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Re: Re: Automatic Test Suites

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  • Shlomi Fish
    ... Well, then I may have taken the joke too seriously and believed it reflected your opinion. Naturally, some open-source projects can rely on their users to
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 4, 2003
      On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Omer Zak wrote:

      >
      > On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:
      >
      > > On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Omer Zak wrote:
      > >
      > > >
      > > > On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Now Chen asked me if I have prepared such automatic tests for Freecell
      > > > > Solver, and I answered that I did not encounter it. OmerZ took the
      > > > > opposite approach and claimed open-source developers should not bother
      > > > > with automatic tests and should rely on their users for them.
      > > >
      > > > Where&when did I say the above?
      > > >
      > >
      > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hackers-il/message/1491
      > >
      > > Although it could have been a joke...
      >
      > It was indeed a joke.The above message contained two contributions of
      > mine to Shlomi Fish's "The Rules of Open-Source Programming".
      >

      Well, then I may have taken the joke too seriously and believed it
      reflected your opinion. Naturally, some open-source projects can rely on
      their users to locate bugs for them. This is especially true of a project
      which does not have very good security concerns, or a GUI one that is hard
      to test automatically.

      Still, if you can write test suites, than maybe you should, despite the
      fact that a large number of projects (including mine) don't bother to.

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish

      > --- Omer
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      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
    • guy keren
      ... i ve seen several good test suites, and i ve participated in writing 2 others. i distinguish between correctness tests and stress tests. correctness tests
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 4, 2003
        On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:

        > My question is: what experience have you had with automatic test suites?
        > How much do they help identifying bugs and broken code? What kind of tests
        > would you recommend?

        i've seen several good test suites, and i've participated in writing 2
        others. i distinguish between correctness tests and stress tests.

        correctness tests deal with checking that a specific function is done
        properly (gives the expected reuslts). this is mostly useful when you
        re-write your code and want to make sure it didn't break, or when you add
        new features to a large feature-full project.

        stress tests deal with bombarding your code in some manner, and making
        sure it does not crash. this is useful both in early development stage,
        and when the project is mature.

        i've seen stress testing doing a lot of good, both for the developers, and
        for users. as a developer - it helps finding instability bugs, races and
        the like. its not somehting that comes instead of manual testing - but
        rather complements it.

        when a project is small, or does something small, it is rather easy to
        test it. when it becomes large, and contains a lot of features, manual
        tests simply don't cope well with the task. when i was working on large
        industry project, which was first only being tested manually, i saw that
        we got bugs re-crawling into the system (sometimes the same bugs,
        soemtimes new bugs with the same symptoms). after a while, the testing
        team started writing automatic tests for the code (it was driven by a GUI
        on Unix, so they used X-runner for the testing) - and eventually, a single
        machine was dedicated to run automatic regression tests on the latest
        'internal release' version of the code all the time - and this helped us
        find bugs faster. finding a bug close to when you create it is very
        helpful - since it usually lies in the new code you just added (thought
        someitmes its a bug in the old code, that the new code now exposed due to
        using the old code in new ways).

        thus, i think my (current) conclusion is that automatic tests should be
        developed along side the development of the software, and the ammount of
        effort spent on it, should be proportional to the size and complexity of
        the software, as well as to the maturity stage of the software (the more
        mature it is - the more tests you need in order to make sure it keeps
        ticking).

        --
        guy

        "For world domination - press 1,
        or dial 0, and please hold, for the creator." -- nob o. dy
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