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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I agree that you should try your hardest to at least have *some* sort of regression testing in place.

    But the problem with the above approach is that it's fragile. I know, because one of the codebases I work with has a *lot* of tests like that. And they're very noisy. So noisy that they tend to get ignored. And most cases where a test complains, it's some environmental or transient issue, or a false positive (i.e. someone has made a change that breaks the tests but hasn't introduced a bug).

    This is compounded

    • Not all of that is necessarily a symptom of using the approach you suggest (there are a lot of other issues with the test framework we're using), but I think you perhaps underestimate how hard it can be to get it right.

      I can assure you that I've been down this road many, many times. For most companies I start with, I almost immediately find out that if they have a test suite, it's usually broken or limited in very fundamental ways. If they don't have a test suite, they always have a wide variety of excuses, few of which really hold water.

      You are correct that the approach I outline can be problematic at times, but the advantage that such integration tests give you that unit tests do not is twofold:

      1. You can write the te
      • by Mutant321 (8646) on 2008.07.21 5:59 (#63973)

        Yeah, I think you're right, it's about a commitment to testing. Using integration tests is fine as an interim solution, but it must be used as a stepping stone to writing a real test suite (which to my mind is based primarily on unit tests). Otherwise you don't gain a lot.

        Of course, it's easy for the PHB to say "we've already got tests, don't we?" But that's another issue, really.