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petdance (2468)

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I'm Andy Lester, and I like to test stuff. I also write for the Perl Journal, and do tech edits on books. Sometimes I write code, too.

Journal of petdance (2468)

Sunday April 23, 2006
01:18 AM

Tests are a binary issue

[ #29414 ]
I just released Test::Harness 2.57_06. I removed failing test percentages from the output. It's always seemed silly to have shades of grey in what is a black/white issue: Did the tests pass or fail?
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  • I don't like the change myself. I'm bright enough to figure out that anything less than 100% pass is bad when developing.

    When using other peoples test suites seeing, for example, 99% ok tells me something very different from seeing 3% ok. For me the difference between "nearly there apart form this bit of functionality that I don't care about" and "completely f**ked" is useful. Yes I can figure it out from the test/pass numbers - but the percentage gives me a handy overview. Math is hard! :-)

    Not something I
  • An implied question when I do a test run is "Did I screw up something fundamental, or just some edge case?" Numbers help me get that answer.
  • I use the percentages to track progress, and it's something I can point customers to.

    Was there some other reason for this change?
    • Other than removing extra code, and not wanting to support the "correctness" of that percentage, no. I had a ticket in RT where 99.994% rendered as 100%, which was misleading. But mostly it was because it just doesn't make sense to talk about tests in a way other than pass/fail. The whole end-of-the-run reporting system is on my short list to overhaul anyway.


  • Given that you are still reporting the number of failed tests, not displaying the fairly meaningless percentage is no loss at all.