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Re: [XP] Agile requirements

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  • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
    From: David Chelimsky To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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      From: "David Chelimsky"
      <david.at.objectmentor.com@...>
      To: "extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com"
      <extremeprogramming.at.yahoogroups.com@...>
      Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 8:38 AM
      Subject: Re: [XP] Agile requirements


      > Jim Shore wrote:
      >> I would suggest using NUnit to test everything that you as programmers
      >> feel should be tested. I don't see Fit as a testing tool.
      >>
      >> I use Fit to provide examples of complicated requirements. I don't
      >> try to test everything with Fit; I mainly just focus on examples of
      >> domain logic. I only occasionally provide examples of UI interaction
      >> or data translation: as a rule of thumb, I don't do it unless the UI
      >> interaction or data translation is complicated or Fit would
      >> facilitate discussion with non-programmers.
      >>
      >> I see NUnit and Fit as being orthogonal. They solve different
      >> problems and it's not that important that they both end up comparing
      >> 'expected' and 'actual' results.
      >>
      >> What's complicated about the application you're building? What's the
      >> "secret sauce"--the magic know-how that your application provides that
      >> no one else does? Provide Fit examples of that.
      >>
      >> I use TDD for everything, even if it has Fit examples too. When I
      >> write my NUnit tests, I use different data than my Fit examples. I
      >> TDD from a programming perspective... using data that reflects my
      >> knowledge of the program's edge cases, zero-one-many scenarios, etc.
      >>
      >> Cheers,
      >> Jim
      >>
      > I've generally operated this same way, but I've been having some second
      > thoughts. I was going to just respond here, but it got somewhat verbose
      > so I posted it:
      > http://butunclebob.com/ArticleS.DavidChelimsky.WhyLimitFit.
      > Coincidentally, that decision allowed me to better express some of the
      > things I had started to write in an email.
      >
      > Looking forward to your (Jim's and everyone else's) comments either here
      > or on the blog.

      I think there's an element here that really does need expressing: _choice_.

      I'd like to keep a separation between the external specification, which
      ultimately comes from the customers and which needs to be expressed
      in the terms natural to the business we're supporting, and the internal
      specification, which, while necessarilly related to the external
      specification,
      may be related in ways which may not be directly expressable.

      However, "may" does not equal "must". I've also noted that there are
      a class of tables which seem to map, very plainly and simply, to
      objects (or something) in the software, and where separate tests are
      not only redundant, they are a violation of the DRY principle: Don't
      repeat yourself.

      The biggest example I've got here (within FIT) is the mapping from
      labels to programming language identifiers. The unittest (unittest is
      Python's version of xUnit) code for this duplicates the table in
      Rick Mugridge's specification suite for ExtendedCamelCase.
      I've got other examples, and I've noticed the tendency to write
      some HTML, especially to drive fixtures from the doTable,
      doRows or doRow methods.

      I don't think there's a real way around this since so much of
      FIT revolves around the parse tree. I don't think I'd do this
      in most real world applications, since the closest they get
      to HTML is the FIT fixtures. The problem just doesn't occur
      unless you're either working on FIT or on an HTML part of
      a web application.

      Much of the rest is simply tool support. Living in a tool
      impoverished world gives me a somewhat different perspective.
      I don't, for example, have anything that lets me click on a line
      in a stack trace and go directly to the line in the code. I run
      all my tests from a script in a command window. This may be
      dark ages, but it does give me more leverage in running tests.
      If I want to run FIT in my "t all" script, then it's very simple:
      just add the necessary commands to the script. All I need
      then is a way to specify which tests are wired directly to
      functionality, and I'm almost home.

      As it turns out, it's relatively easy in FitNesse to say
      which tests to run: that's the virtual suite functionality.
      I've got the same functionality (plus more) in batch that
      will be in my 0.8 release. What's now missing is a way
      of looking at the output and pinpointing anything that
      went wrong (that is, stack traces).

      In counterpoint though, I think Jim's viewpoint has one
      really major plus: keeping things separate reduces coupling,
      and coupling impacts our ability to change. Do I really want
      the customer changing tables that I'm using as part of my
      program specification suite? Especially if the change impacts
      the design in a way that I can no longer use the table directly
      as a developer specification?

