A productivity tip for test-driven development
Posted in Programming on May 3, 2009
If you code by writing tests that fail, and then fixing the tests by writing the code, then you might find yourself switching to a terminal, running the test, ad nauseum. Part 1 of my tip is to run the test in a loop that takes a single keystroke to trigger:
$ while read line; do clear; perl MyTestScript.t; done
This works with any language, not just perl – just replace the test command with the right one. ALT-TAB, press Enter, ALT-TAB back to your editor.
Part 2 of my tip is to make it really easy to drop into the debugger if you want. Notice the small change here:
$ while read line; do clear; perl $line MyTestScript.t; done
Now instead of pressing Enter, you can type “-d” and press Enter. Presto, you’re in the debugger. This also works for any language that has a built-in debugger. Of course, you can also pass any other arguments you want, such as enabling profiling.