[TIP] Docstrings in Test methods

Ned Batchelder ned at nedbatchelder.com
Sat Nov 5 07:23:02 PDT 2011

On 11/5/2011 9:05 AM, Mike Pirnat wrote:
> I work in a pretty big codebase with a lot of developers.  We prefer
> not having a docstring on our tests so that when they do fail, we can
> quickly identify what test it is (and who the best people to fix it
> are going to be).
> Our compromise in the sake of explaining a test is to use a comment
> where we would otherwise have a docstring in production code.
> I would be all for using docstrings for consistency with our
> production code if the test runner wouldn't replace the test
> module/class/method with the docstring in its output.
I completely agree.  I use comments in test methods rather than docstrings.

BTW: the line from my slides was about product code, not test code:  
Sometimes a real stumbling block to testing is that you have to decide 
what your product code actually does.  Once you figure that out, it's a 
good idea to write it down in the docstrings.


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