Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Zero Button Testing
started 10/31/2003; 1:27:39 AM - last post 11/8/2003; 7:17:24 AM
Carl Manaster - Zero Button Testing  blueArrow
10/31/2003; 1:27:39 AM (reads: 280, responses: 7)

There has been a lot of talk of "one button testing" on the Test Driven Development group, and I thought we could take it a little further. I wanted to see what it would be like if, like syntax highlighting or spell checking, the code correctness was highlighted as you type. That needs a test syntax built into the language, so I thought it might be of interest to language people, too. My language is trivial and poorly implemented, but I'm fairly pleased with the experience of using it. My original post on the topic is here:


and it links to a (Mac-only - sorry) prototype implementation that can be found at the bottom of this list:


Peace, --Carl

Chris Rathman - Re: Zero Button Testing  blueArrow
10/31/2003; 7:52:10 AM (reads: 260, responses: 0)
Not sure I understand what you are testing in terms of "correctness"? I can see where it would be nice to keep track of the meta information concerning tests within the development environment. Not sure how well that information could be conveyed using color coding alone.

Carl Manaster - Re: Zero Button Testing  blueArrow
10/31/2003; 9:02:58 AM (reads: 248, responses: 0)
By "correctness" I mean that it passes all the tests. Every test line declares what should be returned from a particular set of inputs; if the function does return what's expected, that counts as passing the test. If it doesn't, the test fails, and the test and function are colored red. Does that help?

Dave Herman - Re: Zero Button Testing  blueArrow
10/31/2003; 9:21:49 AM (reads: 245, responses: 0)
That sounds like what David Saff and Michael Ernst are working on at MIT:

Darius Bacon - Re: Zero Button Testing  blueArrow
11/1/2003; 1:48:24 AM (reads: 198, responses: 0)
Neat! I like it. Kragen Sitaker made something related though coarser-grained:

I had to join that Yahoo group to get the file; it'd be nice to host it somewhere it's directly accessible. (I have some webspace available.)

Carl Manaster - Re: Zero Button Testing  blueArrow
11/1/2003; 2:06:25 AM (reads: 192, responses: 0)
Thanks, Dave and Darius,

I'm glad to know others have worked on this concept; particularly glad to see the MIT results (too simple summary: continuous testing seems to help).

Darius, please feel free to repost the file wherever. I'm afraid I don't have my own web space, and Yahoo was just convenient and free-as-in-beer.

Darius Bacon - Re: Zero Button Testing  blueArrow
11/1/2003; 3:32:23 PM (reads: 186, responses: 0)
OK, I've temporarily mirrored the prototype at

Carl Manaster - Re: Zero Button Testing  blueArrow
11/8/2003; 7:17:24 AM (reads: 136, responses: 0)
Thanks, Darius!

I've now got a Windows implementation of the prototype up at the same original site:


Please, anyone, feel free to mirror it.