[Python-Dev] Re: Stability and change

Patrick K. O'Brien pobrien@orbtech.com
Tue, 9 Apr 2002 10:17:06 -0500

[Guido van Rossum]
> What I fear most is the risk of missing an important fix.  How are you
> ever gonna find it back?  Not every fix is accompanied with a unittest.

I think more emphasis should be placed on creating unit tests. While the
number of unit tests is growing, achieving some level of completeness should
really help with the stability and change issues and the public perception
of Python's stability, IMHO.

The reason I bring this up is that the creation of unit tests is something
that can be done by volunteers (such as myself) who aren't capable of
messing with the actual Python C code but want to help with Python where
they can. Retrofitting existing code with unit tests is a pretty tedious
pain in the butt. I just did it for a bunch of my own code. Having gotten
over the hump, I'm sold on the benefits of unit testing. So I'd like to see
all the gaps in Python's own test suite filled in.

While I'm pretty overworked at the moment, as soon as I have some free time
I'm willing to organize an effort to fill in the gaps in the existing suite
of unit tests, if this kind of effort is deemed appropriate. What I think is
needed is a list of what is missing, a way to coordinate the check in of new
tests, some documentation to make it easier to get over the learning curve
on unittest, and someone to coordinate the volunteers.

Is this worth pursuing? I'm willing to roll up my sleeves and pitch in if it

(Please use the new boolean type when replying. <wink>)

Patrick K. O'Brien