[TIP] suitability of unittest.py for large-scale tests

Marius Gedminas marius at gedmin.as
Tue Apr 7 08:20:51 PDT 2009

On Tue, Apr 07, 2009 at 09:27:59AM -0400, Douglas Philips wrote:
> On or about 2009 Apr 7, at 8:40 AM, Laura Creighton indited:
> > At any rate, somebody was saying that they wanted the behaviour that
> > when a test failed, everything came to a screeching halt, because
> > otherwise it is too hard to lose the failing test in the
> > voluminous output.  I understand this.  But sometimes what you want
> > to do is to change something, and then divide up all the failing
> > tests among the team.
> It might have been my message, but since you didn't find it, I'm not  
> sure if my reply will be on target or not.
> What I want is for everything to come to a screeching halt if there is  
> an error -loading- a test module. i.e. before any tests are even run.

I'm with Laura on this (see my other email for the rationale), and don't
want that to happen.

> My experience has been that if the regression runner simply reports  
> that a module failed to load(import), that is what is too easy to get  
> lost.

Now rewrite this to read "My experience has been that if the regression
runner simply reports that one of the tests failed, that is what is too
easy to get lost".

The problem is with the method of reporting, not with the lack of an
early abort.

> But you reminded me, our custom regression runner has a "halt on first  
> failure" option.

This is a common and useful option.

> We added that option so that someone working on a new  
> device doesn't have to wait for the entire regression to finish

It is sometimes more useful not to stop on first failure, but to produce
sufficient error diagnostics so that you can start investigating that
first failure while the rest of the tests run in the background.

zope.testing does this, and I couldn't live without such early

There's nothing more frustrating than seeing a capital F in the middle
of a sea of dots, and knowing you'll have to wait 15 minutes before you
can start investigating it.

> (we  
> have an open TODO for graceful shutdown, which for us is tricky since  
> the device shouldn't be left in certain states for very long). For my  
> test team's use, we always want to run all the tests to get an  
> overview of how functional the device(s) are.

Marius Gedminas
If you want to trick a pointy-haired boss into letting you write software in
Lisp, you could try telling him it's XML.
                -- http://www.paulgraham.com/icad.html
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