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15.2. Handling changing requirements

15.2. Handling changing requirements

Despite your best efforts to pin your customers to the ground and extract exact requirements from them on pain of horrible nasty things involving scissors and hot wax, requirements will change. Most customers don't know what they want until they see it, and even if they do, they aren't that good at articulating what they want precisely enough to be useful. And even if they do, they'll want more in the next release anyway. So be prepared to update your test cases as requirements change.

Suppose, for instance, that you wanted to expand the range of the Roman numeral conversion functions. Remember the rule that said that no character could be repeated more than three times? Well, the Romans were willing to make an exception to that rule by having 4 M characters in a row to represent 4000. If you make this change, you'll be able to expand the range of convertible numbers from 1..3999 to 1..4999. But first, you need to make some changes to the test cases.

Example 15.6. Modifying test cases for new requirements (romantest71.py)

This file is available in py/roman/stage7/ in the examples directory.

If you have not already done so, you can download this and other examples used in this book.


import roman71
import unittest

class KnownValues(unittest.TestCase):
    knownValues = ( (1, 'I'),
                    (2, 'II'),
                    (3, 'III'),
                    (4, 'IV'),
                    (5, 'V'),
                    (6, 'VI'),
                    (7, 'VII'),
                    (8, 'VIII'),
                    (9, 'IX'),
                    (10, 'X'),
                    (50, 'L'),
                    (100, 'C'),
                    (500, 'D'),
                    (1000, 'M'),
                    (31, 'XXXI'),
                    (148, 'CXLVIII'),
                    (294, 'CCXCIV'),
                    (312, 'CCCXII'),
                    (421, 'CDXXI'),
                    (528, 'DXXVIII'),
                    (621, 'DCXXI'),
                    (782, 'DCCLXXXII'),
                    (870, 'DCCCLXX'),
                    (941, 'CMXLI'),
                    (1043, 'MXLIII'),
                    (1110, 'MCX'),
                    (1226, 'MCCXXVI'),
                    (1301, 'MCCCI'),
                    (1485, 'MCDLXXXV'),
                    (1509, 'MDIX'),
                    (1607, 'MDCVII'),
                    (1754, 'MDCCLIV'),
                    (1832, 'MDCCCXXXII'),
                    (1993, 'MCMXCIII'),
                    (2074, 'MMLXXIV'),
                    (2152, 'MMCLII'),
                    (2212, 'MMCCXII'),
                    (2343, 'MMCCCXLIII'),
                    (2499, 'MMCDXCIX'),
                    (2574, 'MMDLXXIV'),
                    (2646, 'MMDCXLVI'),
                    (2723, 'MMDCCXXIII'),
                    (2892, 'MMDCCCXCII'),
                    (2975, 'MMCMLXXV'),
                    (3051, 'MMMLI'),
                    (3185, 'MMMCLXXXV'),
                    (3250, 'MMMCCL'),
                    (3313, 'MMMCCCXIII'),
                    (3408, 'MMMCDVIII'),
                    (3501, 'MMMDI'),
                    (3610, 'MMMDCX'),
                    (3743, 'MMMDCCXLIII'),
                    (3844, 'MMMDCCCXLIV'),
                    (3888, 'MMMDCCCLXXXVIII'),
                    (3940, 'MMMCMXL'),
                    (3999, 'MMMCMXCIX'),
                    (4000, 'MMMM'),                                       1
                    (4500, 'MMMMD'),
                    (4888, 'MMMMDCCCLXXXVIII'),
                    (4999, 'MMMMCMXCIX'))

    def testToRomanKnownValues(self):
        """toRoman should give known result with known input"""
        for integer, numeral in self.knownValues:
            result = roman71.toRoman(integer)
            self.assertEqual(numeral, result)

    def testFromRomanKnownValues(self):
        """fromRoman should give known result with known input"""
        for integer, numeral in self.knownValues:
            result = roman71.fromRoman(numeral)
            self.assertEqual(integer, result)

class ToRomanBadInput(unittest.TestCase):
    def testTooLarge(self):
        """toRoman should fail with large input"""
        self.assertRaises(roman71.OutOfRangeError, roman71.toRoman, 5000) 2

    def testZero(self):
        """toRoman should fail with 0 input"""
        self.assertRaises(roman71.OutOfRangeError, roman71.toRoman, 0)

    def testNegative(self):
        """toRoman should fail with negative input"""
        self.assertRaises(roman71.OutOfRangeError, roman71.toRoman, -1)

    def testNonInteger(self):
        """toRoman should fail with non-integer input"""
        self.assertRaises(roman71.NotIntegerError, roman71.toRoman, 0.5)

class FromRomanBadInput(unittest.TestCase):
    def testTooManyRepeatedNumerals(self):
        """fromRoman should fail with too many repeated numerals"""
        for s in ('MMMMM', 'DD', 'CCCC', 'LL', 'XXXX', 'VV', 'IIII'):     3
            self.assertRaises(roman71.InvalidRomanNumeralError, roman71.fromRoman, s)

