Cem Kaner has written a post “The Oracle Problem and the Teaching of Software Testing”.
My comment to that is waiting for moderation. I’m publishing it here, as he is probably too busy to handle all the comments on his blog.
I agree that the Hoffman list is better suited for automation, mostly due to being more focused.
But I can not agree that Bach/Bolton list is not helpful for designing tests.
For the exam question I would start with asking what was changed, why the new version – before thinking about specific oracles for test automation. I cannot test everything, and even If there will be additional manual testing I would still run into deadlines. Thus I would need to narrow my testing scope. For that I would use the Bach/Bolton consistency heuristics, in order to understand the change and its impact on the product, its claims, purpose, etc. And then I would go into automating my tests and using the Hoffman list do help me design them.
And whenever I find a possible problem I can then use both lists to figure out if I have a problem, in the product or in my oracles.
Using either list effectively means that it needs to be updated according to project specifics. The more detailed and focused the list of heuristics is the more it needs to be adapted to the current project.
Bach/Bolton list is more generic, thus needing thinking testers to use them with their full potential. They need to expand the heuristics to bring them to the level for using in daily testing, be it manual or automation.