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Thread: The Containment Thread

  1. #1
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    The Containment Thread

    Just making this as a repository for some posts that don't belong in other threads, that way the content remains available, but the threads are cleaned up.


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    First several posts are from this thread: http://www.mobilesoundscience.com/f1...-149/#post3825


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    What initial impressions are causing your doubts? I'd be careful about making any predictions before having more complete data. Don't want to allow yourself to fall victim to perceptual bias due to your own expectations given the price point.
    Last edited by Adam_MSS; 10-10-2010 at 12:25 PM.
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  2. #2
    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    just based on build. They feel ... well... cheap.
    I'm not one to influence myself until I hear it. Which is why I said I'll hold off on making comments until I hear and test them.
    But, that can't stop me from making an observation of them. ;)
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  3. #3
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    I don't know how you can say "they don't seem promising" without calling it influence or commentary on predicted performance.

    It may be an external observation, but it's better said in reference only to build quality and not as a general statement of doubt ("my initial take" seems rather broad and without context could be read to imply more information than just external observation).
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

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  4. #4
    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    I'll edit the post. I meant it from a build POV, though. Nothing more.
    posting it after the link to the results was very misconceiving, though. I'll give you that. I should have stated it up front or made a much larger break between the two paragraphs.

    They do look rather cheap, though. It's the VERY first thing I thought when I got them out of the box. But, as I said above, I am not affiliating the looks with the performance. Just making an observation on the product.
    My revelators look like shit now, but they still sound wonderful.
    Last edited by ErinH; 10-10-2010 at 12:08 AM.
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  5. #5
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    No problem, I know you didn't mean to imply it and I'm playing devil's advocate here, but we've seen testing programs go awry before so I want to be very measured in our actions here. I'll shoot you a PM to discuss further.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



  6. #6
    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    I understand. No need for a PM. I have a feeling I know what you're going to say. ;)

    Obviously I don't want to step on toes regarding a product given to us for testing, but at the same time, our duty here is to the community and if I feel a product has less than stellar build I'll comment on it. A little clarification on my part was needed, though. I'll try to be more concise in future 'thoughts'.
    Still doesn't change my feelings on the product's externals, though, and I don't feel that should be censored because it was given to us. That old 'don't say it if you wouldn't say it to my face' rule applies.
    If I were writing a review on it, I would have said the same thing. This thread is in regards to the product itself. Not the testing of it, so my comments stand.

    But, yes, more clarification and care shall be taken in future posts just for the sake of communication. No matter if it came from a supporter or not.
    Last edited by ErinH; 10-10-2010 at 12:31 AM.
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  7. #7
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    I understand. No need for a PM. I have a feeling I know what you're going to say. ;)

    Obviously I don't want to step on toes regarding a product given to us for testing, but at the same time, our duty here is to the community and if I feel a product has less than stellar build I'll comment on it. A little clarification on my part was needed, though. I'll try to be more concise in future 'thoughts'.
    Still doesn't change my feelings on the product's externals, though, and I don't feel that should be censored because it was given to us. That old 'don't say it if you wouldn't say it to my face' rule applies.
    If I were writing a review on it, I would have said the same thing. This thread is in regards to the product itself. Not the testing of it, so my comments stand.

    But, yes, more clarification and care shall be taken in future posts just for the sake of communication. No matter if it came from a supporter or not.
    Your comments may stand, but since we're apparently having the discussion in this thread, I'll go on record as saying I think they were ill-advised and incomplete. I don't particularly appreciate the implication that I desired to censor your comments or that it has anything to do with the source of a product. I don't believe I have made any statement in this thread or otherwise that would lead to you assume that motive on my part. My only motive is to make sure MSS is above the bar when it comes to the rigor with which we approach driver testing and posting of comments.

    In this case you offered to take on the "tester" role for MSS so your statements are going to be perceived as those of MSS. We either base our commentary on the objective data or we don't. This may seem like a situation where a simple build quality statement does not require a complete data set, but it has everything to do with context.

    If a random driver has a stamped steel basket, one might say "feels cheap" in describing build quality absent any other information. On the other hand, if that same driver was an outstanding performer, the build quality statement might read "shows what is possible with a stamped steel basket". There is huge difference there.

    9 times out of 10 the initial impression of build quality might line up with the objective test data, but that does not make it an absolute.

    Rather than worrying about the "don't say it if you wouldn't say it to my face" rule, I'd worry more about not saying "it" until all the facts are known. It's not about being brave enough to say something, it's about being right, and that includes providing the proper context.

