Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lightning Compiler with doctest support

As readers of this blog will know, I wrote "Lightning Compiler" (LC) as a small application to test code snippets. Inspired by an idea from Jeffrey Elkner, I added two new options for LC. It is not possible to press a button an execute a code snippet as though it was imported as a module by doctest, either in "normal" mode, or in verbose mode. For example, suppose I have the following code:
def hello():
""">>> hello()
print "Hello!"
I can simply press LC's "docTest" button or "verbose" button to run Python with doctest.

What's happening behind the scene is that the following two lines
import doctest
are appended to the code in the window, all of which is saved to a file which is then executed by Python, with or without the "-v" option. The result is saved to a second file which is then displayed in LC's output window.

Granted, if your script already includes some doctest-based testing within a "standard"
if __name__ == "__main__:"
block, this addition to LC may not seem that useful; however, if you already use the "if..." block for something other than tests with doctest and have some docstrings-based tests in your code, it might be worth your while trying LC's new feature.

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