Test-Driven Development is widely used in the Python community to create
quality software. The benefits of such approach is not to be proved
anymore. It creates better software by :
- preventing regression - making the developers actually think about what they write - providing a real help for newcomers : unit and functional tests are showing how the code was made and how it has to be used. - ...
Python has brought a real enhancement to test-driven developement with doctests. They allow developer to write documentation with embed code examples that can be run for real. This allows a team to integrate documentation in the development cycle and to replace most of their tests with documents that are always up to date: documents become tests.
In the meantime, documentation has always been the black beast of developers. They hate writing it and most of the time, a software project website is never up to date if there's no one dedicated to this task. For open source projects, the website is the most important media and should always reflect to what is happening in the code base.
doctests can resolve this problem by automating documentation creation at all level
I have used this principle to create a Document-Driven Developpement
(DDD) approach, which provides to a project team a way to automate the
update the project website : each commit on the code base calls a script
that generates on the fly html pages for:
- the api - the glossary for the project - documents for all important modules - tutorials - recipes - ...
This method will be fully explained at my PyCon Tutorial (February, 22th).
I will published by then the script that automates the creation of the website, using a subversion repository that follows a few guidelines (in its content and structure).
Can't wait to be there !