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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • We're getting a disgusting amount of functionality out of this teeny-tiny program I wrote called simple_scan. It basically lets nearly anybody write TAP-based tests vs. anything you can talk to over HTTP.

    You use test specs to tell it what you want: [] /Yahoo!/ Y branded properly
    Run through simple_scan, that generates a nice Perl test that uses Test::WWW::Simple to see if the regex matches the page. Dead simple.

    It actually turns out that a lot of what we're worried about is "is the content there and in the right place on the page". And simple_scan, along with a little debugging code the demarcates the different sections of the page, lets us test boatloads of stuff without a line of code being written.

    This is important because our developers are harried PHP'ers who want to get the work out and not switch channels between two languages *just* different enough to cause problems, and because our project managers are generally people who know what the product is supposed to do, but aren't really programmers.

    So we have a nice tool that works for everybody. I'm not going into plugins and so on because I'm planning a presentation for next year's conferences on how this dead-simple approach is paying off big.

    See App::SimpleScan on CPAN if you want to play with it. More plugins on the way.

    • I should break down that test spec:
      1. URL to access
      2. regex to match against it
        • Y - match it
        • N - don't match it
        • TY - TODO, should eventually match
        • TN - TODO, should eventually not match
      3. comment

      And it's all TAP, so you can use Test::Harness to write tools to summarize. Should have lots more by CFP time.