Providing Test Tools

Each Oslo library needs to provide support tools for testing code that uses the library. Over time we have found some patterns that work and others that do not work, and this policy document describes our general approach.

Problem Description

We originally created oslotest as a place to include the base class for all unit tests across all projects, to give the projects common behaviors in their test suites. Using a common base class is not always possible, however, when applications want to use their own base class and test fixture classes in ways that do not mix well. Multiple inheritance, in particular, is a problem because the order of setup and tear-down for test cases is harder to reason about.

Proposed Policy

Most libraries include fixtures, rather than test base classes. Fixtures are more isolated, easier to test, and generally prove less complex to combine in unforeseen ways. Based on this experience, and the issues with inheritance in test classes, we should limit unit test tools to fixtures and avoid using base classes or mix-in classes.

Alternatives & History

As mentioned above, the original plan was to create base classes in oslotest.



Primary author:
Doug Hellmann
Other contributors:


This policy will go into effect during the Liberty cycle.

Work Items

Revision History

Release Name Description
Liberty Introduced


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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