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From "Emmanuel Lecharny" <>
Subject Re: Class + Class Helper Pattern
Date Tue, 13 Feb 2007 18:02:42 GMT
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 (

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 L├ęcharny

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