Hacks : test state variables

API tests should rarely need to know facts about themselves and take decisions off those. In fact a test shouldn’t take decisions based on its state, but on what the tested material looks like.

Unfortunately the real world is not always this perfect and forces you to build introspective tests. API Fortress provides you two mini hacks to extend the test logic.

  • The ws_failures_count variable will allow you to know how many assertions failed while running the unit against the current input set. You might want to use it to stop the test if a certain number of failures has been reached, or decide whether or not to perform a certain branch.
  • The local_ variables. As you know input sets are isolated. This means that any variable I set in the unit while executing input set A will be lost while switching to input set B. This is extremely important because “variable noise” could lead to major uncertainty. However, if I wanted to have a variable to survive input sets change, all I have to do is using the local_ prefix. As in local_items, local_count.

Most of the times there’s a more conventional way to do things, however when stuff gets nasty, you now know you can use these two tricks to make your life easier.