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From Paul King <>
Subject Re: Introducing AntUnit
Date Thu, 14 Apr 2005 11:53:53 GMT

I would mostly encourage this. It would seem reasonable
to be able to write tests productively use ant build files.
I am not sure how directly tied to ant (vs testing any java
program) you would need to make it to be worthwhile. I would
hope that it could be more generic.

You might want to have a look at webtest (
It is designed for testing web applications but might be
a fruitful source of ideas. Webtest uses webtest tests
(along with java unit tests) for its self-tests.


Stefan Bodewig wrote:
> Hi,
> inspired by the creative use of <macrodef> and <fail> others (mainly
> Matt and Steve) have shown in our tests, the idea of AntUnit we had a
> long time ago surfaced in my mind again.
> I've just dumped a little macrodef antlib (and one "real" task,
> <assertTrue>) into our proposal area.  This is only a temporary place
> until my JIRA request for a subversion space for Ant[1] has been
> answered.
> I simply lost patience and didn't want to have the code on my disk
> until the next head-crash.  And I also don't know when I'll find time
> to continue work on it, so I wanted to give others a chance to play
> with it.
> The idea is to create a unit test Ant library that uses Ant build
> files to test Ant.  Having assert tasks is only one part of it and it
> pretty much works the way that I've already shown (a very incomplete
> list of asserts we'll need is in antlib.xml).  Things like
> assertLogContaining will be more difficult to do.
> The other part will be an <antunit> task, which will take a build file
> and for each target whose name starts with "test" will
> (1) create an Ant task
> (2) run the target named setUp if present
> (3) run the target
> (4) run the target named tearDown if present
> It will support result formatters much like the JUnit task.  There
> will be passing and failing tests as well as tests that cause errors.
> To tell failures from errors, <assert*> throws a subclass of
> BuildException named AssertionFailedException.
> It may be better to fork a new VM, I'm not sure.  Reusing the Ant task
> would certainly be easier.
> What do you think?  Is this worth the effort?
> I came accross some issues that I'm going to raise in separete
> threads.
> Stefan
> Footnotes: 
> [1]
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