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August 2005 Archives

Aug 27, 2005  –  CruiseControl 2.3 Available After a lot of work and a few false starts CruiseControl 2.3 has been released. Read on for some highlights or just go get it here. more >>
Aug 25, 2005  –  John Carter Reflects on a PRS Section Number Catching up the XP mailing list I came across this post on what is wrong with our civilization. It starts with:
A colleague sent me a section of a Product Requirements Specification document for comment. The section number was
and then ends up leading to:
Somewhere, right now, is a very bright guy writing the PRS for the next generation of Photocopier printers. We have to find him and stop him.
Worth a read.
Aug 24, 2005  –  JavaOne Followup

Late followup, but JavaOne was a lot of fun. My sessions went well and I got to attend several enjoyable sessions as well. Thanks to everyone who came to my talks.

For the talk about plugin writing, you can download the slides here

Read the original blog entry

 –  Grow Your Harness Naturally

I wrote this article for the March 2005 issue of Better Software. Now available for the first time online... enjoy!

I have worked with many testing common organizations where a common pattern is repeated over and over. It goes something like this — we realize there is more manual testing to do than time available, we decide to automate the testing, and we begin working on a test harness. Several weeks later, we have the start of a harness, but it’s barely useful and we still have not written any tests. At this point, we’re behind — so we abandon the harness and revert to manual testing.

Full article [PDF]

 –  Rules for Unit Tests Michael Feathers gave this excellent set of rules for unit tests on the XP mailing list:
I have these rules that I use for unit tests, primarily because I encounter so many teams that start writing end to end tests, call them unit tests, and give up because "testing takes too long". To me, a test is not a unit test if:
  1. It talks to a database
  2. Communicates across a network
  3. Touches the file system
  4. You can't run it at the same time as any of your other unit tests.
  5. You have to do special things to your environment to run it (like editing configuration files).
Tests that do those things are okay, but to me they aren't unit tests, and they should be segregated from true unit tests.
Aug 23, 2005  –  Relentless Testing and The XP Oath James Shore has reminded us what the extreme version of developer testing is about:
We will test everything that could possibly break. We will have tests at the customer level as well as at the programmer level. We will write our tests before we write our code, possibly moments before. We will automate our tests and provide a binary "pass/fail" mechanism for evaluating the result.
Read the rest of his "Extreme Programmers Oath" over here.
 –  Headless Hello World in Eclipse Yesterday I needed to find out how to create a headless (console-mode, non-GUI) application plug-in for Eclipse, and while I could easily find information assuring me it could be done, I had more trouble finding out exactly how to do it. Turns out it is really easy. My "headless hello world" plug-in is here, and if you read on you'll get my pictorial guide to building your own headless hello world plug-in. more >>
Aug 18, 2005  –  Joel (Still) Doesn't Know XP I love reading Joel On Software. He's a smart guy with lots of good ideas, which makes it all the more frustrating when he's wrong about something. The topic on which he is mostly likely to be wrong is XP, but that isn't too surprising as he's never actually done it, which makes it a bit like criticising someone using the Penhold-Style grip when you've only ever used the Shakehands-Style. You might be a very fine table tennis player, but you've now entered the realm of speaking out of your... ignorance. And that's about how it sounded in Joel's recent article on The Project Aardvark Spec... more >>
Aug 17, 2005  –  CruiseControl Goodies We recently completed a new release of Agitator and Dashboard so I've had a bit of time to spend on my secret double life as a CruiseControl contributor. The obvious news is that we are nearing the release of 2.2.2 with lots of yummy new features (latest release candidate available here) but less obvious -- but more exciting to me -- are the neat 3rd party tools that are popping up. Here's a few that I know about... more >>