. {windows uses macros to define where things like the OS, Programs, and My Documents are located. Hard coding those paths into the source code is a bad idea}. But it sounds like you've already dealt with issues like this in going from the original language to English.

The rest is, as another group member indicated, translation issues and
layout in those translations.

This can be as easy as creating a "Rosetta stone"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_stone . The main thing is that you know what the text should look like in the new language and what its value is in a language that you know about. In one place that I worked, we had Chinese text to verify by people not familiar with Chinese. It was difficult but we did well. If you don't trust yourself with foreign languages, tell the people who are paying you because it's better to admit your limitations and save face than to try to plod ahead and have the company fail because of your pride and arrogance.

You may also want to look at this Rosetta stone of Microsoft-specific terms
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/
library/en-us/dnwue/html/Word\
lists.asp

(this all has to be on one line). They list computer terms (related back to US English) for the following languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. It should make it easier for you to navigate with these settings. One of the big problems that I found was the some lists (for set-up such as control panels) are sorted alphabetically and they don't always appear in the order that you have come to expect them.

Posted by Walter Görlitz

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