Testing Language

2 December 2003

I'm currently sitting in a session at XP day where Owen Rogers and Rob Styles are talking about the differences between XP's unit and acceptance tests. This triggered a thought in my mind - what should a language for writing acceptance tests be?

Commercial tools for UI testing tend to have their own proprietary language. Brett Pettichord, amongst others, question this; preferring a common scripting language such as Ruby or Python.

But I wonder if a language designed for programming is really the right language for writing tests. The point about tests is that they operate by example. They don't try to cover how to handle any value, instead they describe specific scenarios and responses. I wonder if this implies a different kind of programming language is required. Perhaps this is the truly startling innovation in FIT.