Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

By Paul Grenyer

Overload, 15(80):, August 2007

Dear Alan,

I was delighted to read 'C++ Unit Test Frameworks - a Comparison' by Chris Main in Overload 78. Obviously I am mostly pleased because Aeryn (http://www.aeryn.co.uk/) came out pretty much on top compared to other well known frameworks like Boost and against Peter Sommerlad's new CUTE framework. I am particularly grateful to Chris Main for his comments on the readability of the Aeryn user guide and for highlighting that Aeryn is missing at least one set of test condition macros. I am currently in the process of incorporating these test condition macros into Aeryn and they will be available in the next release (I should also point out that this functionality is already available with Boost and CUTE).

Shortly before Overload 78 was published I had all but completed my own article comparing Aeryn, CUTE and FRUCTOSE and demonstrating how Aeryn is the only testing framework you need. Obviously to have a similar, and mostly likely more balanced article, come from an independent author who is not known to me is much better. It would have been even better to have a comparison with CPPUnit. This is something Jim Hyslop and I spoke about a few years ago, but never got around too.

Chris Main pointed out in his article that there have been quite a few C++ unit testing frameworks in Overload over the past few months and a comment was made during the 'writing for publication' BoF session at 2007 ACCU conference that people would like a break from them for a while. This is a shame as I am reasonably close to completing my first introductory article for Aeryn. It's difficult to believe that in the years I have been developing Aeryn I have never written an article just about Aeryn. Now I feel the opportunity has passed, which is entirely my own fault, so I will only be publishing this article on the Aeryn website.

I'd also like to bring to the attention of Overload readers an Aeryn related project being developed by Steve Love and a new Aeryn tool I'm intending to develop.

I've often wanted to develop an NUnit style GUI for Aeryn. I've looked at a number of solutions using shared libraries in C++ and using managed C++ to enable integration into a C# GUI. Steve Love, as one of Aeryn's most avid users, has been having the same idea and is developing NAeryn (http://naeryn.tigris.org/), a C# GUI which utilises Aeryn's existing binary interface and a custom XML report.

At the 2007 ACCU conference, Peter Sommerlad demonstrated a very nifty Eclipse plug-in for his CUTE framework and prior to that a (admittedly tongue in cheek) suggestion was made by Michael Baker that he might use Aeryn if it was integrated into Eclipse. Therefore I am intending to develop an Aeryn plug-in for Eclipse. Hopefully this will encourage more open source projects to move across from CPPUnit to Aeryn.

All that remains is for me to reiterate my thanks and appreciation to Chris Main for all the positive and constructive points he made about Aeryn in his article.

Thanks Chris!

Paul Grenyer paul.grenyer@gmail.com

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