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Re: UI tests

From: Phillip Lord
Subject: Re: UI tests
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2015 14:09:32 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
> Unlike the typical graphical applications, Emacs's UIs are mostly
> controlled by events that have a very shallow translation to Lisp
> data.  Even mouse clicks can be faked, and a convenient Lisp function
> to make that totally easy would not be hard to write.

I would agree.

I've been working on a library (called sisyphus) to support higher-level
operations for testing, and that would be a nice addition.

> Perhaps the input side of testing UI features will be fairly easy.
> The output side is not so straightforward, but if we set up something
> to accumulate a sort of dribble record of X11 output operations, in
> the form of Lisp-visible data, maybe tests could check that to see
> if they have changed from before.

If that would allow me to test things like before and after-string
overlay properties that would be excellent. Testing, for example,
completion engines is hard in Emacs since the buffer doesn't change,
only the visualisation of it.

One additional problem, though, is that Emacs doesn't really have a
concept of "headless". Things like syntax highlighting in buffers just
work different when running in batch, because Emacs assumes it's running
on a TTY. For example, HTML generated by htmlize comes out differently
in batch, than from a windowed Emacs, because Emacs in batch cannot
display colour.


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