[Haskell-cafe] Type System vs Test Driven Development

Serguey Zefirov sergueyz at gmail.com
Thu Jan 6 11:36:55 CET 2011

2011/1/6 Evan Laforge <qdunkan at gmail.com>:
>> QuickCheck especially is great because it automates this tedious work:
>> it fuzzes out the input for you and you get to think in terms of
>> higher-level invariants when testing your code. Since about six months
>> ago with the introduction of JUnit XML support in test-framework, we
>> also have plug-in instrumentation support with continuous integration
>> tools like Hudson:
> Incidentally, I've never been able to figure out how to use
> QuickCheck.  Maybe it has more to do with my particular app, but
> QuickCheck seems to expect simple input data and simple properties
> that should hold relating the input and output, and in my experience
> that's almost never true.  For instance, I want to ascertain that a
> function is true for "compatible" signals and false for "incompatible"
> ones, where the definition of compatible is quirky and complex.  I can
> make quickcheck generate lots of random signals, but to make sure the
> "compatible" is right means reimplementing the "compatible" function.

I should say that this reimplementation would be good. If you can
compare two implementations (one in plain Haskell and second in
declarative QuickCheck rules) you will be better that with only one.

We did that when testing implementations of commands in CPU model. Our
model was built to specification and we have to be sure we implement
it right. One problem was in CPU flags setup, specification was
defined in terms of bit manipulation, we wrote tests that did the same
but with ordinary arithmetic. Like carry = (a+b) `shirtR` 8 was
compared with carry = bit operandA 7 && bit operandB 7 && not (bit
result 7). We found errors in our implementation, we fixed them and
there was almost no errors found after that.

Doing two implementation for testing purposes can be boldly likened to
code review with only one person.

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