April 2009 Archives

Sub classing for automated testing

April 19, 2009

A few months after I first purchased it, I am still reading xUnit Test Patterns. Been reading a few pages every day - now on page 590 with a few hundred to go!

I have finally arrived at the point where the author describes the pattern Test Specific Subclass (TSS). This is a pattern we have used extensively in our testing at the office, so that we can access protected methods in our classes. However, we stumbled upon it on our own, well before reading anyone else's suggestions on how to apply it. That's the nature of patterns for you.

Automatic Properties in C# 3.0

April 2, 2009

We just upgraded our servers to support .Net 3.x, so at last I'm able to start migrating some of my code. I haven't taken a close look at all the features available yet, but one that caught my eye and initially excited me is automatic properties. However, I had two conflicting reactions:

  1. This is great, I don’t have to create a private field and write getter/setter in a public Property anymore.
  2. But then what’s the point of not just creating a public field and using it directly?

Well, this article addresses a primary benefit: this facilitates refactoring. If, for instance, we find later on that we need something more advanced than a simple get or set statement, then we can add it without breaking the interface. I'm sold.

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