      John Roth


      > Thanks,
      > David
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • David Chelimsky
      ... John - I appreciate the notion of keeping things separate. I don t want the customer changing tables that *I m* using as *programmer tests*. So that s a
      Message 2 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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        yahoogroups@... wrote:
        > In counterpoint though, I think Jim's viewpoint has one
        > really major plus: keeping things separate reduces coupling,
        > and coupling impacts our ability to change. Do I really want
        > the customer changing tables that I'm using as part of my
        > program specification suite? Especially if the change impacts
        > the design in a way that I can no longer use the table directly
        > as a developer specification?
        John - I appreciate the notion of keeping things separate. I don't want
        the customer changing tables that *I'm* using as *programmer tests*. So
        that's a problem if we're trying to reduce duplication - especially with
        the current lack of good FIT refatoring tools. I'd probably end up w/
        duplication between the customer's fit tests and mine :)

        However, I do get a little jealous of my customers who get to express
        their specs in this beautiful, simple, easy to glean tabular format when
        I feel sort of stuck w/ a less expressive tool (for certain problems) in
        xUnit. Obviously xUnit is extraordinarily expressive, and I have no
        interest in replacing xUnit w/ FIT as a unit testing tool. But I do want
        to be able to take advantage of FIT where it makes sense to do so.

        -David Chelimsky
      • Rob Park
        My 2 cents (or at least how we treat it) are that the details of your MVP, subsequent DAOs, and any of the other little individual things it must do are
        Message 3 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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          My 2 cents (or at least how we treat it) are that the details of your MVP,
          subsequent DAOs, and any of the other little individual things it must do
          are subjects for unit testing (aka programmer tests). Fit fixtures can be
          written to tap into your presenter (as just another view). Then you can
          right FitNesse tests (aka customer tests) to simulate and test important
          customer actions, which inevitably are very closely aligned with the story
          (more than the code itself).

          Hope that helps.

          .rob.

          >...
          >
          >Now we are starting to gather the requirements. My usual way, the XP way
          >is to plan the first relase first, by having a pile of user stories, then
          >adding details to them as acceptance tests, more when the iteration is
          >planned. However, writing FIT tests in fitnesse seems like a very nice
          >thing to do, but what confuses us is what should be automated as
          >unit/integration tests with NUnit/NMock and what should be automated as
          >Fit tests?
          >
          >For instance, obviously an application like this will have an order form,
          >order will have a list of order details. My way would be to build the
          >form, using TDD and the MVP pattern. At the same time, I think that I
          >could construct a test as a fit table, them make an adapter, and build the
          >part of the form to make the test pass, build a new one and so on until I
          >have m order form constructed. Fit tests are much more visual, but a lot
          >slower. What should I do? What should really be Fit tests and what NUnit?
          >Where's the line?
          >
          >Thanks,
          >Dan
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >On Thu, 01 Dec 2005 06:20:22 +0200, Jim Shore <jshore@...>
          >wrote:
          >
          > > I've just posted a new essay on my blog titled "How I Use Fit." It's
          > > based on my recent post to this group about Fit and TDD.
          > >
          > > As I look back, I realize that I've now closed the circle on a pretty
          > > substantial cycle of essays on agile requirements. I now cover
          > > everything from planning months of releases down to how to write a
          > > single section of Fit document, the work of an hour. Pretty cool.
          > > (Hey, wait! Shouldn't I demand big bucks for this stuff?)
          > >
          > > * "Beyond Story Cards" describes how I prefer to handle requirements
          > > over the course of developing an entire software product.
          > > * "Fit Workflow" describes how I use Fit to facilitate collaboration on
          > > requirements during a single iteration.
          > > * "A Vision for Fit" gives a concrete example of using Fit to facilite
          > > collaboration.
          > > * Describe-Demonstrate-Develop, in "How I Use Fit" describes how I
          > > prefer to develop the Fit document, fixtures, and how actual software
          > > development comes into play.
          > > * "Elaborating on a Theme," also in "How I Use Fit," describes how I
          > > structure Fit documents and their examples.
          > >
          > > Find links to these essays at
          > > http://www.jamesshore.com/Blog/Agile-Requirements.html
          > >
          > > Cheers,
          > > Jim
          >
          >
          >
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        • Rick Mugridge
          ... Hi David, I have no problem, in principle, in using Fit for unit tests and JUnit for storytests. It depends on the abilities of the human readers and the
          Message 4 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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            David Chelimsky wrote:

