peter at engcorp.com
Thu Apr 24 04:41:04 CEST 2003
> Which brings up the question: do the unit-testers here write tests for
> throwaway scripts?
For throwaways, I don't write quite so many tests, and in many cases if
it's only a "small" throwaway script (e.g. one or two subroutines only,
plus a little mainline) I will write a test or two for the subroutines
(because I'm doing TDD, not because I want to have unit tests to make
sure my script works properly... if you see the distinction) but never
for the mainline.
Basically, the purpose of the tests is to catch problems you create
when refactoring, so if you're planning to throw the script away,
you need the tests only to help you write the code in the first
place. No, that's two reasons for writing the tests - for refactoring,
and to drive the development. And to document the requirements and
the API for the code. There are three reasons... oh, bugger ....
Basically, with a literally throwaway script, you do lose much of
the business value of the tests, so as far as I can see you write
them only if they truly help you write the code properly, which
should once you're proficient at TDD and then only sometimes, since
you're a very experienced programmer. Otherwise, and certainly in some
cases no matter who you are, they really would be a waste of time.
IMHO. Except maybe to help you develop the habits. _Four_ reasons...
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