My Commenting Policy

Here is my policy for accepting comments that you make on this blog:

1. I moderate all comments. I accept comments for one or more of the following reasons:

– I value a dialectic approach to learning. So I appreciate critical comments, and I will respond to them. If I don’t write a specific response, that means my response is “Hmm. Interesting point.”

– I value an incisive mind. I get excited when someone is not merely critical, but engages an argument I make and skillfully picks it apart. I definitely respond to those comments.

– I consider comments to be a great way to help me communicate better. In other words, by commenting on my blog, you help me see my own message more clearly. Sometimes I accept a comment just because it gives me an invitation to riff or rant on something that I care about.

– A non-critical, supportive comment is cool, too. I prefer comments that add some new evidence or analysis to the discussion.

– It is okay to challenge my competence or ethics, unless you offer no evidence or argument to back up your challenge.

2. I will probably not approve a comment that merely insults me or dismisses my arguments without engaging them. I may make an exception if I feel like ridiculing you, but on my better days I feel that publicly humiliating a crazy person isn’t the best strategy for making the world a better place.

3. If I don’t publish your comment, feel free to ask me why. I promise to explain.

4. I will not edit or redact a comment that you submit unless I have your permission, with the possible exception of fixing an obvious typo. I may interpolate my replies, however. If you don’t like that, you can email me privately to complain, or you can post your comments about my stuff on your own blog, and then you’ll have total control.

5. If you want to comment on a reply I made to one of your comments, consider replying to me privately, so we can have the whole conversation. Then when you are ready to make your follow-up comment, I’m more likely to approve it.

6. By publishing your comment, I am implicitly endorsing it as potentially useful to the audience of this blog.

7. If you want me to remove or modify an earlier comment of yours, I will do so.

8. You retain copyright over your comments.

8 thoughts on “My Commenting Policy

  1. “This entry was posted in the following categories: Software Testing and Quality” – would you want to change the tag that is applied to this post or let me know whether I have over looked.

    [James’ Reply: Since people are commenting on posts in this category, I thought it made sense to post it in this category.]

  2. Re: Interpellation of replies

    I wonder if I’m alone in finding the way in which you interrupt the flow of a comment with your responses is overly disruptive?

    My first experience of computer mediated communication was with Usenet, where the practice of responding to a post was to selectively quote the original message and respond to points as they were made, so I’m used to reading text like that. But in a Usenet system, it was usually possible to go back and look at the entire original message that was being commented on. Or, more usually, it meant that you had read the whole thing and possibly digested it before coming to the point by point rebuttal.

    When reading the comments on your blog, I find myself wishing that you’d allow the original, unedited comment to stand by itself before posting your response. If, in your replies, you were to reverse your current italic/roman style I’m sure it’d make for a much easier better reading experience. Italic text is harder to read on a screen than roman text (sorry, I don’t have a citation for that, just personal experience). By posting the unaltered comment first and then your reply, both comment and response can have the scrutiny they deserve.

    As I’m sure you realise, I’m not just saying this because of your responses the one time I commented here but because, in following other comment threads I’ve found the reading experience to be a little uncomfortable. The constant interruptions remind me of a Jeremy Paxman or John Humphreys political interview. Or maybe Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

    [James’ Reply: I hear you, and I appreciate your politely worded sentiment. I struggle with this, because this format bothers me, too. However, I also find the obvious alternatives problematic.

    At one point, I was thinking that it would be wrong to interpolate my replies, because it’s impolite to interrupt people. But then I remembered that this is my own forum– much like a radio call-in show. While I will not change or remove words of a comment, because that would be a material distortion of someone’s ideas, I do get to talk back when and how I like. I freely admit that I use comments as a way to further my own messages and purposes.

    Be that as it may, I will continue to think about this. If you or anyone else would like to suggest (or show me) a specific protocol that you like better, then email me an example of what it would look like, and I’ll consider doing it your way.] 

  3. Some have argued that people who are more trusting in general are more
    trusting in the Internet (Katz & Rice 2002). For example, a study drawing
    from US survey data found that individuals who are less trusting of people
    in general are more likely to perceive the Internet as threatening (Uslaner
    2000). In an essay on perceptions of risk in technical and environmental
    contexts, Douglas and Wildavsky (1982) argue that there are types of individuals
    with general responses to risks, such as fatalism, shaped by the social and
    cultural setting in which they are located.
    The prominence of ‘trust’ in discussion of Internet research, practice and
    policy has not been accompanied by sustained research on how users perceive
    the Internet. Gaps in the research led us to address the following questions:
    . To what extent does the public trust or distrust the Internet’s online world?
    . Does use of the Internet enhance or undermine trust over time, and with
    what effect on subsequent patterns of (non-)use?
    . How do different social contexts (e.g. generational, educational and
    geographical) influence issues of trust?
    . How does cybertrust shape use of the Internet, for example in relation to
    different activities such as carrying out financial transactions, looking for
    medical advice or undertaking scientific research?
    The answers to these questions, suggested by the study reported here, were
    unexpected in a number of ways. Most importantly, experience was the
    primary factor shaping trust in the Internet – not prior dispositions shaped
    by a person’s age or gender. Also, bad online experiences may have a deterrent
    effect on using the Internet, as some have feared, but the encountering of
    bad experiences may not be as great as predicted. This creates a countervailing
    influence of experience, which generally provides a learned level of trust in
    the Internet, counterbalanced by exposure to bad experiences, which mitigate
    perceived benefits.

