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samtregar (2699)

samtregar
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http://sam.tregar.com/

Journal of samtregar (2699)

Saturday October 16, 2004
11:25 AM

I can't stop testing!

[ #21373 ]
I'm doing some work on a large body of code which lacks an automated test suite (MKDoc). My job at the moment isn't to add automated tests to the code, although I hope to take a crack at that in the near future. I figured I'd just wing it like I used to in the bad old days. How bad could it be?

However, I didn't realize just how strong my addiction to tests had become! After a few hours of coding I couldn't keep going. The code felt wrong. I couldn't see any problems but I knew they must be there. I hadn't proved the code worked, so why would it? I started getting paranoid and my code got more and more defensive. Clearly this wasn't going to work.

So I broke down, added a t/ directory with a single test file and started back into test-driven development. The newish prove command made this particularly easy since I didn't need to add a Makefile, just:

$ prove t

Ah, much better now!

-sam

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  • somehow in all the press of things to study I somehow missed out reading about 'prove'. Thanks, I needed that! :D
  • I had the same experience recently. I was working on a web app that we were told needed to be done very quickly. I figured I didn't have time for automated tests, so I was back to refreshing in the browser.

    What a nightmare! After about half a day, I was back writing tests again and I finally got productive. It truly is a myth that automated tests take more time.
  • What are you using it for? I can't quite tell what it offers by looking at the website. Are you doing something hat requires internationalized text?
    • I'm actually doing development *on* MKDoc, rather than with it. They lost their lead developer a couple months ago and I answered the call.

      As to what MKDoc offers, I'm not entirely up-to-speed. It's a dynamic application platform, which makes it a very different kind of content-management system than Krang or Bricolage. It supports a lot of front-end interactivity that's hard to do with a static publisher: personalization, forums, polls, search, etc. There's also a lot of emphasis on accessability and