    Thread officially derailed.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

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  8. #8
    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    I think you took my comments out of context. I never said it was about being "brave" or implied it as such. My "say it to your face" comment was in regards to not feeling like I can't make a comment on something we're given to test. If we feel a certain way about a product, we should be free to share it. I don't have to be a scientist to pick up something and feel that it's build quality is less than stellar and we don't really need tests on the matter.

    Regardless what "role" I took here, I see no reason that should stop me from still being able to say "it feels cheap". Zaph himself categorizes build quality in his assessments. He has hard data and he also has his "Commentary and Review" section. If I must defend myself, I'll simply ask what makes my "commentary" any less viable than his. Since, again, we often cite his tests as a 'look to' for my own.

    Again, my comments were not to be taken in a "test conclusion" format,. Since we're going on record, I'll go on record and say that the comment fits here in the context of this thread where others are discussing it. It wouldn't matter if I were a regular joe or a pro tester... the simple fact is that it looks and feels like a "cheap" driver. There's no way not to notice that and no reason why I should not be allowed to comment on that. But, I'll tell you what... if you want to take a poll or get Chad and Gary involved and you guys can all agree that me commenting on the appearance somehow influences the final outcome then I'll never comment on the build quality again. But, that leaves me to wonder where I would ever be 'allowed' to say it. Because, if I can't make that comment in a thread dedicated to the driver itself, I'm left to wonder where can I say it.

    You make an EXCELLENT point above when you say this:
    If a random driver has a stamped steel basket, one might say "feels cheap" in describing build quality absent any other information. On the other hand, if that same driver was an outstanding performer, the build quality statement might read "shows what is possible with a stamped steel basket". There is huge difference there.
    So, then, why must there be a direct correlation between build quality and performance? You obviously seem to be implying the notion that there is, otherwise I don't understand why you would be on me so much about making a comment in this thread about it. As if to say me commenting on the build without data will influence my own testing on it, or others' desire to try it? Well, that's what a review is for... I may not have 'review' in the title, but it is the very first thing most discuss (other than how well something was packaged ;)) in speaker reviews and can cite over a hundred posts (along with aforementioned Zaph commentary) to provide as evidence. Though, I'm sure you are already aware.
    You even did the same yourself:
    These B&C drivers are have some incredible build quality on first inspection, I can't wait to hear them.
    Personally, I think you're vesting too much energy into my assessment on the build quality. I've conceded that my wording was off. My apologies to the forum for potentially misleading anyone (though, the post was edited quickly after you pointed the issue out).
    And, while you may be upset and think I'm implying a censorship, I feel it's downright condescending to make a comment such as "I'll send you a PM" when anyone with half a brain knows where you're going with it. So, there. We're even.
    I'm all for discussing things out in the open. I don't think we need a secret diatribe to reprimand me for speaking my mind on this matter. I know and understand limits and ramifications. In this case, I just flat out disagree with you.

    Edit: You and I are likely to continue bumping heads, I have a feeling. That's okay. As long as we can understand why it is we're hashing this stuff out, I'm fine with some prodding. It makes me a better person and more valuable to the site as a tester. Mostly, it helps me grow as a person.
    I don't intend to take the role of rogue tester. Obviously I want to stay within some confines of what we, as a community, can agree to as far as testing goes (I even sent you guys a PM earlier to discuss some testing parameters). However, the idea that I must be held down in place and follow a strict set of rules, to me, is a bit outlandish. Why do I feel that way? Well, let's look at the previous few posts and consider how trivial the subject matter really is. Or, at least, I see it as trivial.

    We're adults here. We're not children. I personally don't need to be treated like one. I realize the goals of this site and I realize why you want to keep things between a few certain individuals. But, if I must run all comments by anyone before making them, then I'm not on board. If that's an issue, then we'll talk to Nyugen since it's his stuff. If it's best that I not do it, then I understand. Gary, you're up to bat. I'd love to keep going, though. I just won't do so at the expense of not being able to discuss the product even outside a test contextual thread.
    You're right: I volunteered to do the testing and pass data on to this site. However, this site was not even in anyone's mind when I acquired the test hardware/software.

    At the end of the day, I'd love to stay on board. That's the goal here. But, I want to be able to speak my mind on a product, no matter where it came from. If I don't have the liberty to do that, then what good am I, and for that matter, are any of us here?

    Ahh... just what we wanted. Headbutting over testing before it even begins.

    If it upsets you badly enough, give me a buzz. You've got my phone number, man.
    We can hash this stuff out and move on rather quickly. Otherwise, I don't have anything left to say on the matter. And, with that, I'll officially check out of this argument. Not because of cowardice. I just don't want to spend more time or energy on this subject (I spent nearly 2 hours of my night trying to defend my original statement... in retrospect it's not worth it). It's exhausting arguing this stuff. I don't want you and I to start off on the wrong foot. I just can't help but feel belittled by your recent posts. Thus, my replies back to you on the subject. Until I had read the above, I was done, but I felt the need to clarify my stance so that anyone else watching this understands where I'm coming from.

