Home > Design Patterns in C++ - Unit Testing

Design Patterns in C++ - Unit Testing

Page 1
Design Patterns in C++
Unit Testing
Giuseppe Lipari
http://retis.sssup.it/~lipari
Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna – Pisa
May 5, 2011
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 1 / 15

Page 2
Outline
1
Why unit testing
2
Test Driven Development
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 2 / 15

Page 3
Testing
Testing can never be exhaustive
you can never discover all the program bugs by running tests, simply because (except in trivial cases), the number of tests to be executed is badly exponential nevertheless, testing is useful because you can catch some bugs, the most evident and probably the most important bugs in a program also, tests give some evidence that the program is conforming with the specification, and this is useful for the customer therefore, even if testing does not prove correctness, it proves something, and something is better than nothing! Every programmer acknowledges that testing is an important activity in coding
There are many types of testing:
Unit testing, functional testing, integration testing, etc.
Here we discuss Unit Tests, a tool for the programmer
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 3 / 15

Page 4
Unit testing
Unit testing is a method by which individual units of source code are tested to determine if they are fit for use A unit is the smallest testable part of an application, typically a class or a function Unit tests are written by programmers as part of their coding work
The idea is to test an unit (a small piece of code) in isolation
The goal is to:
1
Find bugs in code
2
Be able to refactor (i.e. change the code) later, and check that the unit continues to work
3
Check that modifications to other units (on which the unit under test depends upon) will not break the assumption and invalidate the behaviour of the unit
item 2 and 3 are also called regression testing, and are fundamental to check properties (as the Liskov Substitution Principle, for example)
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 4 / 15

Page 5
The problem with test
Writing tests is a boring activity
It works against human nature it is a lot of additional code to write (set up the environment and all the necessary objects, write the testing code, run the test, check the result, etc.) the test code needs to be maintained and kept constantly in sync with the tested code most of this work is not very funny, whereas a programmer wants to write useful application code (a more inventive and rewarding activity)
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 5 / 15

Page 6
Testing is boring
As a consequence, most programmer simply do not test
Testing is time consuming There is never enough time, so the programmer concentrates on important things, like producing application code Tests are code, and we may introduce bugs in testing code, producing ��false positives�� and many other excuses
Forcing programmers to write tests is not the right approach
It is against human nature, so after a while, he will stop anyway
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 6 / 15

Page 7
Testing is boring
As a consequence, most programmer simply do not test
Testing is time consuming There is never enough time, so the programmer concentrates on important things, like producing application code Tests are code, and we may introduce bugs in testing code, producing ��false positives�� and many other excuses
Forcing programmers to write tests is not the right approach
It is against human nature, so after a while, he will stop anyway ... unless ...
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 6 / 15

Page 8
Making testing more attractive
The first rule is to make the make the testing activity automatic The programmer should not spend time in checking the output of the test to see if everything is ok
Let the PC automatically check the outcome the only thing the programmer wants to see is: OK, or FAIL, and not endless screens of text output to be checked
Then, make it easy to run suites of tests
All tests should be grouped in test suites, and it should be possible to compile and execute them with one single command as soon as a new test is written, it is added to the test suite and executed along with the other tests
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 7 / 15

Page 9
Run tests often
Tests should be written by the programmer before coding the unit
In other words, first write the test, then write the functionality Run the test after compiling
��Run tests often�� means ��Run tests every time you compile��
The habit of running tests should be automatically embedded in the development tool in addition to ��I should make my program compile��, the objective is now also ��I should make all the tests run smoothly��
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 8 / 15

Page 10
Advantages
Substitute ��debugging�� with ��testing��
Testing is done while coding, while debugging is done later, Testing is a special kind of coding, while debugging means slowly going through existing code in a painful way and under pressure Tests are there to stay, and can be run automatically at any time, while debugging does not stay, it is wasted time
Certainly, you will be convinced that testing may be more funny than debugging Maybe you will also become convinced that testing may be very productive
If you can drastically reduce the amount of time spent in debugging, more that the time you spend in testing, then you productivity increases
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 9 / 15

Page 11
Testing to addressing change
Testing is a fundamental tool to address the ��need for change�� If you need to change existing code (or add additional code/functionality), you want to make sure that existing tests do not break if they do break,
Maybe you introduced a bug in the code that breaks existing code Maybe you violated an assumption made by existing code (see LSP) Maybe you need to change the test because the specification has changed and the test is not valid any more
In any case, since you test every time you compile, you can immediately spot the error
As opposed to discovering the bug during integration testing, when you will need to trace back the problem and debug you code to find where the problem is
which alternative is more time-consuming?
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 10 / 15

Page 12
Testing coverage
Of course, you can never do a complete testing coverage in the unit test, because it is too time consuming However, you can try to write a few meaningful tests for example, checking boundary conditions (the source of most errors)
what if the function needs a file, and the file does not exist? what if I try to extract from an empty container? what if I pass a negative value (while the function expects a positive one?) etc. Also, check a couple of ��normal�� cases
Of course, testing can never completely substitute debugging
Since you cannot be exhaustive, it may happen that your tests do not spot a subtle bug Don��t worry: when you discover it by debugging, add immediately a unit test to checks that the error will never occur again in future modifications
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 11 / 15

Page 13
Other advantages
When writing tests, you concentrate on the interface
while writing tests, you wear the ��client hat�� while writing code, you wear the ��implementer hat�� writing tests is similar to writing a specification for the code
The test is useful as ��documentation��
If you want to know how to use a function, you can sometimes look at the test
You have a clear point at which you are done: when the all tests work!
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 12 / 15

Page 14
Outline
1
Why unit testing
2
Test Driven Development
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 13 / 15

Page 15
Test Driven Development
The practice of writing tests first is called Test Driven Development (TDD), and it is one of the main points of the Extreme Programming (XP) methodology proposed by Kent Beck
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 14 / 15

Page 16
Continuous Integration
Another related practice is Continuous Integration
This consists in automatic compilation, testing and commit in the repository in one development cycle committing on the server automatically compiles and test the code therefore, an integration step is performed at every commit!
Of course, an appropriate tool support is needed to automate all steps Also, a certain rigorous and structured approach is needed to impose the practice to all programmers
G. Lipari (Scuola Superiore Sant��Anna) Unit Testing May 5, 2011 15 / 15
Search more related documents:Design Patterns in C++ - Unit Testing

Set Home | Add to Favorites

All Rights Reserved Powered by Free Document Search and Download

Copyright © 2011
This site does not host pdf,doc,ppt,xls,rtf,txt files all document are the property of their respective owners. complaint#nuokui.com
TOP