[PATCH 0 of 7] tests: remove hardcoded strings defined symbolically in kallithea/tests/__init__.py

Thomas De Schampheleire patrickdepinguin at gmail.com
Sun Jun 21 03:32:46 EDT 2015

On Sat, Jun 20, 2015 at 11:50 PM, Mads Kiilerich <mads at kiilerich.com> wrote:
> On 06/20/2015 10:37 PM, Thomas De Schampheleire wrote:
>> Some trivial cleanups related to hardcoded strings in tests.
> I think another school of thought is that tests should be as simple, static
> and explicit as possible. To avoid begging the question they are asking,
> they should avoid any computation in the tests. Having hardcoded 'expected'
> strings will also make it easier when debugging.

In principle I agree: tests should be completely stand-alone. Changing
a hardcoded string in one test should not impact any other test.

However, the test users and test repositories are set up at the very
beginning of all tests (see kallithea/lib/db_manage.py). They are
shared state. When a test uses the username 'test_admin', it cannot
freely change that without impacting the test. The test depends on a
very specific string from that pre-created database.
This dependency is, however, implicit, and now made explicit with these patches.
In this light, I think the patches are an improvement to the current situation.

The end goal, I think, should be to get rid of this prepopulated
database, and instead use pytest fixtures explicitly for each test.
The fixture could start from a created, but otherwise completely empty
database. When a test requires a user to be created, it would
explicitly ask for it using a second fixture (or with a helper
method). When this refactoring is made, constants such as
TEST_USER_ADMIN_LOGIN can and should be removed, and each test can
work with its own hardcoded strings.
I'm not sure about the performance impact of this approach: does the
database need to be recreated each test or can it be rolled back
before starting a new test so that each test starts with the same
initial state?

I'm adding Brianna and Marc in this thread, they probably have some
wise input on this topic :)


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