    So, again, I'm ready to make this relationship work, lol. I don't know if it's your style to micro manage, but I'd appreciate a little slack on my leash. ;)
    We'll make it fine. Like they say in AA: One day at a time.


    - Erin
    Last edited by ErinH; 10-10-2010 at 02:13 AM.
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  9. #9
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    First things first, any objection to me moving the last few posts to another thread?


    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    I think you took my comments out of context. I never said it was about being "brave" or implied it as such. My "say it to your face" comment was in regards to not feeling like I can't make a comment on something we're given to test. If we feel a certain way about a product, we should be free to share it. I don't have to be a scientist to pick up something and feel that it's build quality is less than stellar and we don't really need tests on the matter.
    That's fine, but your "feelings" aren't what the testing is about. We're after the data. The data provides the necessary context for the discussion and without it the comments put forth can be neither supported nor refuted.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    Regardless what "role" I took here, I see no reason that should stop me from still being able to say "it feels cheap". Zaph himself categorizes build quality in his assessments. He has hard data and he also has his "Commentary and Review" section. If I must defend myself, I'll simply ask what makes my "commentary" any less viable than his. Since, again, we often cite his tests as a 'look to' for my own.
    He has all the data when making his comments. He doesn't grab a driver out of a box and make predictions. He even has a section at the top where he explains how he judges build quality.

    Note how he is rather detailed and sticks to more objective statements about the build quality, and appears to do so with all the data in hand when making connections to performance.
    - The stamped frame surely helps keep the price low but doesn't impact performance too much.
    -This woofer has a very good build quality however price has doubled since it was tested. There is a cast metal frame and a nice coated pulp fiber cone.
    - Off center phase plugs have been visible on some HDS drivers but not bad enough to rub or affect performance.
    - Excellent build quality. Well ventilated motor with a fabric dust guard. Machined phase plug with tight gap tolerances.


    That's what makes a comment like "feels cheap" less valuable than his commentary.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    Again, my comments were not to be taken in a "test conclusion" format,. Since we're going on record, I'll go on record and say that the comment fits here in the context of this thread where others are discussing it. It wouldn't matter if I were a regular joe or a pro tester... the simple fact is that it looks and feels like a "cheap" driver. There's no way not to notice that and no reason why I should not be allowed to comment on that. But, I'll tell you what... if you want to take a poll or get Chad and Gary involved and you guys can all agree that me commenting on the appearance somehow influences the final outcome then I'll never comment on the build quality again. But, that leaves me to wonder where I would ever be 'allowed' to say it. Because, if I can't make that comment in a thread dedicated to the driver itself, I'm left to wonder where can I say it.
    You stop being a regular joe when you become "tester". You know that. People hung on npdang's every word in driver discussions, whether it was in a formal test or not. The problem is not the fact that you commented on build quality. The problem is that you connected it to predicted performance without having data to back up that claim. When you say things like "they don't seem promising" you are obviously making prejudgements without a complete set of data. How can you see it any other way?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    You make an EXCELLENT point above when you say this:
    Well I thought I did, but based on your next paragraph here, I'm not sure I made the point I wanted to.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    So, then, why must there be a direct correlation between build quality and performance? You obviously seem to be implying the notion that there is, otherwise I don't understand why you would be on me so much about making a comment in this thread about it.
    There does not have to be a direct correlation. I actually came right out and said that while perceptions of build quality may often line up with performance, it's not an absolute. Again, the reason I'm "on you" is because not everyone in the audience understands that. We don't know the entire audience and absent any other supporting information, an average person may get to a line like "feels cheap" or "doesn't seem promising" and skip the rest. If instead the description simply states the some facts (ex. cast basket / nice glue joints / well centered phase plug, etc ) then they can just read further to hear how those observations relate to the data. It's even okay to say something like "basket deflects easily" because that provides way more information than a vague statement like "feels cheap". Even then I would refrain until all the data is available because of the context issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    As if to say me commenting on the build without data will influence my own testing on it, or others' desire to try it?
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    Well, that's what a review is for... I may not have 'review' in the title, but it is the very first thing most discuss (other than how well something was packaged ;)) in speaker reviews and can cite over a hundred posts (along with aforementioned Zaph commentary) to provide as evidence. Though, I'm sure you are already aware.
    And in many of those cases, that commentary came with a full collection of data from which readers could draw their own conclusions. That isn't the case here.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    You even did the same yourself:
    I'm sure searching for "build quality" in my posts on DIYMA was thrilling, but please note the following differences: a) the quoted comment occurred in the "off-topic" section, b) I was in no way a "tester" nor was there any promise of a test, c) I didn't connect it to predicted performance and only said I couldn't wait to hear them.


