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From Brian Burch <>
Subject unit test debugging under Netbeans
Date Wed, 28 Dec 2011 10:49:19 GMT
When I submitted a bug and fix recently, I promised to develop some unit 
tests to demonstrate the behaviour of my change.

I don't want to get into a *#!&ing contest here, but I switched away 
from eclipse a long time ago, when IBM threw in the towel over not 
having a pure java workbench. Having invested a lot of energy in 
understanding netbeans I'm a committed (but not always happy) user.

I've been using netbeans successfully to debug tomcat and used it 
extensively when investigating

I didn't realise you had a section on the tomcat wiki
because I'm more than comfortable enough to wade through setting up a 
netbeans project for something as complex as tomcat from scratch.

However, I was a bit surprised to discover I couldn't simply "wire up" 
netbeans to compile, run and debug any of the tomcat unit tests!

netbeans provides three standard ide actions for what it calls 
"free-form ant projects", such as tomcat. These ide actions expect the 
ant build.xml for the project to have three corresponding targets that 
can be "connected" to these actions.

I would be happy to update the wiki to describe this process, but I 
don't want to write a load of stuff about modifying the checked-out 
build.xml when it would be MUCH easier to commit my changes to the trunk 
first. My changes are intended to be completely safe when ant runs 
outside netbeans.

I'll just describe the changes for now, to see what kind of reaction I get:

1. existing runtests macro: netbeans looks for a brief non-file junit 
formatter so that it can hoover junit results when running a single unit 
test class and then prettily present them within the workbench gui. I 
have added such a formatter, but made it conditional upon running under 
netbeans and wired it to the run-single ide action.

2. new target compile-selected-files-in-test: the name of this target is 
defined by netbeans convention. I have a cut-n-paste mod of the existing 
test-compile target that accepts a list of classes to compile, because I 
couldn't see a trivial change to your existing target.

3. new target debug-selected-file-in-test: this is a cut-n-paste mod of 
the runtests macro. I need to run junit under the jvm debugger and 
attach the netbeans nbjpdastart ant task to let the gui control the test.

So... can I submit a patch for these three changes to build.xml? I am 
sure this will make some of you nervous, but it seems the cleanest 
approach to me.

How (specifically) should it be submitted - bugzilla?



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