Continuous Validation: Pursuing Error-free Apps

Dane Avilla

Date: Wednesday 19 September 2007
Time: 14:50 - 15:35
Location: Saal Maritim C

When testing traditional data processing applications, checking program output for validity is of paramount importance. The same holds true for web applications where the output is most often an HTML GUI. For online applications, manually testing web GUIs on the myriad browser/operating system combinations is difficult and time consuming, but many display and programming errors that manifest on only certain OS/browser combinations are symptoms of malformed data and can be avoided simply by validating the (X)HTML, CSS, or JavaScript files served to the browser. There have long been solutions to validating particular output file types and recent Firefox plugins like "HTML Validator" are great tools, but an integrated, automated, and comprehensive solution has been lacking.

This talk will discuss the importance of output validation and demonstrate how to use WATIR and Rails filters along with a number of helpful open source tools -- JSLint, OpenSP, the W3C's CSS Validator -- to be sure "rake test" catches output errors long before they reach a client browser.

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