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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I wonder if your post today was inspired by what I wrote in reply [perl.org] to your last post or we're just on the same wavelength with this. :)

    At YAPC::NA this year I did a lightning talk on a web-testing framework I built for a client*. The main topic was just that the tests were all data-driven, and because of that I gained a pile of great functionality, not least of which was the ability to turn my test suite into a benchmarking suite seamlessly.

    By running via prove or directly, each script was a set of unit
    • I think Alias addressed most of my would-be response, so I'll limit my comments to:

      All of the efforts I've personally seen to turn unit tests into benchmarks ended up being more of a benchmark of perl's compiler than anything else.  Unit tests tend to focus on tiny portions of the overall code, and test just them; they tend to not do unnecessary looping.  As such, the naive 'turn them into benchmarks' puts the loop around them, and unfortunately either re-evals them, or re-forks and evals them.

      One

      • Indeed, in this case the test harness *is* testing on a more functional/integration level. As we refactor the code that runs the client's site, we want to ensure that we neither break any part of the site nor slow it down.

        Still, using this type of technique has made me wonder if there is a good way of encouraging benchmarks of perl modules by piggy-backing on the tests.

        An example of this can be found in the test suite for Sort::Maker. http://search.cpan.org/dist/Sort-Maker/ [cpan.org] (It was actually Uri's advice to look at that module's tests that inspired the design of my website DDT code)

        I do understand that benchmarking typically needs much more "context" than unit tests, but a test harness with an API that enables/encourages 'performance comparisons' with other code that does the same thing could be a good springboard to get people providing benchmarkable code/tests in their CPAN dists.