On Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 09:25:59AM -0400, Jim Fulton wrote:
> I'm not sure what scaffolding you're referring to. Do you mean test set up? 
> Or the tools for normalizing output?  For test set up, I don't think 
> there's any difference.  I can sympathize with the skepticism with 
> normalizing output.  Sometimes, I think it might be better to write 
> documented tests rather than executable documentation and use assertion of 
> a more traditional nature, if the test is still readable, although I 
> suspect that it will often be easier to normalize output rather than make 
> lots of assertions about the output.

My personal experience with doctest output normalizers (as used in
zope.testing's unit tests) was very painful.  To quote jwz:

  Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I’ll use
  regular expressions." Now they have two problems

Normalizing output might be the easier way when you initially write the
test.  But when some time later your test starts failing, they're a
nightmare to debug.

Marius Gedminas
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.
- Andy Finkel, computer guy

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