Re: Testing in C++

Pete Becker <>
Fri, 09 Mar 2007 12:03:40 -0500
Pete Becker wrote:

Noah Roberts wrote:

Pete Becker wrote:

Roland Pibinger wrote:

On 8 Mar 2007 06:38:43 -0800, "nw" wrote:

I have been asked to teach a short course on testing in C++. Until now
I have used my own testing classes (which from what I've seen seem
similar to the boost unit testing classes). Considering I have a
limited amount of time what do readers of this group think would be
useful to cover in this course?

You should at least explain the different kinds of tests: integration
test, functional test, unit test, assert.

And regression test. Well, maybe not, since it has become meaningless.

Has it?


Well, I suppose a more complete answer would be appropriate.

Today, "regression test" seems to mean "run the tests you've run before
and see if anything got worse." I.e., run the test suite. Formally,
though, a regression test is a test you add to your test suite in
response to a user-reported defect, reproducing the user's conditions.
You also add specific tests cases to the general test suite, since
obviously the particular problem that caused the failure wasn't
detected. The idea behind regression tests is that you may be dealing
with a fragile area of the code, and rerunning cases that failed in the
field gives you some reassurance that you haven't missed something.
Since user-supplied code can be big and clunky, you only run regression
tests occasionally, and rely on the more focused test cases for day to
day testing.


    -- Pete
Roundhouse Consulting, Ltd. (
Author of "The Standard C++ Library Extensions: a Tutorial and
Reference." (

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