Stop 29119

To the President of the International Organization for Standardisation,

We, the undersigned, hereby petition the International Organization for Standardisation to suspend publication of ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-4 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-5, and to withdraw ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-1, ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-2 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-3.

It is our view that significant disagreement and sustained opposition exists amongst professional testers as to the validity of these standards, and that there is no consensus (per definition 1.7 of ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004) as to their content.

The board of the ISST (International Society for Software Testing), and the following signatories:


  • Cem Kaner Software testing has not approximated a consensus even on its vocabularity, let alone the basic processes. Leading people in the field often disagree about whether a given practice is good or bad. In some cases, the differences of evaluation of the same practice range from should-be-mandatory to indicative-of-incompetence. We see strong divergences within the academic community as well as within the practitioner communities. The "standards" movement within software testing has long been heavily politicized. Their objective seems to be to impose a set of ideas on people who would not otherwise agree to them, "for their own good" and for the good of the stakeholders who find it profitable to invest enough to dominate the standards-development process. Within the broader software engineering community, the Agile Manifesto reflected exactly the same irritation with exactly the same mix of mythology, self-interest, and pious ignorance. It is unfortunate that ISO appears to have learned nothing from that rebellion.
    -- Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Software Engineering

  • Sarah Teugels * A standard where you have to pay to even know the standard, doesn't encourage discussion, and so it hinders improving said standard.
    * It doesn't make any sense to have a standard based on information from only a single point of view, i.e. the wish that there would be such a standard.
    * Where is the proof that this "standard" works any better than, let's say, inviting your kids over to work to start testing? Did anyone even *test* the theories that support this "standard"?

    The documents should at least be public property, so they can be discussed & tested in public (with the ability to reference the source materials without having to pay for it). That way, whatever *can* be standardized, might become a bit more apparent. Even if I personally don't believe there is much that can be standardized yet, I'm willing to discuss it.

  • Matthew Heusser The AA battery is standardized on current and size -- an interface standard. It was the /lack/ of a content standard that allowed the battery to improve over the past 30 years - from standard to heavy-duty to alkaline, all the while getting longer-lasting, less likely to leak, able to withstand greater temperatures, longer storable, and so on. ISO 29119 is a content standard; it will inhibit the progress of testing.

    Not only that, there is no consensus within the field on this and the methods advocated haven't been tried - that is, the standard does not emerge from practice. For reference, consider another test process standard, IEEE 829. It also did not emerge from practice, had a mixed reception, and is mostly irrelevant to testing today.

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Recent signatures

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    Ory Zaidenvorm

    11 hours ago Comments: A "there's only one correct way to do testing" approach is disastrous for software
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    Henning Troelsen

    14 hours ago Comments: -
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    Virginia Messina

    16 hours ago Comments: -
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Petition highlights

  • We are now live!