Showing posts from 2004

Performance testing with pyUnitPerf

Summary: If you are familiar with Mike Clark's JUnitPerf framework, then you may be interested in knowing that I have just released a Python port: pyUnitPerf. You can browse the source code here and you can get a gzipped tarball from here.


pyUnitPerf tests are meant to transparently add performance testing capabilities to existing pyUnit test suites. The pyUnitPerf framework introduces 2 new types of tests:
TimedTest: runs an existing pyUnit test case by imposing a limit to the time it takes to run the testLoadTest: runs an existing pyUnit test case by simulating concurrent users and iterations Let's look at a simple example adapted from the samples provided with JUnitPerf.

Assume you have the following pyUnit test case in a file called
from unittest import TestCase, TestSuite, TextTestRunner, makeSuite
import time

class ExampleTestCase(TestCase):

def __init__(self, name):
TestCase.__init__(self, name)

def testOneSecondResponse(self)…

PyFIT Tutorial Part 2

In the conclusion of part 1 of the PyFIT tutorial, I said I will experiment with RowFixture tables. It turned out that they're really easy to use. I'll show here a simple example that will extend the FitNesse acceptance test suite for the Blog Management application.

In the FitNesse tests I put together in part 1 I used only ColumnFixture tables. One example is BloggerFixtures.GetEntryTitleContent, which takes entry_index as an argument and returns the title and the content of that entry. To use a database analogy, that particular ColumnFixture behaves like a SQL query of the form:

SELECT title, content FROM entries WHERE entry_index=N

In the FitNesse tests I wrote, I used GetEntryTitleContent in a table like this:

|1|Entry #3 Title|Entry #3 Content|
|2|Entry #2 Title|Entry #2 Content|
|3|Entry #1 Title|Entry #1 Content|

We can look at each row in this table as being the result of running the SQL query above…


Some people whose blogs I'm reading (Tim Bacon, Laurent Bossavit, Alan Francis) decided to "gridblog" today about fatherhood and how it may relate to software development. More specifically, the topic is: "what do you wish someone had told you".

Here's a comment I made to Laurent Bossavit, who wrote about the strong emotions he experienced in his role as a father:

Laurent, in my experience as a father of 2, the strong emotions you mention were one of the best things that ever happened to me. I am one of the intellectual types you describe, and I always felt it hard to express my feelings. Having kids made me relive many moments from my past and opened many wounds and old feelings I had repressed. Instead of making me a stranger to myself, being a father made me know my true forgotten/supressed self much better. I am still struggling with how to be a good father -- it will probably be a life-long struggle, but it's a fight worth fighting. Many people ten…

STAF/STAX tutorial

Automated test distribution, execution and reporting with STAF/STAX

Assume you are part of a test team whose goal is to automate the distribution of tests to a large set of clients running on various platforms. You want to run an automated 'smoke test' in the following scenario:

A nightly build process sends out email notification that a new version of the software is ready to be tested.The notification email triggers a 'Start Smoke Test' request sent to a dedicated machine (I will call it the "test management" machine), which coordinates all clients to be testedThe test management machine somehow tells all clients that version x.y.z of the software is available, then tells all clients to run a test harness and report back the resultsAfter getting back the test results from all the clients, the test management machine sends out a test summary email containing the overall, failed, and successful test case count

You could try to implement this functionality you…

PyFIT tutorial on

I turned the PyFIT tutorial blog entry into a standalone HTML page that you can find here. I also updated the PytonFit page over at to point to the same HTML page. I need to figure out how to add raw HTML to the wiki at

Writing FitNesse tests in Python

Last week I had the chance to participate, together with other xpsocal members, in a seminar on FitNesse given by Micah Martin from Object Mentor. Micah is one of the creators of FitNesse and also the primary maintainer of the distribution. Instead of a slide-show, he actually fired up FitNesse on his Mac OS X laptop and we worked together on writing some acceptance tests and fixtures. It was a great presentation and it clarified many aspects of FitNesse that can be hard to understand by simply looking at the documentation. Micah's examples used Java, so as a homework I thought I will try to use Python instead. I knew there is a Python port of the FIT framework (appropiately called PyFIT, written by John Roth) that tries to stay as close as possible to the newest releases of FitNesse. In what follows I will show how I used PyFIT to write FitNesse acceptance tests and test fixtures. I installed FitNesse locally, on a Windows box, but the examples should work just as well in any e…

IBM's STAF/STAX test automation framework

I've been playing with IBM's open-sourced STAF/STAX test automation framework and I'm really impressed. Support is top-notch too via the project's SourceForge mailing lists. I asked 2 questions one day: both were answered in 30 minutes, and both answers solved my problems.

STAF shines when you need to distribute your tests on various platforms, run the tests, get all the results in one place together with the FAIL/PASS count for the test run. I had been trying to do this in the past with a home-grown XML-RPC agent written in Python, but it was not industrial-strength and it had very few reporting features compared to STAF.

You can run a regression/smoke test based on STAF every night, and have STAF send you an email with the test result. Perfect for continuous integration!

Hello World

I decided to bite the bullet and start a blog. I find it hard to jot down my thoughts in a regular notebook, so maybe an online medium will help. I intend to write about some of my experiences in the field of agile testing. I'm also a huge Python fan, so expect to read about that too.