Python as a Testing Language - TTCN-3 Comparison

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Wed Aug 13 07:15:45 CEST 2008

Bernard Stepien wrote:

> Finally, no matter what you are doing (python test framework, etc…) 
> there are two important things with TTCN-3 that you don’t have with Python:
> 1.       TTCN-3 is an international standard that comes among other 
> things with very precise semantics, thus everyone in the world using it 
> will talk exactly the same language. This also reduces considerably the 
> amount of documentation you need for the next of kin after the developer 
> that has developed a test suites or tool moves on.

"ETSI is officially responsible for standardization of Information and 
Communication Technologies (ICT) within Europe." with international 
reach -- Wikipedia

Pythonx.y is standardized by the PSF.  Most of the core language is 
exactly defined, with the main source of fuzziness being differences in 
exact floating point behavior on different systems.  People around the 
world can read each other's code and understand rather exactly.  The 
main need for comments, etc, it to give macro level intent that is not 
obvious from individual statements.  Books have introductions for the 
same reason.

The Python standard (docs) at are freely readable by anyone. 
  The TTCN docs are not.  Some sort of registration is required.  There 
seem to be 3 editions of TTCN-3 with 3 versions of the last edition, for 
5 sets of docs.  So I will guess that the 'very precise semantics' have 
changed a bit with time.

> 2.       TTCN-3 is strongly typed, Python is not.

Python objects are exactly typed.  Instances of built-ins are immutably 
typed.  Strong enough for me ;-)

If TTCN-3 is great for its purpose, it does not need promotion by 
misrepresentation of other languages.

 > I think pointing out these differences is far from unfair.

That depends on your semantics of 'unfair'.


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