From: UncleBob[?]
Subject: RE: [fitnesse] new release
Date: April 9, 2004 12:46:56 AM CDT

Micah and I have been consulting at a client all week, and working on
FitNesse each night, to get this release out. I've added a bit more
information about each of the changes below. We'll get even better data up
on in the next few days.

We're very excited about this release. This is the first time we've made
changes directly to FIT. We think we're on a good track with these changes,
and we would love to hear your feedback.

* FitClient[?]/FitServer interface uses command line arguments
instead of stdin

FitClient[?] lives inside fitnesse and communicates with the external process
that runs FIT tests. While FitClient[?] is all Java, FitServer is written in
the target language. The protocol between the two processes is socket
based, and very simple. When you run a test FitNesse runs the appropriate
FitServer from the command line. It passes three arguments over the command
line. These three arguments identify the host, socket, and test id number.
FitServer then goes to that socket and requests the tests by their id.

We've gotten this working in Java, C# and C++. Work is underway in Delphi
as well.

* a < _ < b syntax in any function cell. (i.e. quotient())

Actually you can use any inequality in a cell. The _ character represents
the value returned from the fixture.
E.g. _<32 or _>=99 or even -4.9 <= _ <100.1

For simple comparisons you can leave the _ off.
<32 or >99.

These comparisons only work for numeric values. We haven't done anything
for Strings yet, but the implications are obvious. Substring matching,
pattern matching, lexical order comparison, etc. One step at a time.

* Exception font size is now zero.

Meaning that you can probably read the exception text now. We made it a bit
bigger than before.

* Boolean Type Adapter now allows "yes" and "1" as well as "true".

Boolean values can now be specified as true, yes, YES, Y, +, or 1. Anything
else is false.

* ? in ColumnFixture in addition to ()

Telling business analysts to use () in column fixture was just too weird.
We think valid? Is better than valid().

* !table

Everybody grumbles when they have to put and Around the fixture names
in their tables. No more. Instead use the following syntax:


The entire table is escaped from any kind of widget processing. The whole
table becomes one big literal.

* ErrorLog moved to root

If you use virtual wiki, then you know that error logs don't work when tests
fail. Now they do. We moved the ErrorLog location to the .ErrorLog[?] page.
The actual errorlog will be in a page named for the test that failed.

* Move refactoring works
* Rename refactoring works

Self explanatory, but welcome. These refactorings seem to work very well
now. Check out the acceptance tests for them too.

* !see

A newcomer. You can create new test suites whose tests are not children of
the suite. You simply list each test page in a !see directive. We thought
this would be useful for folks who wanted to keep a list of all currently
passing acceptance tests, or a page for all the acceptance tests in the
current iteration.

* !include works for absolute links accross virtual wiki

If you used virtual wiki you know that !include did not work across the
virtual link. Now it does -- at least for absolute references.

* Simple Authentication

You can turn on a single user authentication system. One username, one
password. Anybody trying to use FitNesse must log in using them.

* Numbers in Wiki Words

OK, OK, OK... IterationList20040408[?] is now a valid WikiWord[?].

* Symbols field= and =method?

Have you ever written a fixture that needed to remember an output value and
then feed it into an input in a different table? If so, you probably used
a little hashmap held in a static variable to bind the values to names. You
don't have to do that anymore. Now, in a ColumnFixture, you can use
variable= and =method() in the header. The cell will contain the name of a
symbol. In the latter case the symbol will have the return value of the
method associated with it. In the former it will load the variable with the
value associated with the symbol. In the example below the key() method of
the AddEmployee[?] fixture returns an automatically generated key for the newly
added database row.

name date =key?
Bob today bobKey
Bill later billKey

key= name date
billKey Bill later
bobKey Bob today

* null and blank

Have you ever wondered how to compare to a blank line, or a null? Here's
how. Use the 'null' or 'blank' keywords. Whenever these words appear in a
cell they are converted to true null, or true empty string. Thus:

name date valid?
blank today false
null today false
Bob today true

* All Tables Have Arguments.

Have you ever wanted to pass an argument into a fixture? I find this
happens most often with RowFixtures[?]. I want to pass query arguments into
them. Now *every* fixture can take an unlimited number of arguments. There
is a new protected variable in Fixture named args. It contains a String[]
that contains the contents of the cells that immediately follow the name of
the fixture. Thus:

FindAllEmployeesBornBefore 12/5/52
name salary
Bob 32768
Micah 65535

In the Fixture the value of args[0] will be "12/5/52"

That's about it. Have fun with the new features. Please let us know what
you think and feel free to holler on this mailing list any time.

Bob and Micah.