On November 13th 2006 9:30 PM IST, I noticed Prashant Kumar online in Yahoo! Messenger. Prashant is a passionate tester working in Bangalore and I've known him for the past 6 years, since we both are from the same batch of engineering and we lived nearby.
I engaged Prashant to take up a testing exercise to help me practice conducting an exercise. We were having a voice chat through Yahoo Messenger conference and I asked him to test the window through which we were chatting.
He was smart enough to start with questions like:
Prashant: Do you mean the voice conference window between us?
Prashant: Okay, what do you want me to test in this?
Pradeep: "Send File" feature.
Prashant: Okay, let me start off with something like this... ( he listed out some types of files he would send.. *.exe, *.doc, *.zip, *.mp3, *.xls... corrupt files, sizes of file 0kb .. 1kb, 100 kb, 1MB, 1.1MB and started doing it )
Pradeep: ( Meanwhile, I too started exploring the feature. I noticed that I was able to invoke more than one session of "send file" for the same user)
Pradeep: Prashant, try doing this ( I explained to him what I did).
Pradeep: Prashant, don't you think it is a bug if windows are over lapping over each other, which blocks the end user to be unaware of the multiple sessions that has opened on his own multiple clicks of "send file"?
Prashant: Not sure, but wait let me investigate.( He goes offline suddenly)
Pradeep: (Meanwhile, I tried clicking on "send file" option multiple times., My Yahoo Messenger disappeared too) We both logged into Yahoo and got into a conference again.
Prashant: Hey, lets say it together... ( we both knew, the observation was obvious )
Chorus: Yahoo! Messenger crashed. Pradeep: Are you sure, you know the steps to reproduce?
Prashant: Yes, I do know.
Pradeep: Go ahead!
Prashant: ( narrates what he did to observe Yahoo! Messenger crash )
Pradeep: Oh! I thought it is something else, wait let me try the steps you mentioned. ( I followed and went offline)
Pradeep: (I did try the version of "steps to reproduce", I had in mind, the issue was not reproducible. So pair testing worked well)
Deep investigation starts... My learning from the exercise I took on investigating a bug as a part of James Bach's coaching, came handy...
1. We both made an attempt to arrive at a conclusion on "steps to reproduce" the issue and verified the same with each other.
2. The bug was easy to reproduce on our configurations. We saw it happen about thirty times.
3. We checked with ourselves, our PC and Laptop configurations to ensure we both did not have any other application/program causing this crash other than Yahoo Messenger. Hopefully no virus/spyware that does not like Yahoo! (I used MSINFO32 to find out my laptop configuration and Prashant used DX , I compared both to see, they were different configurations. It gives evidence that it can be reproduced with more than one configurations or could be all. I applied an update to my AVG Free version anti virus and performed a quick scan for virus/spyware, I am not sure whether I asked Prashant to do this.)
4. We added another user to the chat session and discovered that the problem still occurs with three. We extended the experiment upto 5 users in the conference. The crash was seen each time by Prashant and me.
Voice was enabled in our original session, so we disabled voice and repeated the steps to reproduce the issue. Yahoo! crashed again.
5. Now we both started asking ourselves and each other; is there something that we could have missed? ( I am sure, we could have )
6. It is then an idea struck both of us; let's Yahoo and Google to check if this issue is already under "known limitations"? We could not find any such for the version we were using. Yahoo Messenger: 188.8.131.52 and MyYahoo Module 184.108.40.206. ( Its 1:20 AM IST, both of us remember our office work and the pending work we have tomorrow and set off to bed, Good night!)
7. (Nov 14th 2006, 10 30 PM IST) We craved for more evidence that could help to prove this bug and improve Yahoo Messenger. We then hit upon C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\logs\ . Ah, at least I could not understand those logs, so we decided to store that as a supporting evidence since as testers we claim to know, why someone (dev_guys) would have enabled logging for.
8.All done. Not yet... we wanted to have screen shots but the learning from - Tools For Recording Exploratory Testing was applied. We used Wink to record our test and provide a visual of our steps to reproduce and make you all witness Yahoo disappearing :)
9. The report... which I am doing now...
Title: Yahoo Messenger crashes when multiple send file option is initiated for the same user from a conference window.
Steps to reproduce: ( pretty simple )
1. Download Yahoo Messenger latest version in your PC.
2. Log in/Log on with your user name and password.
3. Find a buddy online and invite him to a conference ( with or without voice enabled ).
4. Once your buddy joins the conference, click and highlight your buddy's id on the conference window.
5. Initiate a "send file" from the conference window.
6. Despite a "Select the file to send" window being opened, initiate "Send file" from the conference window for 7 times without selecting a file to send.
Observed result :
Yahoo! Messenger crashes.
Video link: Coming soon... ( Upload failure - My 14 upload attempts failed, am not giving up)
Yahoo Messenger logs collected from PC (C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\logs\ ) : Linked here
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I am sure, we could have done a lot more but for me, my approach was good enough, just that I need more practice to become "very good" on investiagating a bug.
Pradeep's first language is testing and not English - Michael Bolton