Mike Bland


This week in my past Google life

Publicly-facing details about Google to which I contributed in a significant way

- New York
Tags: Google, grouplets, SML, Testing Grouplet, TotT, websearch

A number of small but notable developments pertaining to bits Google history that I had a hand in have been brought to my attention in rapid succession these past few days. Rather than devote a whole post to each, here’s the quick breakdown:

More Small, Medium, and Large Background
Baidu does Testing on the Toilet
"Recent events or hot topics" becomes user-visible

More Small, Medium, and Large Background

On my Small, Medium, Large Google+ post, Matthew Springer and Antoine Picard provide more concrete historical detail regarding the development of the Small, Medium, Large test size system. David Plass also informs me that the test timeout feature, orthogonal to test sizes but still somewhat related, has been enhanced such that the build system will tell you when a test doesn’t come anywhere near reaching the configured timeout value. Pretty cool.

Baidu does Testing on the Toilet

Gregor Rothfuss pinged me in a Google+ post to point out that Baidu has begun publishing Testing on the Toilet episodes. They even use the Testing Grouplet logo! (Presumably they got the template from one of the posts on the Google Testing Blog.)

For those who aren’t aware, Baidu is Google’s number one websearch competitor in China, and dominates the websearch market in there like Google has in the US and many other countries.

Interesting bits about the image on that page that clearly demonstrate they composed the episode themselves:

  • there isn’t a “Too Many Dependencies” episode on the googletesting blog;
  • the code doesn’t look like it adheres strictly to Google style;
  • while the C++ example makes it apparent they’re using the Google Test and Google Mock C++ unit testing frameworks, the EXPECT_TRUE(1.4 == bug.GetBugScore()) almost certainly is not how it would appear in a Google original, which would use EXPECT_EQ(1.4, bug.GetBugScore()) since Zhanyong Wan made sure sane floating point comparisons happen by default; and, well…
  • floating point comparisons using == wouldn’t make it past a Google code review, let alone a Google TotT editorial review. ;-)

I’ve posted very recently about the history of Testing on the Toilet, and I’m thrilled to see TotT (and, by extension, the Testing Grouplet) not just influencing other companies, but direct competitors to Google! No matter that running Google Translate on the page reveals that no mention of Google is made; I’m just happy to see the idea spread. (And several of the comments point out that, yes, the idea came from Google.)

"Recent events or hot topics" becomes user-visible

Today’s Official Google Blog Post by Amit Singhal points out that the websearch algorithms have been updated to improve results for “Recent events or hot topics”, amongst other things. This update is something I worked on directly before I left Google. Most of the other stuff I worked on helped eliminate cruft and spam from the index, and improved consistency, maintenance, and code reuse across indexing tiers; important, but deliberately user-invisible efforts. Nice to see a feature I helped implement become user-visible. :-)