Chapter 7. Working Incrementally

Now let’s address our real problem, which is that our design only allows for one global list. In this chapter I’ll demonstrate a critical TDD technique: how to adapt existing code using an incremental, step-by-step process which takes you from working state to working state. Testing Goat, not Refactoring Cat.

Small Design When Necessary

Let’s have a think about how we want support for multiple lists to work. Currently the FT (which is the closest we have to a design document) says this:


    # Edith wonders whether the site will remember her list. Then she sees
    # that the site has generated a unique URL for her -- there is some
    # explanatory text to that effect.'Finish the test!')

    # She visits that URL - her to-do list is still there.

    # Satisfied, she goes back to sleep

But really we want to expand on this, by saying that different users don’t see each other’s lists, and each get their own URL as a way of going back to their saved lists. What might a new design look like?

Not Big Design Up Front

TDD is closely associated with the agile movement in software development, which includes a reaction against Big Design Up Front, the traditional software engineering practice whereby, after a lengthy requirements gathering exercise, there is an equally lengthy design stage where the software is planned out on paper. The agile philosophy is that you learn more from solving problems in practice than in theory, especially ...

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