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Re: case against XP (was: PG: Hackers and Painters)

--- Sundar Narasimhan <sundar@ascent.com> wrote:
> Jerry -- I'm confused. How do you write unit tests
> say for the Travelling Salesman Problem :)

I've written tests for some machine learning
algorithms where correct behaviour is ill-defined. 
What I've done is:

 - generate small data sets from simple distributions
where I know what the algorithm should output and I
can test against that

 - generate big data sets from random distributions to
check how the algorithm scales.

This is usually enough to ensure you haven't messed up

> all I'm saying is that I
> find the dogma re. TDD in XP puzzling. Esp. because
> in my experience
> programmers will look where the light is.. and
> emphasizing tests a bit
> too much .. and you'll get a lot of your hours/$$
> spent on verifying
> your computer can indeed add and subtract numbers.

There is no substitute for intelligent dedicated
individuals.  A team of monkeys that is rewarded for
writing tests will write a lot of rubbish tests.  A
team of great programmers won't


Email: noelwelsh <at> yahoo <dot> com
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