Boy, there sure are a lot of unit testing frameworks out there. That
doesn't surprise me too much; over the last couple of years, unit
testing and TDD have increasingly been recognized as important ways to
get better code. Zanebug, an outgrowth of and improvement on NUnit, is
one of the promising recent entrants in this field.
Zanebug takes the same basic approach as NUnit, letting you mark up code
with attributes to indicate which methods should be run when doing a
test pass. In fact, it's completely upwards-compatible with NUnit 2.1;
if you've got existing NUnit test fixtures (assuming they don't use the
new 2.2 stuff) they should run fine in Zanebug. But Zanebug also adds a
batch of other stuff to NUnit. The most obvious change is an improved
user interface that goes beyond red light/green light to offer lots of
additional information. For example, it's easy to pick out which tests
are associated with which console or error output, as well as to get
time and memory consumption figures for specific tests. Other tabs in
the output section show debug and trace output from the code, as well as
integrated Performance Monitor reporting. You can even tie whether a
test passes into performance metrics.
Another nice touch is the ability to modify a test's repeat count at
runtime, without going into the test assembly to modify attributes. Of
course you can also decide which tests to run or ignore at runtime. And
if you know NUnit, you should have no trouble picking up the Zanebug
Zanebug itself is open source, with a fairly aggressive roadmap of
future features. Some of those features (like VS .NET integration) are
already available in one or another NUnit extension. Others, like Web
integration plans, are intriguing in their own right. If you've been
keeping an eye on the unit-testing world, it's worth looking at Zanebug
to see if it's a better alternative for your own needs.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.