    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    Personally, I think you're vesting too much energy into my assessment on the build quality. I've conceded that my wording was off. My apologies to the forum for potentially misleading anyone (though, the post was edited quickly after you pointed the issue out).
    I'm putting energy into this not because of the earlier comments alone but rather because it is indicative of an approach to the process which I find problematic in that it is less than disciplined and opens the door for people to question the testing and accompanying commentary.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    And, while you may be upset and think I'm implying a censorship, I feel it's downright condescending to make a comment such as "I'll send you a PM" when anyone with half a brain knows where you're going with it. So, there. We're even.
    Did you think it was an attempt at censorship based on the source of the drivers? I still fail to see where you ever got that idea. I'll post it below since you want everything out in the open. It was about you not sticking to the original plan. We previously discussed circulating the data and writeup amongst a small group to iron out the details. You elected to skip that step and now we get to have this conversation in a thread.

    You don't have a written test protocol, you don't have a standard writeup format, the testing and commentary right now is wide open to questioning from the outside.

    The aforementioned PM:
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    The plan
    Erin,

    First, I again appreciate you taking on the driver testing task. It's a huge amount of work and carries with it a lot of responsibility, the latter being the more daunting in my opinion.

    To that point, I think we need to stick to the original plan about circulating both data and commentary on any driver testing prior to posting it for public consumption. There is a lot at stake beyond just the CSS driver here. Without having a documented test protocol and explanation of the methods used and why, we risk undermining the validity of the results before we really even get off the ground. With a well defined and formally documented testing protocol, you won't have to say "I tried x,y, and z" to get an anomaly to disappear. The test protocol should be rigid and sufficiently vetted such that the results are just the results and don't require additional qualification about how they were obtained beyond a normal reference to a documented test protocol. Under those conditions the data simply is the data.

    I know you don't mean to make any disparaging commentary without data to support it, but when wearing my "random visitor" hat that's the way I read the previous comments about the CSS drivers not seeming promising. I don't think you are necessarily wrong, just premature. Comments like that, coming from trusted members, can sometimes be enough for people to not go any further to get the real info. And words like "cheap" only further that problem, which is why we went with "low-cost" in naming the "high value, low cost, audio solutions" sub-forum.

    We also need to be careful about what drivers we compare to one another. I think it is sufficient to let the individual driver data stand on it's own. Let others make the plot comparisons if they like. Zaph's various tests all show individual plots. When two plots are overlayed it implies a valid comparison when there in fact may be much more to the picture than the data presented in the plot. It's certainly objectively valid to compare the CSS and Scan, but I'd ask whether it is really a comparison that people are making in the real world when choosing between two drivers.
    If we eventually do some testing of groups of drivers at once, there may be a reason to allow two drivers to go head to head, but I think it would be an exception rather than a rule.

    It's easy to take a lot of this for granted when we're used to dealing with just each other. We all know the assumptions and caveats common to this sort of testing, but when we are posting public test results on behalf of the site as a whole, we have to anticipate all audiences and that requires a lot of additional rigor in both the data and it's presentation. A lot of people don't know how to weight these various data points. They don't know how testing on a baffle differs from usage in a car door. Frankly, they don't know much, especially when they are arriving on the site simply because they typed the driver model number into Google.

    We just don't want to provide anything less than the best information we're capable of and end up dealing with some controversy that could have been easily avoided with some standardized methodology in both the testing and presentation. If we are careful to make sure each and every driver is given the exact same treatment, down to the most minute detail, from testing to commentary, we can be more certain that people can use our information for valid comparisons and hopefully avoid any major issues that would impugn our credibility.

    I know we're at the very beginning stages here, and that's the reason for my emphasis on this stuff. We have an opportunity to really do it right from the start and avoid the mistakes we've seen elsewhere (we'll probably discover some new ones on our own).

    Anyway, I again really appreciate the effort. It's a demanding task and I don't want to sit here casting dispersions from afar, but I also feel like we need to be very measured and deliberate in our actions for the good of the site. So lets get a test protocol under our belts first, then go from there.