            > ...
            >
            >However, I do get a little jealous of my customers who get to express
            >their specs in this beautiful, simple, easy to glean tabular format when
            >I feel sort of stuck w/ a less expressive tool (for certain problems) in
            >xUnit. Obviously xUnit is extraordinarily expressive, and I have no
            >interest in replacing xUnit w/ FIT as a unit testing tool. But I do want
            >to be able to take advantage of FIT where it makes sense to do so.
            >
            >-David Chelimsky
            >
            >
            Hi David,

            I have no problem, in principle, in using Fit for unit tests and JUnit
            for storytests. It depends on the abilities of the human readers and the
            writers, and then on the form of the tests as to which is best. (I also
            use Fit for defining builds and other things besides.)

            I do agree that the Customers' storytests need to be kept separate from
            the programmers' Fit unit tests. I also want to keep separate the Fit
            storytests that define the PUBLISHED LANGUAGE (DomainDrivenDesign) for a
            subsystem. And also the storytests that are specific to installation and
            on-site maintenance. And etc.

            Cheers, Rick
          • Rick Mugridge
            Yes, I think they re just tackling different levels of the system. With good tool support, I could image using Fit for all my unit testing as well. I look
            Message 5 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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              Yes, I think they're just tackling different levels of the system. With
              good tool support, I could image using Fit for all my unit testing as
              well. I look forward to trying this out.

              Cheers, Rick

              Steven Gordon wrote:

              > ...
              >
              >And, as Dadi points out, xUnit supports the automated verification of TDD
              >specifications, allowing them to also function as automated unit tests for
              >any software that purports to satisfy those specifications.
              >
              >Likewise, Fit/Fitnesse supports the automated verification of Application
              >Domain specifications, allowing them to also function as automated
              >integration tests for any software that purports to satisfy those
              >specifications.
              >
              >Two sides of two similar coins.
              >
              >Regards,
              >
              >Steve
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Rick Mugridge
              Hi David, Yes, I agree with your point of view and have seen it work very well in practice. With calculation rules like your validation table, it makes much
              Message 6 of 21 , Dec 2, 2005
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                Hi David,

                Yes, I agree with your point of view and have seen it work very well in
                practice. With calculation rules like your validation table, it makes
                much sense to have them expressed directly in the code, taking a domain
                driven design approach. I've noticed that tthe business logic often gets
                little attention, and this helps bring a focus to it.

                Of course, there still needs to be unit tests for driving the
                infrastructure (non domain) parts.

                Cheers, Rick

                David Chelimsky wrote:

                >Jim Shore wrote:
                >
                >
                >>I would suggest using NUnit to test everything that you as programmers
                >>feel should be tested. I don't see Fit as a testing tool.
                >>
                >>I use Fit to provide examples of complicated requirements. I don't try
                >>to test everything with Fit; I mainly just focus on examples of domain
                >>logic. I only occasionally provide examples of UI interaction or data
                >>translation: as a rule of thumb, I don't do it unless the UI interaction
                >> or data translation is complicated or Fit would facilitate discussion
                >>with non-programmers.
                >>
                >>I see NUnit and Fit as being orthogonal. They solve different problems
                >>and it's not that important that they both end up comparing 'expected'
                >>and 'actual' results.
                >>
                >>What's complicated about the application you're building? What's the
                >>"secret sauce"--the magic know-how that your application provides that
                >>no one else does? Provide Fit examples of that.
                >>
                >>I use TDD for everything, even if it has Fit examples too. When I write
                >>my NUnit tests, I use different data than my Fit examples. I TDD from a
                >>programming perspective... using data that reflects my knowledge of the
                >>program's edge cases, zero-one-many scenarios, etc.
                >>
                >>Cheers,
                >>Jim
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >I've generally operated this same way, but I've been having some second
                >thoughts. I was going to just respond here, but it got somewhat verbose
                >so I posted it:
                >http://butunclebob.com/ArticleS.DavidChelimsky.WhyLimitFit.
                >Coincidentally, that decision allowed me to better express some of the
                >things I had started to write in an email.
                >
                >Looking forward to your (Jim's and everyone else's) comments either here
                >or on the blog.
                >
                >Thanks,
                >David
                >
                >
                >
                >To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                >
                >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                >
                >ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Dominic Williams
                ... Surely, evolving an expressive and consise domain-specific language for the programmer tests is exactly the same exercise as what XP tells us to do with
                Message 7 of 21 , Dec 6, 2005
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                  David Chelimsky started:

