Browsing the archives for the testing tag.

There’s No Time for That! – Testing the Untestable

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As I said earlier, I wanted to talk about other aspects of an event described by Matt Terry about us fixing a bug using a test first mentality.

If you look closely at his retrospective, you’ll notice a problem. Let me give you a hint. Look at the phrase, “The last thing we did was wire up our new methods in the appropriate places.” Got it? NO? Consider how that fits in temporally (time-wise) with the declaration that, “As you’d imagine, now our tests are passing.”

If you’re looking closely, we were actually writing tests against the wrong class. If we had written the tests against the right class, then there would be no need to wire things up. I didn’t see it either at first.

Enough dancing around the point. Here’s some concrete information. The scheduler uses reminders to schedule when an Android alarm or notification needs to occur. There are a few different types of reminders and that’s only important because I use a factory to build the reminders and their sub structures.

Where are the tests? I was testing the factory’s ability to build the correct structure, so that’s where I naturally started adding tests. I ended up duplicating logic for the scheduler in these tests. This turned out to be a problem in an earlier feature when I changed how the reminders were used and didn’t add them to the scheduler until I started system testing. It follows then that I should bring the scheduler in to the tests. That way when I change the way the reminders need to be used, the scheduler will change along side. And we won’t have an, “Awe, crap,” moment where we realized the reason it’s not working is because we only half solved it.

Why didn’t I test the scheduler? Because it was coupled to three things. I used the Android Alarm Manager, the Android Notification Manager, and time. Yes, Virginia, you can be coupled to time. I can uncouple the time at this level the same way I did at the reminder level: pass it in as a method parameter. But where does this stop? In my case I would choose to new up a GregorianCalendar at the Android Activity level. This is also where I would wrap the AlarmManager and NotificationManager so I can pass in test-doubles.

What’s the theory? It’s an application of the Ports and Adapters architecture. Ports and Adapters, also called “Hexagonal Architecture” can be applied in a fractal manner. It is a pattern of separating input and output from a business object. In our case the input is time and the outputs are the Alarms and Notifications. By thinking about this input / output metaphor I can pass in a time and wrappers for Alarms and Notifications that can tell the tests what values the scheduler outputs. Testing made easy! Okay. Easier.

Or, if I want to be cheap about it, I can wrap all three in protected methods and test a subclass of the scheduler that allows for injecting time and record when an alarm is to fire and what notification was displayed. There are a few reasons that this isn’t the best idea, but it is the quickest way to get this huge chunk of code under unit test and not rely on manual or system tests to ensure this code works.

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Crouching Donny, Iron Cucumber – An Experiment in Functional Testing

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I accidentally agreed to give a talk later this month. The subject is IronRuby and it’s application in the .NET ecosystem. Seems simple enough. So, to jazz things up, I want to have a host of demo applications. This is about one.

A while back, I posted an article with an example of using IronRuby and the White framework. In it, I appear to have made a promise.

I’ll get to Cucumber. I’ll publish examples. I promise.

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Automatic, for the People

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Confession, this is the album where I stopped listening to REM. Dunno why, because Monster was one of the best albums I never bought.

Let us review our strategy, especially referencing our usage of White. I find it interesting that Test Complete makes it so hard to “do the right thing” as propounded by both Scripting GUI Tests in Ruby and by White. And just what is that?

The responsibility of the test script is to

  • perform a series of actions and verifications.
  • allow someone to read the script and understand what the hell is going on.

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Generic White Rubies are Open

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I’ve been continuing my exploration of IronRuby and White for gui testing. I expected to deal with Automation IDs first, but I’ll get back to that. For now I’m tying IronRuby to White, and handling generics.

My install of white is not in the GAC, so I’ll be requireing DLLs from a directory. DLLs are looked for in ruby’s $LOAD_PATH, just like ruby libraries. It’s an array. You’ll notice that White suggests also including an NUnit dll, but I’ve not needed that with RSpec. And, I want to shorten the namespace stuff. So let’s start with white.rb and we’ll add to it later.

white_loc = "C:\\Projects\\Libs\\White_Bin_0.18"
require "White.Core.dll"
Application = Core::Application

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Thoughts on GUI Testing

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I’m currently involved with a WPF project as a tester.  My charge is to automate the System-Level testing of this project for my client.  Our belife is that automated testing allows us to find “popup bugs” before they become a problem.  This has worked well, in combination with the team doing a degree of dog-fooding.  They catch the esoteric things, I find the simple things no one looks for.  Also, I’m currently working with a lot of them as we build manual test scripts for our verification phase.  This is a lot more focused act that, once automated as we move forward with version two, will allow us to have a better understanding of the “shipability” of our software.  We’re regulated and we want to automate most of the acceptance testing, at least in theory.

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