Java, Programming

Shtop! You’re copying the wrong JUnit!

I have been using JUnit 4.4 on my most recent project and this time instead of just licking around the edges I have actually being trying to use the features it adds. This time I have actually switched from using assertX to just using assertThat in combination with the various Hamcrest matchers.

I have also been using the Datapoint and Theory functionality for a mix of empirical testing (putting through a set of data that has proven problematic in the past) and also for creating shorter specific tests that tests a class of behaviour.

I haven’t used Assumptions yet but everything new I have touched has turned out to be solid gold. The only obvious lacking feature is something like RSpec’s Pending description, @Ignore is a bit rubbish really.

Therefore when I am looking at other languages (such as Flex’s ActionScript) I am really disappointed when their testing tools is actually a rather literal port of JUnit 3. Porting JUnit 3 is the act of a charlatan. It seems to be about finding the lowest common denominator that would allow you to wave some TDD colours rather than genuinely providing tools that developers need.

During the long hiatus between JUnit3 and JUnit4 was TestNG and in many ways I would rather that people used that as their template for a testing library. My current gold standard is RSpec though and I am not really seeing anything that ambitious in the “new” languages (except the very lovely Specs).

Often language teams leave library development to the “community” but if you are going to the effort of officially porting something why choose JUnit 3? The only reason I can find is that Java developers are familiar with it and that is just a rubbish reason, Java developers should get out of their comfort zone and move from JUnit 3 to 4 or TestNG. In fact since JUnit 4.5 has just been released this month why don’t you take the chance and plunge in before the month is out?


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