Saturday, January 10, 2009

@Ignore still has life

A nicely thought out post from Ben Rady why @Test(expected = AssertionError.class) is better than @Ignore for JUnit 4 failed tests.

Two reasons I still like @Ignore:

  1. @Ignore includes a string parameter which I use to explain why the test is ignored. It really stands out.
  2. My editor and maven both make special note of ignored tests, and I can find uses of @Ignore to easily jump to any ignored tests.

Demonstrating the first point:

@Ignore("Ship broken in release 1.2.3, fix for next release")
public void testSign() {
    assertThat(fixture.compute(123), is(not(lessThan(0))));

The best choice still remains: Fix the test.

UPDATE: I thought about this more and Ben has a point I overlooked: by expecting {@code AssertionError}, it is true you lose in clarity and documentation compared to {@Ignore}, but the test will start failing once the original problem is fixed:

@Test(expected = AssertionError.class)
public void testSignIsBroken() {
    assertThat(fixture.compute(123), is(not(lessThan(0))));

Now you can go and write a proper test against the fixed code.

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