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Book burners threaten (old) new testing standard

20 August 2014 16:39

By PT staff

Testers have been waiting many years for ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 Software Testing. PT saw some early drafts in 2008 and felt they had good potential. In 2010 we invited its working party, through senior members Drs Stuart Reid and Tafline Murnane, to contribute an article explaining the standard’s aims and scope. They declined. We still have hopes for it, although by now it has probably been badly mauled by too many committees and subcommittees, and may also be in danger of being made obsolete before it emerges.

Now that it seems publication may at last be imminent, some people are actively trying to prevent it. A petition has been started at Their objection is that not everyone will agree with what the standard says: on that criterion nothing would ever be published. The real reason the book burners want to suppress it is that they don’t want there to be any standards at all. Effective, generic, documented systematic testing processes and methods impact their ability to depict testing as a mystic art and themselves as its gurus.

A secondary objection is more valid: the standard will not be free. Most new books, on testing or otherwise, are not of course. But the extortionate prices charged for standards defeat their purpose, and access to drafts during the development process should have been made easier and more open. PT hopes that the 29119 working party will follow the example set in 2001 by that of BS 7925-2, the most important testing standard (and perhaps still so to be for some time yet), by releasing a late unofficial draft that is free to all, as at

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