Pointless Arithmetic or Incompetent Communicator?


You don’t say? Well, let me counter that with an…


Let me explain. I’m creating a unit test where I need to do some calculations in order to create an expected value (i.e. do the same computation as the function I’m testing but differently… or usually more manually…)

So this is my test (high lighted was marked as “pointless”):

final MinMaxAverage mma = new MinMaxAverage();
mma.add(1d, 1d);
mma.add(2d, 2d);
mma.add(4d, 4d);
final double min = mma.min();
final double max = mma.max();
final double sum = mma.sum();
final double average = mma.average();
final int count = mma.count();
assertEquals(1d, min);
assertEquals(4d, max);
assertEquals(1d*1d + 2d*2d + 4d*4d, sum);
assertEquals((1d*1d + 2d*2d + 4d*4d) / (1d + 2d + 4d), average);
assertEquals(3, count);

Sure, this test could have used another weight, but I wanted to test with a weight of 1. And regardless… is this pointless arithmetic in a test? Or for that matter in a complex program that might actually benefit from more simple code?

Programming isn’t just coding and numbers… it’s also communicating with other programmers and yourself in a year. Some IDE simplifications aren’t necessarily simplifications at all. Sure, you can make the code look lean and nice, but you probably should think twice about that if it’s a fringe case, something you use very seldom, or in this case the attempt to make the inner workings of a function in a test more transparent.

Ah well, regardless… I fear I’m expecting the IDE to understand my thoughts and feelings… I guess our relationship is in choppy waters then? 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.