Exploration Through Example

Example-driven development, Agile testing, context-driven testing, Agile programming, Ruby, and other things of interest to Brian Marick
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Wed, 22 Feb 2006

Table of contents for the "GUI testing tarpit" series

My "working your way out of the GUI testing tarpit" series really ought to be put into a single paper with the rough transitions smoothed over. Until that happens, if ever, what I've got will have to serve. Here's the table of contents.

  1. Three ways of writing the same test: click-specific procedural, abstracted procedural, and declarative. The first two are usually inefficient solutions to their problems. Life is better if you get rid of as many procedural tests as possible. That's what this series is about.

  2. A declarative test might require a lot of test-specific work behind the scenes. To avoid that, build an engine that can deduce paths through the app.

  3. Trying to convert a whole test suite at once is failure-prone. Therefore, convert the suite one failure at a time.

  4. Capturing abstract UI actions behind the scenes doesn't provide much speedup, but it allows a dandy programming, debugging, and testing tool that lets you get to any page in one step.

  5. If you have your tests avoid the network, you'll discover that many tests boil down into assertions about the structure and contents of a single page. There's no reason those can't be fast, targeted, robust unit tests.

  6. But if most tests are about single pages, how do you prevent changes from introducing dead links? The renderer can check links without clicking on them, at unit-test time.

  7. Not everything can be turned into a fast, network-avoiding unit test. Workflow tests remain GUI tests, but they should clearly focus on workflow and not test things better tested elsewhere. Such tests can be an integral part of the design of application flow.

## Posted at 09:35 in category /testing [permalink] [top]

About Brian Marick
I consult mainly on Agile software development, with a special focus on how testing fits in.

Contact me here: marick@exampler.com.




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Working your way out of the automated GUI testing tarpit
  1. Three ways of writing the same test
  2. A test should deduce its setup path
  3. Convert the suite one failure at a time
  4. You should be able to get to any page in one step
  5. Extract fast tests about single pages
  6. Link checking without clicking on links
  7. Workflow tests remain GUI tests
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Design-Driven Test-Driven Design
Creating a test
Making it (barely) run
Views and presenters appear
Hooking up the real GUI


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