--- aliases: - "Why automate tests for plugins?" tags: - seedling publish: true --- # Why automate tests for plugins? This note describes the motivation for writing [[for Plugin Developers to Automate Tests|automated tests for software]], in the context of writing plugins for Obsidian. ## Manual Testing ### Why even test your plugin at all? - To know it works: intended behaviour - To know it's done/good enough - To not break user's (and your) data ### Steps to test Obsidian Plugins *Typically...* 1. Write your code 1. Build your plugin 1. Run it in Obsidian 1. Click and type to test it 1. Go to 1 Note: - Yes, it's possible to streamline that - But it's still a mental context switch out of your IDE - And it interrupts your flow ### Testing Over Time... It starts off easy, and gets progressively harder. - You add a **feature** - You know how to test it manually and you know it works - The code is small and fresh in your mind - You had **another feature** - Now you have two features to test - You had another feature, and **a few more** - Either you test by hand all the features so far and the interactions between them, or maybe you just test the newest features - Now you have got more codes that could break and more features to test - And of course the code becomes more complicated to - Maybe somebody comes along and submit a **pull request** to improve your plug-in - They didn't know all the manual tests they needed to run, so now you need to run all the manual tests - Or maybe you spend your time writing up a **load of detailed notes** about how to test it manually, and of course those notes quickly become out of date - And the time that you're spending writing instructions about testing or testing manually it's not just boring time it's time when you're not adding value and not having fun - Or maybe you wait for users to report bugs and breakages? ## Another way - You write short snippets of code that exercise bits of your plug-in in various ways and that check that the result is what was expected - Now you've written that code, you can run it as many times as you want - and very quickly - You can even make it run continuously whilst you're developing - The computer can check the behaviour far faster than you can - And you can ask GitHub Actions to run it for you every time you or a contributor pushes code to GitHub ## Why automated tests? - Massively quicker than manual - Fix whilst fresh in mind - The earlier a bug is found, the easier it is to fix it - Helps others work on code - Learn about your code - Learn about other people's code ## Isn't it hard? - It's a skill you can learn - Gets easier with practice - Gets easier with seeing how others test code - When you get good at it, it saves loads of time %% Hub footer: Please don't edit anything below this line %% # This note in GitHub <span class="git-footer">[Edit In GitHub](https://github.dev/obsidian-community/obsidian-hub/blob/main/04%20-%20Guides%2C%20Workflows%2C%20%26%20Courses/Guides/Why%20automate%20tests%20for%20plugins.md "git-hub-edit-note") | [Copy this note](https://raw.githubusercontent.com/obsidian-community/obsidian-hub/main/04%20-%20Guides%2C%20Workflows%2C%20%26%20Courses/Guides/Why%20automate%20tests%20for%20plugins.md "git-hub-copy-note") | [Download this vault](https://github.com/obsidian-community/obsidian-hub/archive/refs/heads/main.zip "git-hub-download-vault") </span>