Eclipse Finance Day 2014: Testing business applications with RCPTT

3. November, 2014

RCP Testing Tool (RCPTT) is an Open Source tool for UI testing of Eclipse-based applications. During the demo by Ivan Inozemtsev, I got the impression that they thought of everything:

  • There is a recorder so you can quickly create a test case by clicking thought the application
  • There is an assertion builder where you can say “this element should be red”, “this checkbox needs to be checked”, “this image must be visible”
  • There is special support for all kinds of widgets like text editors where “position” is row/column (i.e. cursor position) instead of mouse coordinates or character offsets. The test API allows for checks like “is styled like a keyword”.
  • If the UI is resized after the tests have been recorded, the tool will try to calculate the relative click point. Unless the UI element is special (like a graph editor) where it has different heuristics (like when you clicked in an empty area but now, there is something below at the coordinate). If everything else fails, the testing tool will try to resize the UI element to the recorded size.
  • There is a compact, extensible DSL to describe the test cases. The DSL supports procedures so you can reuse test code.

The tool was fast and stable during the demo. It could reset Eclipse’s workspace to a certain state (open perspective, open editors, open projects) – I’m currently thinking about using it to create the default workspace for our development team.

One more things from the demo: Black box testing is a myth or at least a dream. A testing tool for anything complex needs to know internal details (like Eclipse’s background jobs). Otherwise the tests will either fail randomly when some background job didn’t complete in time or they will be slow (since each of them will be sprinkled with “WAIT 1 MINUTE” instructions) or they will be sprinkled with application specific “wait” instructions.


Building RCP Apps With OSGi

16. March, 2011

Dave Orme wrote a really interesting article about building blocks of a RCP application with OSGiThe OSGi Building Block Pattern: An Invitation

I agree with him: The RCP wizard should really create projects to build a p2 repo and to package the bundles and features into something that a user can download and install.

Right now one of the major stumbling blocks when starting with Eclipse projects is that they either don’t build at all or that I fail to bundle/package them into some “output.”

The typical situation is that I’ve managed to import the project into my workspace. Now I get a lot of compile errors because bundles are missing in my IDE. Problem: I see the names but I have no idea at all where to download them. (See bug 340014 – “Offer a quick fix to install missing dependencies from p2 repositories”)

After manually googling for bundle names, trying to find the p2 repo which might contain them (in former times, p2 repositories offered a way to quickly browse them with a web browser – that doesn’t work anymore, so it’s poking in the dark). After a couple of restarts, the compile errors are gone.

At long last, I can start to fix my problem.

But now what? How can I create the “thing” that I need? (where “thing” can be a RCP app, a p2 repo, a bundle, a feature). Eclipse doesn’t allow to save the final after-build-step anywhere. Users must remember the steps: Export…, select the correct tool out 500, fill out the 100+ options in the little dialogs that pop up, rinse, repeat.

Welcome bug 340018 – “Allow to save export actions in a “launch” config”


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