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From Ulrich Stärk (JIRA) <>
Subject [jira] [Updated] (COMDEV-76) [GSoC] Test Document Generator/Permutator for Apache OpenOffice
Date Fri, 22 Mar 2013 23:51:15 GMT


Ulrich Stärk updated COMDEV-76:

    Summary: [GSoC] Test Document Generator/Permutator for Apache OpenOffice  (was: [GSoC]
Test Document Generator/Permutator)
> [GSoC] Test Document Generator/Permutator for Apache OpenOffice
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: COMDEV-76
>                 URL:
>             Project: Community Development
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>            Reporter: Rob Weir
>              Labels: gsoc, gsoc2013, mentor
> Apache OpenOffice is the leading open source desktop office suite.   Our most recent
release has had over 40 million downloads.
> The default document format for OpenOffice is Open Document Format (ODF).  But we also
can work with Microsoft document formats, including legacy binary formats (DOC/XLS/PPT) and
their new XML formats (DOCX/XLSX/PPTX).
> A continuing challenge is finding an efficient way to test our support of these document
formats.  It is extremely laborious to create test documents  Imagine, for example, we want
to verify that we can correctly process table cell formatting.  We have variations in text
styles, in border styles, in fills, in alignment, etc.  A complete test would require an large
number of manually created test cases.
> Is it possible to do better than this?  Can test documents be automatically generated?
> Presumably, yes, they can be automatically generated.  We have open source libraries,
in Java, that can read and write ODF and Microsoft documents:
> The Apache ODF Toolkit for ODF documents:
> Apache POI for Microsoft documents:
> But can this be made really easy, so QA tester, not a programmer, can generate test cases
easily?    Can we find a way to specify a test scenario and then generate a range of test
documents in all three formats?   
> Can we be smart about this and generate complete X*Y*Z sets of test cases as well as
fractional factorial design (  
For example, the factors for a text style might be: typeface, font size, weight, color, background
color and alignment.  A test of all combinations would lead to an enormous number of test
cases, because of the huge number of colors and typefaces.  But to be useful, we only need
a subset of these test cases, the ones that are likely to reveal bugs.  How can we be intelligent
about this?
> The specification for the document formats is available as well.  So we have a formal
description of the schema for ODF and OpenXML.  Is that information useful?  Can we have "schema-directed
test document creation"?
> As you can see, there is a broad range of things that could be done here, limited only
by time, skill and interests of the student.  One could easily develop new ideas and research
here that could be publishable.   The results would be useful to Apache OpenOffice of course,
but could potentially be applicable more broadly, to other products and other markup languages.
> Skills needed:
> -- Java programming ("Core Java"), good working knowledge, but don't need to be a guru
or anything
> -- Knowledge of XML
> -- Helps to have some awareness of QA, e.g., what "test coverage" is and why it is important.

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