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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: AntEater: a functional testing framework for HTTP/SOAP apps
Date Fri, 05 Oct 2001 10:31:44 GMT
Ovidiu Predescu wrote:
> Hi,
> As I mentioned last week, thanks to Jeff Turner who pointed to me the
> httpClient testing framework from Tomcat, I was able to do some very good
> progress in implementing a functional testing framework for Cocoon. With some
> more requirements from a team here, I actually extended it quite a bit to also
> be able to handle incoming HTTP requests.

Great news!
> I called this tool AntEater (pun intended), as it's heavily based on Ant.

I think there is already a proposal called AntEater for Ant 2.0, you
might want to check in the Ant CVS under the 'proposal' folder.

> Anteater allows one to write tests that fire HTTP requests to a Cocoon
> installation and test the incoming response, using simple matching operations.
> 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.

Hmmm, can you write me an example of why you think something like this
is helpful? i mean, how would the tester suite know what to modify? hey,
if it fixed cocoon bugs by itself, we can let it run for a couple of
days and make the final release :)

Just kidding, of course.
> Using Anteater we should be able to write functional tests that automatically
> check Cocoon after any change we do to the source code. The only testing that
> happens right now seems to be a manual one.

Correct, something like this would be "extremely" beneficial.
> The intent is to have tests written for AntEater, along with the junit tests,
> and perhaps a Cactus based framework (still looking at it), part of a testing
> suite for Cocoon.

That would be killer. We definately need more testing to make sure we
don't introduce back incompatibilities as we patch along.
> 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. The reason for a separation from Cocoon is
> that it's quite generic, not tied to Cocoon in any way. In fact one of the team
> in my group plans to use it to test generic XML based applications, involving
> synchronous and asynchronous SOAP messages.
> I append the current documentation I wrote for it. I would appreciate any
> comments from you on Anteater.

Question: how hard would it be to integrate it with Ant? I mean,
creating an optional, but coherent, set of tasks that extend the basic
ant functionality into this web-testing suite?

I know there is very little functional overlap between the two, but this
can be said for almost any Ant task: Ant power comes from exactly from
the availability of so many useful tasks and adding new ones is a really
good thing to do.

But the SOAP incoming requests things might be a little oftopic for
Ant... hmmm, let's see what you guys thing first and then we can ask
around where the best location is.

Anyway, if it doesn't end up under Ant, please change that name since it
might appear a little rude on them.

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche

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