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Subject: Re: [boost] What Should we do About Boost.Test?
From: Gennadiy Rozental (rogeeff_at_[hidden])
Date: 2012-09-17 13:00:25

Dave Abrahams <dave <at>> writes:

> Hi All,
> I was just going through Boost.Test to try to figure out how to teach
> it, and while it looks to have substantial value, it is also in quite
> a mess.

> It contains loads of features that are exercised in the examples/
> directory but neither included in any of the tests nor documented.

There are not that many of these in fact. They can be split into 2 kinds:

* Implemented long time ago and never documented
There couple of these, related to interaction based testing and mock object
* Brand new features
There are series of new features implemented about a year ago. Almost ready for
prime time, but not 100%. Specifically lacking documentation.

> There are facilities for command-line argument parsing!

Yes, indeed and while I like these much better than official boost one, I do
not insist it to be a public interface, thus it does not need to be

> There are
> "decorators" that turn on/off features for test cases.

This is new feature.

> There is support for mock objects!
> These are cool and sometimes necessary features, but who knew?

> The third tutorial page
> has a glaring typo in the code examples: "BOOST_AUTO_EST_CASE".
> There's no reference manual at all.

1. There is a significantly improved documentation in the trunk. I never got to
release it, just to avoid rocking the boat (and I hoped just to do one big
release with all new improvements)

2. There is no *formal* reference documentation, but I am not convinced there
is a huge need for one. In majority of the cases Boost.Test unlike other boost
libraries is not extended or accessed through class interface. There are few
interfaces which are indeed used and they are documented.

> There are nearly-identical files in the
> examples/ directory called "est_example1.cpp" and "test_example1.cpp"
> (Did the "t" key on someone's keyboard break?) I could go on, but where
> would I stop?

These are two completely different things: est is "exception safety test".
Should have named it different I guess ;)
> I don't know what to do about this. Because of the lack of redundancy
> (i.e. tests and documentation), it's hard to tell whether this library
> is correct or even to define what "correct" should mean. It seems like,

I am not sure what you mean. There is an extensive self test modules.


> I am not at all attached to removing Boost.Test from Boost, but IMO
> rescuing it would require a significant new investment of time and
> energy from people who are committed to bringing the library up to par
> with the rest of what we do.

I an not quite convinced that anything is really in such a bad shape that it
requires rescuing. That said if anyone is interested in helping to bring up
latest release I am happy to share the load.


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