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From Jeff Turner <>
Subject Re: AntEater: a functional testing framework for HTTP/SOAP apps
Date Fri, 05 Oct 2001 14:07:52 GMT
Wow, congratulations :) It sounds amazingly comprehensive, given how quickly it
was written. Apart from Cocoon, I can see this being very useful when
developing plain old servlets.

Specific comments:

Going through Anteater.txt, I couldn't find any way to provide an error message
if the test failed. How about adding a <failMessage> block, to say what it
means when the test fails? Does <comment> fulfil this role?

Also, how about using the standard "description" attribute instead of
<comment>? In Ant 1.4, "description" can be attached to just about everything,
and has rather become a standard.

Likewise to keep with Ant naming conventions, "assign" could be "id", and
"href" become "refid".

I saw a few references to namespace-scoped elements there ("soap:"), but no
namespace declarations. Are namespaces ignored?

I was thinking.. you currently have a <http> task. Would it be easy to add a
<file> task, so that validations can be applied to things like sitemap.xmap,
cocoon.xconf, or a site's web.xml? That would allow elimination of
misconfigurations as a source of apparent failures. For example, to ensure that
the Cocoon servlet is registered:

<file path="build/cocoon/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml">
    <xpath select="web-app/servlet/servlet-class"

And to ensure that the sitemap is present and contains a mapping for /index.html:

<file path="build/cocoon/webapp/sitemap.xmap">
    <xpath select="map:sitemap/map:pipeline/map:match[pattern='hello.html']"/>

This then leads on to your suggestion:

> If Anteater and Cocoon are on the same machine, you can use normal Ant tasks to
> modify Cocoon files while the system is running, send another request to the
> server and test in the response the modified Cocoon behavior.

I don't think those "normal Ant tasks" exist yet ;) What would be really nice
is a version of James Strachan's xtags taglib, for Ant instead of JSP.

On Thu, Oct 04, 2001 at 09:20:17AM -0700, Ovidiu Predescu wrote:
> Hi,
> I was wondering what would be a good way to release it. As it is right now it's
> a standalone package, much like Ant. You install it on the local filesystem,
> and you get an 'anteater' script, that behaves just like the 'ant' script from
> ant, while adding additional tasks.

Have you needed to make any modifications to the Ant core? If not, why not just
put the jar in lib/, and create a new Ant file 'tests.xml' with a bunch of
<taskdef>s to declare the tasks?

Anyway, well done, and I look forward to playing, and sponging off your
hard work for private projects ;)


> Regards,
> -- 
> Ovidiu Predescu <>
> (inside HP's firewall only)
> (my SourceForge page)
> (GNU, Emacs, other stuff)

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