[pmwiki-users] Testing and quality control (Was: Pre-announcing 2.2.0 non-beta release)
christian.ridderstrom at gmail.com
Wed Jan 21 03:08:54 CST 2009
On Tue, 20 Jan 2009, Patrick R. Michaud wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 01:15:36PM +1300, John Rankin wrote:
> So, "[there] should be a quality control [...] of PmWiki extensions"
> is another one of those places that I fear handwaves away the difficult
> part of the whole problem. :-)
I'd like to rephrase that as: 'So, "[there] should be a quality control
[...] of PmWiki and its extensions"'.
> Indeed, if it was easy, we'd probably already be doing it. :-)
True, but I believe there are some things we can do, especially in terms
of testing. I don't think we'd ever be able to do complete tests, but I
also don't believe this means we should skip trying to do some simple
One practice I use for my custom recipes is to simply create
semi-automatic test cases. Typically this just involves using the recipe
on one or more wiki pages and the visually inspecting the result. It's not
automatic because the computer does not verify the result, but the actual
running of the test is as simple as reloading the wiki page.
So, something that I think would help is setting up separate public areas
for the testing of different recipes. These areas could be a wiki groups
or separate wikis and the purpose of being separate is to avoid
interference between recipes. The public aspect mean that many people can
contribute with the testing.
I think a test pages should contain something like this:
* Something that identifies the recipe being tested, which could be
implicit through the name of the group or the wiki.
* Something that identifies what this particular test is testing.
* The expected result, so that a human can verify the result.
* The actual test
* The last date that the test passed and with which revision.
(This might be annoying to update if you have many pages, in which
To make it easy to inspect the results, it's nice to have a single page
that pulls together all the test pages.
The drawback with the scheme above is that it'll require at least a little
bit more involvement by e.g. Petko in terms of setting up the testing
An advantage is that these test pages also serve as documentation examples
and possibly also for design testing. However, the latter would be much
better if it was possible for the recipe designer to import and export a
bunch of test pages. What I mean is that the designer has his own set of
test pages while developing a new (version of the) recipe, and the exports
them to the separate test area. Running the tests again on a clean
installation will also detect some problems with dependencies on other
Oh, and finally I should of course say that just by having the recipes
enabled for their corresponding cookbook page we do have some of this kind
of testing. A small further step would be to create a '<recipe>-Test' page
in the cookbook directory, or simply a test page in the group
'Cookbook-Test/<recipe>'. For many (most?) recipes this might be enough
in terms of testing. However, it'll probably not be enough for skins, as
I've noticed that you sometimes have to add extra pages in Site. etc.
Christian Ridderström, +46-8-768 39 44 http://www.md.kth.se/~chr
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