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blue sky: development and tools

regress out of childhood
April 20th
Submitted by Paul Phillips <> to Development and Tools.

I can hear you now. "Testing? That's not sexy!"

Yes it is. Testing is very sexy. I'm fully prepared to hire an attractive member of the opposite sex to visit you and swear to it if it'll get you interested in contributing regression testing code, because a serious regression test suite is something that Mozilla is sorely going to need. A central architecture that makes it easy for people to contribute tests for their own features would be the real holy grail here.

If you think you can walk in and start applying bug fixes to bazteen-million lines of code without introducing next-generation bugs, you're in for some bitter times. Regression testing allows you to make fixes and then say with confidence that you didn't break anything else -- or at least, anything else for which someone had written a test.

Plus, there's nothing quite like the feeling of watching "make test" say "All tests passed."

Testing button functionality and so forth can be a chore but this isn't completely out of the reach of automated testing. I'm told there are tools for capturing X events and playing them back, and a product for the Mac called "Virtual User" which does something similar. Surely Win95 has its variant. My suspicion is that any real work in this category is more trouble than it's worth, but it won't kill you to think about it.