I have been struggling with some of the inner workings of the GXT framework for a few days now, and I just wonder if anyone has any solution to these problems, or if this is on the radar for a future release. So this post is about the testability options in GXT.
The functionality I am after is simple: mocking GXT visual elements and then using them in tests that run in the JVM (not extending GWTTestCase).
The reason for this is obvious - tests build up in a large application and it's no longer viable to run 2000 tests, multiple times during the day, when the runtime is 30 minutes. This is the whole point of having the tests, right? The solution is also simple (or so it seems) - run the tests in a JVM, many orders of magnitude faster (by many I mean 1000 times faster or more).
GWT seems to enable this easily. I have not looked at the code, seeing how I don't really use GWT widgets, but I've done a simple test with a Button, and it is mocked just fine (I'm using Mockito, but any mocking framework will do):
This means that the architecture allows for mocking; it basically means that it doesn't make any decisions that could block the ability to mock, like using global state or using GWT.create() and then using the return value (I'll go into that later).
final Button mockButton = Mockito.mock( Button.class ); // GWT button
So it is possible.
Now the same test, only with the GXT button fails, and fails in such a way that I cannot seem to find any simple solution around the problem. The fault is with the GXT class itself: it uses global state, so each time it's loaded (and it's loaded every time you need to create some visual element, like a button), it does this:
Of course this is not the only place where the GWT class uses global state, and so it's not the only place where mocking is blocked.
public static String SSL_SECURE_URL = GWT.getModuleBaseURL() + "blank.html";
There are many ways to tackle this problem, some very un-disruptive to the API.
So keeping a constructive and positive attitude to all of this - I just want to start a discussion and possibly get a feeling about the future development of GXT.
It goes without saying (but I'm going to say it anyway), the benefits of allowing this are huge and not to be underestimated. This is one of the few real drawbacks of using GXT over GWT, and it just feels that it would really benefit the platform if the architecture would allow for real testing (of which mocking is a crucial part of).
Any thoughts on this would be cool.