metaprogramming and politics

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py.test: shrinks code, grows plugins and integration testing

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Just before Pycon i uploaded the lean and mean py.test 1.0.0b1 beta release. A lot of code got moved out, most notably the greenlets C-extension. This simplifies packaging and increases the py lib’s focus on test facilities. It now has a pluginized architecture and provides funcargs which tremendously help with writing functional and integration tests. One such example are py.test’s own acceptance tests checking behaviour of the command line tool from a user perspective. Other features include a zero-install mechanism for distributing tests which also allow to conveniently drive cross-platform integration tests.

Unittesting, functional and integration testing are now official targets. No doubt, Test category naming is a slippery subject and it’s a good idea to consider test category names as labels rather than "either-or" categories. In the end, tests are about being useful for software development which today means coding for a wide variety of environments and involving integration and deployment issues on every corner. I think that testing tools yet have to develop their full potential. In my opinion, automated testing and deployment techniques are to fully integrate with each other, and i consider coding of distributed integration test scenarios as key to that.

The upcoming final py.test 1.0 release i’d like to make a starting point for facilitating the integration of many more test methods and test mechanisms via plugins. Some people already contributed a pytest_figleaf (for coverage testing) and pytest_twisted (for running twisted style tests) although i am still only finalizing API details and writing up docs. So I am very happy how things are turning out and also motivated by the positive feedback on the two testing tutorials that Brian Dorsey and me gave at Pycon (see his writeup).

Btw, if you use the quickstart and encounter any problems, please use the brand new issue tracker on bitbucket. I started hosting a mercurial py.test trunk repository and so far it’s been a positive experience and I guess I fully switch to mercurial soon. Alas, i probably drop setuptools before i go 1.0 with py.test – it simply causes too many troubles. py.test’s trunk has a straightforward setup.py and i intend to release a second beta with refined docs and removed setuptools. Stay tuned for many more news in May – right now, i am looking forward to some 1-week offline holiday :)

cheers, holger

Written by holger krekel

April 18, 2009 at 9:05 pm

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