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From David Jencks <>
Subject Re: Class + Class Helper Pattern
Date Thu, 15 Feb 2007 16:40:54 GMT
I agree 100% with Emmanuel.

I've had good luck making helper methods I want to test separately  
package private, especially when I put a comment in that the non- 
private access is for testing purposes.  Then a unit test in the same  
package can call the method but user code in a different package  
can't.  I'm not really thrilled with this approach but it seems to me  
to be a reasonable compromise between straightforward class design  
and testing convenience.

I think doubling the number of classes is a sure way to eliminate the  
chance of any new contributors.

david jencks

On Feb 13, 2007, at 10:02 AM, Emmanuel Lecharny wrote:

> Hi Ole,
> I will give you my opinion about unit tests and method protections.  
> Do not consider it anything else than my personnal opinion, based  
> on my own feeling and 25 years of coding experience (not always  
> happy).
> On 2/13/07, Ole Ersoy <> wrote:
> Hey Guys,
> <snip>
> You'll notice that I used a
> Class + ClassHelper pattern.
> So I can have all the methods public on the Helper,
> thus I could easily test them all.
> I asked others one the JUnit list if there are any
> security risks to having all public methods.
> They said not really.
> if you ask people who never add any accident driving without a seat  
> belt, they will tell you that the risk is very limited. private  
> methods is a kind of seat belt you like to have when you hit a wall.
> IMHO, trying to cover all the code with test (ie, 100% test  
> coverage) is useless, because it's simply impossible to guarante  
> you will get a 100% coverage ( 
> C3%B6del)
> The more that we can do is to do our best.
> Now, that being said, about helper classes :
> 1) a method is private because we don't want to expose it to the  
> public. When you write such methods, as you can't test them easily,  
> you have to be very carefull. The parameters should be tested, and  
> 'assert' is a good way to do so. At some point, ypou can also test  
> those methods simply by testing the public method which use it.
> 2) having 2 classes instead of one drive you to double the number  
> or bugs. This is mathematic.
> 3) Sometime, tests are simply wrong. You may have to double check  
> the tests, and fix them if needed. If you have a classhelper  in  
> between, you may have to check two classes instead of one (the test  
> plus the helper class). This is adding some burden.
> 4) Having two classes to maintain is really problematic. The more  
> classes you have, the more work you will have to do. All this work  
> won't be put into the single class, so one can think that this  
> helperclass drives the developper to loose focus on what is really  
> important.
> 5) If the developper has choose to declare a method as private,  
> public, protected, or with a default protection, it is because he  
> sometime has good reason. This is somehow the basis of OO design. I  
> don't want to loose this, I don't want to go back to C or, worse,  
> Basic.
> 6) From a user friendliness point of view, I really like to see at  
> first glance which are the public methods of a class (they are  
> green in Eclipse).
> Ok, now, this is not only my opinion. It's also somthing I will  
> push strongly if voted. I must tell that I will veto such a  
> decision (to have all methods public) if asked. Of course, if i'm  
> the only one to veto such a decision on the project, I will  
> dismiss, naturally. I'm not threaten anyone, I'm just saying that I  
> don't think we should change the way we are coding. I try to be  
> pragmatic : we are writing an Ldap Server, not a giant unit test  
> system around an LdapServer. We are already have somthing like 3  
> 000 tests, and we add a few every single day, I'm confortable with it.
> Trying to reach perfection is insane. Even God can't do everything  
> perfect : he created mankind :) (ok, for people like me who don't  
> believe in God, think about the Chaos Theory... )
> Emmanuel
> -- 
> Cordialement,
> Emmanuel L├ęcharny

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