                  > However, I do get a little jealous of my customers
                  > who get to express their specs in this beautiful,
                  > simple, easy to glean tabular format when I feel sort
                  > of stuck w/ a less expressive tool (for certain
                  > problems) in xUnit.

                  and Rick Mugridge continued:

                  > With good tool support, I could image using Fit for
                  > all my unit testing as well. I look forward to trying
                  > this out.

                  Surely, evolving an expressive and consise
                  domain-specific language for the programmer tests is
                  exactly the same exercise as what XP tells us to do
                  with the code?

                  I am wondering what it says about our programming
                  languages or our ability to use them creatively that
                  programmers should be wanting to use FIT rather than
                  code for programmer tests...

                  Would you still want to if you were coding in Lisp or
                  Smalltalk or Ruby or something?

                  Anyway, even with C++ or Java, I don't think I'd want
                  to do programmer tests in FIT: when coding tests is
                  painful, I know I need to improve the design.

                  Regards,

                  Dominic Williams
                  http://www.dominicwilliams.net

                  ----
                • Rick Mugridge
                  ... Please notice that I m not advocating this as a general approach! And I doubt that I ll end up wanting to change. But I think it s worth trying it. TDD
                  Message 8 of 21 , Dec 6, 2005
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                    Dominic Williams wrote:

                    >David Chelimsky started:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >>However, I do get a little jealous of my customers
                    >>who get to express their specs in this beautiful,
                    >>simple, easy to glean tabular format when I feel sort
                    >>of stuck w/ a less expressive tool (for certain
                    >>problems) in xUnit.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >and Rick Mugridge continued:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >>With good tool support, I could image using Fit for
                    >>all my unit testing as well. I look forward to trying
                    >>this out.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >Surely, evolving an expressive and consise
                    >domain-specific language for the programmer tests is
                    >exactly the same exercise as what XP tells us to do
                    >with the code?
                    >
                    >I am wondering what it says about our programming
                    >languages or our ability to use them creatively that
                    >programmers should be wanting to use FIT rather than
                    >code for programmer tests...
                    >
                    >
                    Please notice that I'm not advocating this as a general approach! And I
                    doubt that I'll end up wanting to change. But I think it's worth trying
                    it. TDD would be unknown if someone didn't try something that seemed
                    very odd to begin with. I often learn something from pushing the
                    boundaries, even if I just understand my assumptions better.

                    >Would you still want to if you were coding in Lisp or
                    >Smalltalk or Ruby or something?
                    >Anyway, even with C++ or Java, I don't think I'd want
                    >to do programmer tests in FIT: when coding tests is
                    >painful, I know I need to improve the design.
                    >
                    >
                    Fit could be useful is in setting up compex object structures, which can
                    be a real pain in Java. Ruby, of course, provides much better support
                    for this. But I personally prefer statically typed languages as a design
                    medium, having seriously tried a variety of types of language.

                    So, yes, it highlights the limits of the design of programming
                    languages, which are still (mostly) in the days of ascii.

                    Cheers, Rick

                    >Regards,
                    >
                    >Dominic Williams
                    >http://www.dominicwilliams.net
                    >
                    >


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