    -Adam




    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    I'm all for discussing things out in the open. I don't think we need a secret diatribe to reprimand me for speaking my mind on this matter. I know and understand limits and ramifications. In this case, I just flat out disagree with you.
    I was trying to take it to PM to avoid hurting your feelings when reminding you of "the plan" (as I titled the PM). There is no reprimand. There is disagreement, which I'm perfectly amenable to hashing out in the open, though I will move to another thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    Edit: You and I are likely to continue bumping heads, I have a feeling. That's okay. As long as we can understand why it is we're hashing this stuff out, I'm fine with some prodding. It makes me a better person and more valuable to the site as a tester. Mostly, it helps me grow as a person.
    I don't intend to take the role of rogue tester. Obviously I want to stay within some confines of what we, as a community, can agree to as far as testing goes (I even sent you guys a PM earlier to discuss some testing parameters). However, the idea that I must be held down in place and follow a strict set of rules, to me, is a bit outlandish. Why do I feel that way? Well, let's look at the previous few posts and consider how trivial the subject matter really is. Or, at least, I see it as trivial.
    I wanted a testing protocol developed so we would have something to point to when posting results. The goal was standardization from test to test, person to person. Between that and not posting predictions until we have all the data, I don't think it's a terribly strict set of rules. It's diligence.

    The subject of the credibility of MSS driver testing is anything but trivial in my view.


    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    We're adults here. We're not children. I personally don't need to be treated like one. I realize the goals of this site and I realize why you want to keep things between a few certain individuals. But, if I must run all comments by anyone before making them, then I'm not on board. If that's an issue, then we'll talk to Nyugen since it's his stuff. If it's best that I not do it, then I understand. Gary, you're up to bat. I'd love to keep going, though. I just won't do so at the expense of not being able to discuss the product even outside a test contextual thread.
    You're right: I volunteered to do the testing and pass data on to this site. However, this site was not even in anyone's mind when I acquired the test hardware/software.
    I need you to understand that when you take on the role of tester, you take on additional responsibility in all the comments you make. It's not about running the comments by a group forever, it's about making sure you have accurate and reliable data to back up the comments. A "tester" is always going to be held to a higher level of scrutiny and will have to be very measured when discussing drivers that are in their hands for review. It's easier to do that when you have all the data in front of you.

    It is a burden, no doubt.


    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    At the end of the day, I'd love to stay on board. That's the goal here. But, I want to be able to speak my mind on a product, no matter where it came from. If I don't have the liberty to do that, then what good am I, and for that matter, are any of us here?
    Again with the implications that this has something to do with where it came from. You are at liberty to speak your mind, but if you are supposed to be the "MSS tester" and are thus speaking on the sites behalf, the commentary needs to be based on ALL the data. Having all the data may not change your final opinion, but casting predictions prior to having all the information is dangerous, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    Ahh... just what we wanted. Headbutting over testing before it even begins.
    I knew this was going to happen. That's why we had "the plan". The goal was to work it out before anything was posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    If it upsets you badly enough, give me a buzz. You've got my phone number, man.
    We can hash this stuff out and move on rather quickly. Otherwise, I don't have anything left to say on the matter. And, with that, I'll officially check out of this argument. Not because of cowardice. I just don't want to spend more time or energy on this subject (I spent nearly 2 hours of my night trying to defend my original statement... in retrospect it's not worth it). It's exhausting arguing this stuff. I don't want you and I to start off on the wrong foot. I just can't help but feel belittled by your recent posts. Thus, my replies back to you on the subject. Until I had read the above, I was done, but I felt the need to clarify my stance so that anyone else watching this understands where I'm coming from.
    I wasn't trying to belittle you, but your posts gave me an impression that you don't have a full appreciation of the burden that come with being a tester. Again, the whole reason we had set up the plan to discuss it among a small group was to avoid having this discussion after comments were posted. Working collaboratively to evaluate the data and draft comments was supposed to be a way to work through these inevitable initial issues without any drama.


    Quote Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
    So, again, I'm ready to make this relationship work, lol. I don't know if it's your style to micro manage, but I'd appreciate a little slack on my leash. ;)
    We'll make it fine. Like they say in AA: One day at a time.

    - Erin
    I don't even want to be holding your leash. I want the testing protocol to define the course of action during testing and I want results presented in a consistent and complete format, commentary included.

    With the right process in place I shouldn't have to micro-manage and you shouldn't have to tiptoe. That was the point of taking our time before posting anything.

    You are correct in stating that we'll be fine. Testing will never be an easy task, but it should get less painful over time. :thumbsup:
    Last edited by Adam_MSS; 10-10-2010 at 09:02 AM.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



  10. #10
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    More productive discussion moved to: MSS Testing Plan Development
    Last edited by Adam_MSS; 10-10-2010 at 12:27 PM.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



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