Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Interesting Posts About Tests Influencing Design

Oddly I started reading a post by Jay Flowers, which led me to re-read a linked post at mockobjects.com which in turn led me to the most relevant post of all about testing domain classes. I'm glad I followed the links because there is some good info in these posts.

Shifting The Focus
Jay Flowers is thinking about testing and design at the minute too and has just posted about how it affects design in a post called Shifting The Focus.

Test Smell : Everything Is Mocked
I read the post Test Smell: Everything is mocked some time ago but never blogged about it but I do definitely think its worth reading.

I fully agree with the post, directly mocking external API's is often going to be a mistake and your better to use TDD to evolve a wrapper. I also think mocking value objects is a bit of a no-no.

Note there is a TDD thread related to mocking value objects.

Testing Domain Classes
J. B. Rainsberger has a post called A sign you're mocking too much which I whole heartedly agree with.

One of the main points in the post is summed up in this line "Never mock values, sometimes mock entities, but mock services freely". I agree with this and that's basically the way I test domain classes too:

  1. Value Objects - No reason to mock, they should be simple to construct.
  2. Entities - I tend to create real instances using Object Mother or Test Data Builder objects. Occassionally I'll stub an entity but very rarely will I mock it.
  3. Services - Mock away, including mocking repositories.

This also ties in nicely with Eric Evans' opinions from the Testing The Domain thread on the DDD forum. It also indicates that some DDD practitioners (including myself) are using TDD to influence design in ways other than those that we would get to if we purely used interaction testing.

I think I'm going to start to focus on looking at our domain tests and object mothers to see what they are telling us about problems with our current designs.

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