The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Non-terrestrial calendars

The Martian Business Calendar describes a hypothetical calendar for Mars. It's only marginally more complex than the Gregorian calendar we currently use and the tradeoffs made are interesting to read about (it includes a “leap week” instead of our “leap day” and the reasons for it are both rational and irrational at the same time, depending upon your point of view). But what I would like to see is a Venusian calendar—what tradeoffs have to be made as the Venusian day is longer than the Venusian year.

An answer to my question about unit tests

I was browsing Gemini when I came across a reponse to my unit test question:

Sean Conner poses this question.

The answer is actually more sensible in C than it was in Smalltalk: a unit is a compilation unit. In C, it is a file.

Any changes to source will require changes to a file. Once a source file is altered, it may screw something up in the resultant binary. Therefore, there should be a unit test to check that the altered unit behaves as expected.

The easiest way to think of it in C is: assume make's view of the system.

Re: What is a unit test

That is not a bad answer for C. In fact, it's probably not a bad answer for several different languages. The only clarification I can see being made is to only test non-static functions (functions that have visibility outside the file they're defined in) and not have specific tests for static functions (functions that only have visibility to code in the C file) to allow greater flexibility in implemenation and prevent tests from breaking too often.

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