[development] Drupal & automated testing
starbow at citris-uc.org
Mon Mar 6 17:33:38 UTC 2006
I know I do not yet have much credibility in the Drupal community, so I
apologize in advance for making sweeping statements.
I think the Drupal process could really benefit from a culture of
obsessive automated testing. I have been programming for over 15 years,
and one of the most valuable mottoes I have heard is "If a feature is
not covered by an automated test, it does not exist".
Practically, if something like Simpletest was in core, then the
requirement for submitting a patch could be increased to also submitting
a test that exposes the original bug & shows that it has been fixed.
Skilled users could submit tests that expose the bug as part of the
original issue submission. And submitting original tests could be a
great way for new users to contribute.
As the coverage of the submitted tests grows, developers will be able to
have more and more confidence that the patch they are submitting does
not cause regressions. Programming on complex systems is just so much
more fun, when you know you are not breaking someone else's hard work.
A comprehensive test framework can become a safety net, supporting
Drupal's rapid evolution. Right now it seems like Drupal succeeds
because it has such a robust community, which is willing to act as a
test system, but that approach runs the risk of exhausting everyone
I know everyone has way too much on there plates right now to really
consider culture change, but I wanted to try and get this idea out
there. If there is one gift I can give to the Drupal community, out of
half a lifetime of experience with many programming languages and
cultures, this is it.
Thanks for listening.
Web Architect, CITRIS
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