This summer I am working on a project to design and build automated functional tests of some of IBM’s web interfaces that act as control panels for their servers. This appears to be a fairly straightforward task: figure out what the test should do, use the tools to write the test, and debug the test until it works properly. Oh if only life were so easy…. Due to some design choices in IBM’s hardware management console software, the process has been extended with an additional step: figure out what the test should do, modify the tools so they can do what they need to, use the modified tools to write the test, and then debug the test until it works properly. Rather than ranting on forever and ever, I figure a picture is worth a thousand words, so here it is, IBM’s HMC interface in all its glory:
Above is the welcome screen, which is innocent enough. Nothing major here to report that personally makes my life difficult. I just felt that it would be too one-sided if all I did was complain. Now, lets get on to the stuff that makes you wonder why was this done?
But back to my basic question, are when are standard widgets not enough? I guess there are lots of times the more I think about it, but lots of times in a sea the size of an ocean is still a limited amount. Then that also raises the question, what does it take to consider a widget to be “standard”? All the major web browsers implement the widgets slightly differently, especially between different platforms. And take Java for instance, built into the language are two widget libraries, AWT and Swing, which I would argue are Java’s “standard” widgets. But there exists a popular add on library confusingly named the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT), so what is a newcomer to think? I think Ill come back to this question later.