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I've read lots of tutorials and various praises for the "Testing Paradign" and the thought of having hundreds of test I could just instantly run to tell me if my change affected anything fills me with glee, but I Just Don't Get It.

I understand the basic concept of testing, I think, and I can easily apply it to the examples they use in a text book: ok(add(2,2),4); or whatever simple ass method you're testing. My problems comes when I try to extend/abstract the idea.

For example, something I've been working on now is a web application for manipulating a specific type of server. I have no bloody idea how to write tests for it. Sure I could test some of the classes that it uses and so forth, but how do I test the application it self? Print out the html and grep it for some specific phrase? What if I change the html, it's just the display layer isn't it? Do I use a dumper to dump the actual variables I'm passing to the template? Isn't that looking at the implementation?

I'm just confused, I guess what I'm really looking for is "real world" examples of tests for complex things, things you can't just test by calling a function and comparing it's output to a constant.

Updated: Changed the "can" to a "can't" in that last line.

In reply to Yet another meditation on testing by BUU

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