Saturday, April 14, 2007

The S60 Quality Assurance book

"S60 Smartphone Quality Assurance. A Guide for Mobile Engineers and Developers" by Saila Laitinen is not a good book. It's not even a finished product. Ironically, no quality assurance process at all seems to have been applied. Typos, spelling errors and grammatical errors make me lose concentration when reading, and they're all over this book. As the author is not a native English speaker, it's unbelievable that it hasn't even been proofread. The structure of the book is also quite strange: it starts with a few chapters on S60 phone development before it goes on with the main part, which is mostly about testing, and closes with a final chapter about the build environment. The last chapter quite obviously belongs to the first part. It might have been intended as an appendix, but doesn't read like one. The book also lacks a conclusion or summary. It just ends.

On the positive side, the actual information provided is quite interesting. The introductory chapters, on developing a smartphone, are good, but if you're interested in that, you're much better off reading "Symbian for Software Leaders" by David Wood. The main part, on quality assurance, contains a lot of good information, both general and Symbian/S60 specific. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a clear focus on the level of detail. Some parts read almost like a reference, eg. the lists of required material for testing specific applications in a phone, while the rest are much less detailed.

There are lots of other problems as well. Most of them aren't the author's fault. The problem seems to be that she did all the work, and the publisher did nothing. If a good editor had been involved in the project, this book would have been much better. Obviously, the only editor that was involved here was the text editor used to type the text.

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