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92845VS: [XP] Test Driven Exceptions

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  • lasse.koskela@accenture.com
    Jun 3, 2004
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      > > Lasse:
      > > ... which inevitably
      > > leads to having some catch-clauses without matching tests (*until I get
      > > to writing the tests for those exceptional cases*). Obviously the time
      > > frame isn't too long, but it's still not technically test-first.
      > John:
      > For the sake of argument, I'll take that last statement to mean that you
      > write the tests for the newly created exceptional cases immediately after
      > making the "normal" case work.

      Yes. "Immediately" being in the range of a couple of minutes.

      > John:
      > Part of the larger question is where the line is drawn between the
      > pro-activeness of "test first design" driven test writing and, in your
      > example, the reactive "high-quality software" driven test writing
      > (motivated by the concern for high-percentage code coverage).
      > Obviously (I hope), it's possible to take a completely pro-active stance.
      > However, in terms of the more blended approaches, one technique that hasn't
      > been mentioned so far is the "backtracking is okay, listen to what the code
      > is telling you approach". Basically, in your example, once you started
      > writing that code which would introduce the exceptional cases, you could
      > backtrack (out of the existing "normal" code test (put it on the top of
      > your task stack)) and write the necessary test(s) just for the exceptional
      > case(s) and then come back to the "normal" case test and continue.

      I hadn't thought of that. My initial gut feeling is that such backtracking would still be a bit backwards in terms of importance -- the way I see it, the normal case has more value to the customer than the exceptional cases.

      - Lasse -

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