August 2, 2005
Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook-- Using Perl's Automated Testing Tools to Streamline Your Work
What can compare with the thrill of software testing?
Perhaps balancing one's checkbook, but that's a task far removed from
software development. Software testing generally falls pretty low on the
list of topics that software developers find sexy. And this is unfortunate
because good software testing can increase productivity, improve designs,
ease maintenance burdens, and help satisfy customers, coworkers, and
managers, and eventually result in more time and energy for pursuing the
subjects that software developers do find sexy.
Most software developers are already aware of the benefits of testing.
They may even know about the wide range of available modules that Perl
offers for testing Perl and non-Perl programs. In short, as authors Ian
Langworth and chromatic note in their new book, Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook (O'Reilly, US $29.95), developers may know
everything except where to start.
Perl has a strong history of automated tests. The earliest release of Per1
1.0 included a comprehensive test suite, and it has only improved since
then. The beauty of it, however, is that you don't have to be a die-hard,
free and open source software developer who lives, breathes, and dreams
Perl to put these automated tests to use. You just have to want to do your
"Of course, your main job probably isn't Perl all the time," Langworth and
chromatic tell their readers. "It may be just one of a handful of good
tools you use. That's fine. Learning how Perl's test tools work and how to
put them together to solve all sorts of previously intractable problems
can make you a better programmer in general. Besides, it's easy to use the
Perl tools described here (and others that the future will bring) to
handle all sorts of problems you encounter, even in other languages."
In the "all lab, no lecture" style of the Developer's Notebooks, readers
are immediately immersed in hands-on exercises as they learn to:
Write basic Perl tests with ease and interpret the results
Apply special techniques and modules to improve tests
Tests databases and their data
Test web sites and web projects
Use the "Test Anything Protocol" that tests projects written in languages
other than Perl
With today's increased workloads and short development cycles, unit tests
are more vital to building high-quality software than ever before. Once
mastered, the lessons in Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook will help
developers ensure low-level code correctness, reduce software development
cycle time, and ease maintenance burdens.
Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook
Ian Langworth and chromatic
ISBN: 0-596-10092-2, 180 pages, $29.95 US, $41.95 CA
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