A Mock’s Not A Stub

February 5, 2007

I read Martin Fowler’s site pretty regularly, and while I typically enjoy the writing there, this article really stood out for me when I read it this week.

It explains the differences between mocks, stubs, and other testing lingo, and it cleared a lot of things up for me that have been muddied for a good time now.

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I was asked for Eclipse plugin recommendations last month, by someone who’d just started doing Java development again after quite a bit of time doing .Net development. I wrote down a short list of the common settings, plugins, ans so forth I recommend to the developers I work with.

While writing the list, I realized I can babble about Eclipse setup for far longer than anyone cares to listen, so I’ve pared things down to five initial setup recommendations:

  1. Download an Eclipse milestone. Their usually stable enough for day-to-day use.
  2. Edit the Java compiler settings, turning all the warnings on. Turn off the ones that completely bug you after a few hours.
  3. Set up an extension location to install any plugins into. You’ll be glad you did. Lots of sites discuss this idea; I often point folks here for details.
  4. Install some plugins. I recommend the Web Tools Platform for web developers, PMD for developers who need to review more other’s projects, and the Freemarker plugin for anyone working with Freemarker templates.
  5. Look around on the web any time you wish Eclipse did something it doesn’t. There are plugins and setup options to match all sorts of situation.