September 14, 2000

Chris, meet testing

I need to start writing software as if it will be released to lots of people tomorrow :) Interestingly, the potential (up to 90% I'd say) release of OpenInteract has coincided with my first reading of Kent Beck's book Extreme Programming Explained. I know, I'm probably a whole 18 months (meaning: eternity) behind the rest of the software development community, but it's new to me.

Anyway, XP places a lot of emphasis on testing, an area where my discipline is sorely lacking. The happy coincidence is that releasing for other people also forces me to write tests, just so they'll know everything at least nominally works. This way, I have an excuse to get in the habit of doing something I should be doing anyway. Happy day!

A nice side benefit of the SPOPS DBI tests is that it should be easy to find out whether particular DBD drivers support the necessary {NAME} and {TYPE} attributes or not. (I think drivers for most 'modern' databases do.)

Cleaning up the code (which isn't much of the work) and making it presentable (read: installable by someone other than me) also means that I get to hack around a bit in the Makefile.PL and ExtUtils::MakeMaker land. Eeek! But it's coming along -- it's done for SPOPS, I just need to figure out how to get a normal script (to install the packages, etc.) to run after 'make install'. This is a very powerful software package, and the perl way is to make easy things easy, so... where's the easy part? (Personally, I don't qualify editing a Makefile as easy, but I can be a little dense sometimes.)

The nutty thing is that you can (apparently) use E::MM to create PPM files (for ActivePerl users) and for this you can use the 'PPM_INSTALL_SCRIPT' key to specify a program to run after the package/module is installed. So someone recognized this as a good idea to do. Double eeek!

(Originally posted elsewhere)

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