  4. This is how is see the dimension of applying philosophy to testing (for that matter, to every activity we do).

    Every activity, every event and every movement is a transition from one state to another, starting with the state of innocence moving into the state of realized innocence, from there to ignorance and further to intelligence and all this cycle ends at the state of Wisdom or ultimate realization.

    Philosophy is all about transition to a state of wisdom, where every particle converges into a single entity.

    Keeping aside the technologies involved/models/frameworks involved, testing as such is an attitude that undergoes transition from one state to another, in a non-realistic sense this cycle never ends, but again we are in business and we need some deadlines etc thus the cycle is forcibly compressed.

    Typically we start as innocent engineers playing with products just like kids, as we gain knowledge of the product we start interpreting the product and how its supposed to behave (the SPECS add to this activity), at this state we tend to become a bit ignorant and narrowed and obviously the testing resulting from a narrow and limited knowledge is always narrow, from this limited /ignorant state we become more and more knowledgeable and testing gets more and more refined.

    Finally when we reach the wisdom state, it doesn’t really matter what testing we are doing or what technology we are using what matters most is howz our wise thinking helping us in making the product better. At this state we are not worried about finding more bugs; we are worried about making things better.

    This state leads to lot of questions related to why and what, forcing us to think about some frameworks or models which can be applied to future product testing.
    But unfortunately technology, knowledge, perceptions etc are vast and one can not compress all these into one framework and eventually we end-up creating tons of models and frame works (these are definitely useful in short run, but when we look at the ultimate goal of testing, iam really skeptical about them)
    Hence every new product testing is a new philosophical journey it starts but never ends (though it might really end in a commercial and project management sense)

    I Co-relate this to the day to day guidance we get from our intelligent mentors and wise mentors. Intelligent mentors typically guide us In our career academics etc and wise mentors are more worried about our personality as a whole.

    It might sound too philosophical, but I found this how things go(at this point i also confess that what i might have experienced could be Minuscule), we transit from one state to another in search of making things better and better. The Key always lies in changing your attitude from time to time and synching up our testing to the phase.

    [James’ Reply: This is interesting. Thank you.]

  5. I listened to your tutorial on becoming a software tester expert, the whole 57 (+) mins and was amazed by your wealth of knowledge
    your honesty and pushing the boundaries of knowledge
    Software testing is something i know next to nothing about but you took away the mystery of it all and was able to explain it in a way that kept me interested and wanting t ohear more.
    I have been impressed by the information on your site and am keen to learn more, I love the theory of never taking things at face value and always questioning wether the answer is the right one.
    I can see how you may have upset others by quantifying your statements with reference to reputation.
    I am a true believer in your reputation is your bond, you do great work it will show, you do crap work and everyone will eventually know, the power of media.

    I have tried to source infor mation on software testing but found it near impossible, I am in New Zealand and the amount of certification required is as you said, enormous but is it truly relevant and what is most suited,
    Due to a ssmall amount of people holding all the knowledge and only willing to share for a price, how do you know what will assist you and what will be a total waste of time. as you already know the course are not cheap so need to be selective as to what to sign up for and if I will get value for dollar spent.

    thank you for your time

    [James’ Reply: I recommend going to and looking over the BBST course videos. I can also suggest that you join the Association for Software Testing and then take the nearly-free BBST online course.]

  6. Re: interpolation of comments

    Perhaps instead of interpolating replies within body of the comment you could interpolate a footnote marker of some sort. Like this:[1] And then at the bottom of the comment [2] you could provide your replies, like this:
    [1] Yes, that is a wonderful idea.
    [2] You mean here, don’t you?

    [James’ Reply: Hmm. Perhaps I’ll try that.]

  7. A year back , i Joined this testing Business. I am a Great Fan of James.

    My Question is :

    Who finds the bug ? a) tester b) test case ?

    Testers who create’s the test cases

    i heard from many testers saying that execute the test cases and you’ll find the bug;

    Are testers required?

    anyone can execute the test cases and find the bug.( Even a School Kid )

    so,testers are not finding a bug;only test cases find the bug.

    Sapient Tester

    [James’ Reply: Anyone? Even pigs? Even a three year-old child?]

  8. Hello Mr.James ,

    I admire your great effort to the Art of Testing !

    I have exactly the same perception on testing as commented by Mr.”KumarTBS” here.

    Any system (made by human) should have a logical state and there can be “n” number of ways to change this state to another state (by within the system , by outside the system or by a notorious human) .

    If we agree on this list of realized ways, well its time to check how the system behaves for each ways to decide if its good or bad. (Well the list never satisfies a tester fully)

    This is my high level assumption on testing .

    And a system which works with an unanticipative logic , i could think of could be a “Human Brain” 🙂 (even a Heavenly body could be predicted to its motion)

    (All we suffer is that not being Satisfied , as Testing being Infinite)

    Let’s be proud to Test 🙂


    [James’ Reply: Hi Arun. State-oriented thinking is one way to look at a product, but how about data-oriented thinking? Interfaces? Tasks? We might think is many ways. But states are important, yes.]

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