Showing posts from November, 2005


Fascinating blog I came across a couple of days ago: Xooglers (which stands for "ex-Googlers"). A real page-turner about the anticipated ups, but mostly about the unexpected downs of life as a Googler.

Updates to PTTT

...where PTTT stands of course for Python Testing Tools Taxonomy. I'm glad to see that people are updating the Wiki page and adding more stuff to their tool description or adding other tools to the list. Some examples:
Ori Peleg updated the description of his TestOOB tool: "unittest enhancements; test filtering via regex/glob patterns; reporting in XML/HTML; colorized output; runs pdb on failing tests; run in parallel in threads/processes; verbose asserts; report failures immediately; and a little more;"Ian Bicking added his paste TestFileEnvironment tool ("A simple environment for testing command-line applications, running commands and seeing what files they write to")Geoff Bache added his TextTest tool, an acceptance testing tool "written in python but it can be used to test programs written in any language. Comes with extensive self tests which serve as examples of how to use it, ie how to test a non-trivial application with a pyGTK GUI"; TextTest l…

Martin Fowler on In-Memory Databases and Testing

Just came across Martin Fowler's post on In-Memory Databases. I was glad to see his mention of Firebird, which has been a favorite of mine for a number of years. Fowler talks about the primary use of in-memory databases: testing, or to be more precise test-driven development, where speed is of the essence. He also mentions SQLite, which I've only recently started playing with, mainly by going through the Django tutorial. I'd like to explore it further though in the context of testing.

Python Testing Tools Taxonomy

There's been a flurry of blogposts recently on the subject of Python testing, especially on Web application testing tools. I thought it would be a good idea to put up a Wiki page with the tools I know of, so that anybody who's interested in contributing to the "Python Testing Tools Taxonomy" can do so easily. Here is what I have so far. Feel free to modify it.

Update 05/01/06

The PTTT page has moved here. Please update your bookmarks etc.

Cheesecake project update

Micah Elliott graciously offered to host my Cheesecake project at his TracOS site, a Trac-based Wiki that hosts a collection of Open Source projects. Check out the brand new Cheesecake home page and let me know what you think. I haven't had time to properly package my code (which is kind of ironic, considering that checking packages for their 'goodness' is after all the goal of the Cheesecake project), but you can grab the source code via subversion:
svn co I'll put the code up on SourceForge too at some point, but it seems to me that the Trac-based Wiki is much more "agile" than the SourceForge interface, so I'll make TracOS the primary home for my project.

Bob Koss on "Refrigerator Code"

Seen via Jeffrey Fredrick's blog: Bob Koss talks about Refrigerator Code, i.e. code that you're so proud of that you're ready to put it on the refrigerator, next to your kids' drawings. Nice metaphor. It reminds me of an expression used by the late Chick Hearn, the famous play-by-play announcer for the Lakers: "This game is in the refrigerator!"

Lightning Talks session at Star West 2005

Yesterday I gave a 5-minute Lightning Talk on Selenium at the Star West 2005 testing conference in Anaheim. There were 9 speakers in all, coordinated by Erik Petersen. It was my second Lightning Talk experience, after the one at PyCon 2005 earlier this year. It wasn't quite as interactive as at PyCon, mainly because it was based on slides rather than live demos (I did do a live demo of Selenium though), but it was still very interesting and intense. Erik made it even more fun by introducing every speaker with a little Vegas-style tune that evoked the Rat Pack's apparition on the stage.

My favorite presentation was Rob Sabourin's, who talked about the Iron Ring given to all Professional Engineers in Canada during a secret "Calling of the Engineers" ceremony. The ring is made of iron and is initially very coarse, but the engineers who receive it are supposed to wear it permanently on their working hand, so in time it becomes round and smooth. It is a symbol of pride…

Agile Dilbert

Article on All-pairs testing technique

From the agile-testing mailing list, courtesy of Todd Bradley, here's a link to a PDF version of an article by Bernie Berger on the All-pairs testing technique. If you're a tester, you need to get acquainted with this technique, so that you can mitigate the combinatorial explosion of your test cases.

Exciting times in the Python testing world

If you are a developer or tester using Python, you live in exciting, ebullient times. There are Python-based testing frameworks newly-announced or recently-updated almost every day. Here is a rundown of the latest I'm aware of:

Unit testing
py.test: no recent new release, but changes are happening almost daily in svnTestOOB: version 0.7 was released recently (TestOOB is an enhancement to the standard unittest module, offering many features that py.test offers)nose: version 0.7.2 was freshly released yesterday (nose, in its author's words, "provides an alternate test discovery and running process for unittest, one that is intended to mimic the behavior of py.test as much as is reasonably possible without resorting to too much magic"; nose will become, if it's not already, the official test framework for TurboGears)Web application testing
twill: version 0.7.4 was released on Nov. 11th, with unit tests that use nose, and with new commands to help developers use twill t…

SoCal Code Camp

From the xpsocal mailing list: the Southern California Code Camp will be held on Jan.21-22 2006 at Cal State Fullerton. I checked out the Sessions page and the organizers say "All technologies are welcome C++, C#, VB.Net, Java, Ruby, COBOL???, SQL, etc... if it is code... we want it." I noticed at least one glaring omission (what? no Python?) so I decided to remedy it by sending a proposal for a Python session, which is basically my PyCon 2005 talk on "Agile testing with Python test frameworks". Let's see if they go for it.

ibofobi's Django doctest framework

In the "This is way too cool" category: a new doctest-based framework for testing your Django apps. Other than doctest, it also uses Beautiful Soup and YAML. I need to check it out at some point.

Drucker on agility and testing

The other day I picked up a copy of "The Daily Drucker" from the local library. It was again one of those fortuitous events, almost as if the book told me to pick it up from the shelf. I had another similar experience last year at the same library when I picked up "XP Explained", so I think it's particularly fitting to find references to agility and testing in Drucker's ideas. I don't think Peter Drucker needs any introduction, but I have to confess I haven't read any of his books yet (although this is about to change!). "The Daily Drucker" is a collection of fragments from his books, put together in "a thought a day" format that's pretty agile in itself :-)

Here's what Drucker has to say on organizational inertia: "All organizations need to know that virtually no program or activity will perform effectively for a long time without modification and redesign. Eventually every activity becomes obsolete."

These are s…

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