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Testing Interactive Graphics by Automatic Test Case Generation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000042123D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bird, DL: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a method whereby interactive graphics testing may be performed automatically using a test case generator. The operator action is prompted by the issuing of instructions at the terminal and the display in white of a primitive to be picked. The correct processing of the locator device is verified by the operator via an echoed simulated cross-hair. The correct processing of all other device types is self-checked by the test case itself. Although the operator of an interactive graphics application will be sitting in front of just one physical terminal, the program may have enabled up to four 'logical graphics input devices'. There are four possible categories of input device: Choice Device. These correspond to an AID interrupt on a normal alphanumeric read.

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Testing Interactive Graphics by Automatic Test Case Generation

This article describes a method whereby interactive graphics testing may be performed automatically using a test case generator. The operator action is prompted by the issuing of instructions at the terminal and the display in white of a primitive to be picked. The correct processing of the locator device is verified by the operator via an echoed simulated cross-hair. The correct processing of all other device types is self-checked by the test case itself. Although the operator of an interactive graphics application will be sitting in front of just one physical terminal, the program may have enabled up to four 'logical graphics input devices'. There are four possible categories of input device: Choice Device. These correspond to an AID interrupt on a normal alphanumeric read. For example, the ENTER key or the PFkeys may be enabled as choice devices. Locator Device. This returns to the program an (x,y) position on the graphics screen.

On an IBM 3277-GA terminal the position might be indicated by a cross-hair cursor moved by a joystick. On an IBM 3279 terminal the alphanumeric cursor might be enabled for this purpose. Pick Device. This identifies to the program an element of the graphics (such as a line, a curve or a shaded area) that has been 'picked' by the operator. Signal Device. This corresponds to the modification of an alphanumeric field on a standard read. When a program issues a graphics 'read' and the operator responds by, say, hitting a PFkey, up to four elements may arrive on the graphics input queue. In general there will be one element for each type of input device that the program previously 'enabled'. At any time it is possible to request a 'flush' of the input queue, either of the whole queue or just for elements of a specified type. To achieve automatic testing of this area the following problems must be solved: The generated test cases must cover the full range of supported function. The test cases must supply adequate operating instructions to the person executing them. He should not need to refer to the test case source. The test cases must be self-checking. When the generator is about to issue a 'read', it (randomly) decides whether the read should be a 'graphics read'. If so, a graphics input subroutine is called. This subroutine considers each of the four input device types in turn, deciding whether they should be enabled. A flag is set to indicate whether or not each of the four types has been enabled. In the case where a device has been enabled, some further statements may be added to the test case. We shall consider the four types in turn: Testing Interactive Graphics by Automatic Test Case Generation Signal device. No extra statements. Pick device. If the test case is currently in 'temporary segment' status, then open a named segment and make it 'detectable'. Randomly call a further subroutine to issue a GSIPIK (initialize Pick) call. Call a s...