Today I attended the Microsoft Research Group's Techfest.  It's like a giant science fair for the folk over in MS Research to strut their stuff and show us blue badges the latest and greatest in the world of technology.  Anyways, I can't say much other than I was VERY impressed. 

In particular, a lecture by Colin Campbell from the Foundations of Software Engineering group was particularly interesting.( One of the often forgotten areas of research is that of formal software testing practices.  I'm sure that everyone out there who's been through Electrical Engineering/Digital Electronics 101 courses knows about finite state machines and how you can model event driven scenarios as as set of transitions between various states.  In fact, I remember an interview question somewhere in which I was asked to model a Pop machine as an FSM in order to test it.  Anyways, the basis of using this model for testing comes from a language called ASML (Abstract State Machine Language).  The idea is that ASML provides a way to communicate a design non-ambiguosly, and that you can identify the behaviours of your component and generate tests from this specification.

Check out the free download:   Cool stuff, eh?

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