bdd

JAOO Australia

A friend of mine has a Far Side desk calendar that he describes as a barometer for how busy he is. Some days he finds himself tearing off a whole bunch of pages because he’s been too busy or distracted to tear one off each day.

JBehave 2.0 is live!

Some ancient history

Back in 2003 I started work on a framework called JBehave. It was an experiment to see what JUnit might have looked like if it had been designed from the ground up for TDD rather than as a unit testing framework. I was also starting to use the phrase “behaviour-driven development” to describe what I meant. The jbehave.org domain was registered and the first lines of code written on Christmas Eve 2003, much to my wife’s bemusement. Over time JBehave grew a much more interesting aspect in the form of a framework for defining and running scenarios, or automated acceptance tests.

Let your examples flow

Should examples/tests/specs/whatever be DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself)? I’ve been thinking (and talking and arguing) about the value of test names recently and whether they are just unnecessary duplication, but that’s the subject of a future discussion. This is about the actual content of your examples. So, should your examples be DRY?

Goal-oriented vocabulary - saying what you mean

I was in a hotel in Stockholm recently and I noticed a bottle opener attached to the wall in the bathroom. There was a bilingual sign under it which got me thinking about the term “bottle opener” itself. (I was giving a talk about BDD the next day so I was already thinking about how language is used.)

It occurred to me that “bottle opener” is a great example of goal-oriented vocabulary. The device itself is actually a cap remover, and it only works on one particular design of metal cap. The reason I use it, however, is to enable me to get to the beer in the bottle. Hence “bottle opener” rather than “cap remover”.

Upcoming events

So it’s that time of year again. I’ve got a number of conferences and workshops coming up, ranging over all sorts of topics. I just popped over to Martin Fowler’s site (I’m doing a talk with him this week) and noticed that he has a much more organised setup than me. All his events are in a sidebar and there is a handy link if you want more details. Another idea to go on my to-do pile.

Two flavours of BDD, or .net gets behaviour-driven

How about that? You wait ages for a BDD framework in .net and then two come along at once! Ok, to be fair NSpec has been around for a while. However I’m talking about describing application behaviour in terms of stories and scenarios, to complement NSpec’s description of interactions between objects. (As a side note, I would love to see NSpec adopt rspec’s describe/it vocabulary rather than using contexts and specifications.

Introducing rbehave

rbehave is a framework for defining and executing application requirements. Using the vocabulary of behaviour-driven development, you define a feature in terms of a Story with Scenarios that describe how the feature behaves. Using a minimum of syntax (a few “quotes” mostly), this becomes an executable and self-describing requirements document. BDD has been around in the Ruby world for a while now, in the form of the excellent rspec framework, which describes the behaviour of objects at the code level.

Upcoming Talks

I’ve got a number of tutorials, conference sessions and keynotes coming up over the next few months that I’m very excited about. My themes for this year are behaviour-driven development, SOA for human beings and understanding what simplicity really means. Looking at these, there is an overarching theme about getting different kinds of people talking to each other in plain English (for some value of English). Keynote at QCon, 14-16 March, London QCon is the London version of the excellent JAOO conference in Denmark, which has become my favourite technology event of the year (apart from phone upgrade time).