Friday, 30 May 2008

Zoom Splatter

Several people have asked me why this blog is called zoomsplatter, someone even suggested that it might be a reference to what I do on the motorbike. Thankfully it isn't – or not since I was 19.

It's actually a reference to IBM's office system. When I first joined IBM we all used PROFS, IBM's office system. It was amazingly good and had one invaluable feature that I have not seen in anything since – the “unsend” function. This was an absolute godsend to those of us with poor impulse control.

The PROFS spell checker used to offer a few alternatives if it didn't like what you were typing – and frankly it was not very keen on either of my names. Zoom Splatter was what it thought I should be called – and who am I to argue?

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

How can we tell if we're making a difference?

It's quite hard to tell how well the PHP TestFest is succeeding in the aim of improving the PHP test coverage. Next time we do this we should take a snapshot of the coverage before we start - hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Here is what I did to try and find out:

From the CVS change log for May 2008, 101 PHP test files were added or changed in PHP 5.3 under the ~ext directory.

Looking at these I can identify 49 that I know come from TestFest activity, these are 30 new mcrypt tests – we have David Soria Parra to thank for these – having a one-man TestFest there :-)

Of the others there are 17 new DOM tests – for which we thank the London PHP group and 2 new reflection tests that came from the Dutch PHP TestFest. Given that there currently about 5000 tests in PHP, if we only count the tests committed that's about a 1% increase.

So where are the rest of the tests? There are still 73 tests in waiting to be reviewed and committed – we really need someone who understands reflection to review and commit reflection tests. I notice that there is a new cURL test today as well – that's brave.

What about coverage? I believe that the mcrypt coverage leapt from less than 30% up to over 75% thanks to David's efforts! The DOM coverage will go up by about 3.5% by the time all the London tests are in and there is plenty more to do in that extension. As for reflection - I can't tell but I'd love to know. In case anyone wants to check later it's at 75% today without the the new tests.

In case anyone is looking for places to help, check this for some interesting analysis of what is and is not tested. Oh yes, there's plenty more to do :-)

Sunday, 11 May 2008

My wildest dreams get wilder every day

The Flatlanders, not a prolific band but it terms of country music - absolute perfection. What made me think of them? Partly the Dutch - literally the “flat landers”, the land of windmills, clogs, tulips and now, PHP tests.

On May 10th, led by Sebastian Bergmann and Stefan Koopmanschap a team of 10 dedicated PHP programmers wrote 37 tests tests for the Reflection extension and had a lot of fun doing it.

The Dutch beat the UK[*] team, led by Scott MacVicar, Steve Seear, Ant Phillips, Josie Messa and YT[**], into an honourable second place. With 18 skilled PHP programmers we managed 26 tests for the DOM extension in 3 hours.

Why? It's a PHP TestFest. This is the wild dream – that PHP should have a complete set of test cases for the implementation.

With the extraordinary power of open source and the good will of PHP programmers around the world, this particular wild dream is fast becoming a reality!

Zoe Slattery

[*] I say UK, but have to admit help from several people with the sort of names and accents that romantic novelists give their heros.

[**] I really mean Yours Truly. Not the YT of SnowCrash , that would be a wild dream. In Snowcrash terms I'm more like YT's mom but with Poor Impulse Control.