Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shocked by the Disk Space Used by iPhoto - When QE Experience Comes in Handy

I was backing up by iPhoto library today and was shocked to see that had recently grown in size by about 6GB. This increase in disk usage happened while I had added no more than (100) or so new pictures.


At first, I assumed that some form of corruption had happened. On closer inspection, however, I found the true culprit:

du -h | grep G
6.0G ./iPod Photo Cache
1.0G ./Modified/2007
2.6G ./Modified
2.0G ./Originals/2007
1.6G ./Originals/2008
1.2G ./Originals/2009
6.8G ./Originals
16G .
Nothing had happened to the iPhoto library or database. The increase in disk space usage was due to my finally getting an iPod that could handle pictures. ;-)

But - there's a lesson here that all software QE engineers have learned. When you think you've found a new bug, you have to examine the software under test for any changes, AND you also have to examine the environment in which the software runs for changes.

I like to look at software testing as an exercise in algebra. Your task is to take a very complex equation and find its answer. In that equation, you have some variables to resolve. The trick some times is that the variables may not be so obvious at first! Even if they are 6GB in size...


xkahn said...

OTOH, 6 Gigs of photo cache? That seems a little excessive for photos. Sure, you might have a lot of photos, but the ipod screen is pretty low resolution. Why do you need so much space? And what good is the cache anyway?

Jonathan said...

How big was your new iPod? Does it really justify a 6GB cache?

It seems like a waste of space to me: if I were testing this project, I'd ask my developers to justify such a big cache for a device that hasn't been used yet.

My $.02 :-)