    def testRepeatedPairs(self):
        """fromRoman should fail with repeated pairs of numerals"""
        for s in ('CMCM', 'CDCD', 'XCXC', 'XLXL', 'IXIX', 'IVIV'):
            self.assertRaises(roman71.InvalidRomanNumeralError, roman71.fromRoman, s)

    def testMalformedAntecedent(self):
        """fromRoman should fail with malformed antecedents"""
        for s in ('IIMXCC', 'VX', 'DCM', 'CMM', 'IXIV',
                  'MCMC', 'XCX', 'IVI', 'LM', 'LD', 'LC'):
            self.assertRaises(roman71.InvalidRomanNumeralError, roman71.fromRoman, s)

    def testBlank(self):
        """fromRoman should fail with blank string"""
        self.assertRaises(roman71.InvalidRomanNumeralError, roman71.fromRoman, "")

class SanityCheck(unittest.TestCase):
    def testSanity(self):
        """fromRoman(toRoman(n))==n for all n"""
        for integer in range(1, 5000):                                    4
            numeral = roman71.toRoman(integer)
            result = roman71.fromRoman(numeral)
            self.assertEqual(integer, result)

class CaseCheck(unittest.TestCase):
    def testToRomanCase(self):
        """toRoman should always return uppercase"""
        for integer in range(1, 5000):
            numeral = roman71.toRoman(integer)
            self.assertEqual(numeral, numeral.upper())

    def testFromRomanCase(self):
        """fromRoman should only accept uppercase input"""
        for integer in range(1, 5000):
            numeral = roman71.toRoman(integer)
            roman71.fromRoman(numeral.upper())
            self.assertRaises(roman71.InvalidRomanNumeralError,
                              roman71.fromRoman, numeral.lower())

if __name__ == "__main__":
    unittest.main()
1 The existing known values don't change (they're all still reasonable values to test), but you need to add a few more in the 4000 range. Here I've included 4000 (the shortest), 4500 (the second shortest), 4888 (the longest), and 4999 (the largest).
2 The definition of “large input” has changed. This test used to call toRoman with 4000 and expect an error; now that 4000-4999 are good values, you need to bump this up to 5000.
3 The definition of “too many repeated numerals” has also changed. This test used to call fromRoman with 'MMMM' and expect an error; now that MMMM is considered a valid Roman numeral, you need to bump this up to 'MMMMM'.
4 The sanity check and case checks loop through every number in the range, from 1 to 3999. Since the range has now expanded, these for loops need to be updated as well to go up to 4999.

Now your test cases are up to date with the new requirements, but your code is not, so you expect several of the test cases to fail.

Example 15.7. Output of romantest71.py against roman71.py


fromRoman should only accept uppercase input ... ERROR        1
toRoman should always return uppercase ... ERROR
fromRoman should fail with blank string ... ok
fromRoman should fail with malformed antecedents ... ok
fromRoman should fail with repeated pairs of numerals ... ok
fromRoman should fail with too many repeated numerals ... ok
fromRoman should give known result with known input ... ERROR 2
toRoman should give known result with known input ... ERROR   3
fromRoman(toRoman(n))==n for all n ... ERROR                  4
toRoman should fail with non-integer input ... ok
toRoman should fail with negative input ... ok
toRoman should fail with large input ... ok
toRoman should fail with 0 input ... ok
1 Our case checks now fail because they loop from 1 to 4999, but toRoman only accepts numbers from 1 to 3999, so it will fail as soon the test case hits 4000.
2 The fromRoman known values test will fail as soon as it hits 'MMMM', because fromRoman still thinks this is an invalid Roman numeral.
3 The toRoman known values test will fail as soon as it hits 4000, because toRoman still thinks this is out of range.
4 The sanity check will also fail as soon as it hits 4000, because toRoman still thinks this is out of range.

======================================================================
ERROR: fromRoman should only accept uppercase input
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\docbook\dip\py\roman\stage7\romantest71.py", line 161, in testFromRomanCase
    numeral = roman71.toRoman(integer)
  File "roman71.py", line 28, in toRoman
    raise OutOfRangeError, "number out of range (must be 1..3999)"
OutOfRangeError: number out of range (must be 1..3999)
======================================================================
ERROR: toRoman should always return uppercase
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\docbook\dip\py\roman\stage7\romantest71.py", line 155, in testToRomanCase
    numeral = roman71.toRoman(integer)
  File "roman71.py", line 28, in toRoman
    raise OutOfRangeError, "number out of range (must be 1..3999)"
OutOfRangeError: number out of range (must be 1..3999)
======================================================================
ERROR: fromRoman should give known result with known input
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\docbook\dip\py\roman\stage7\romantest71.py", line 102, in testFromRomanKnownValues
    result = roman71.fromRoman(numeral)
  File "roman71.py", line 47, in fromRoman
    raise InvalidRomanNumeralError, 'Invalid Roman numeral: %s' % s
InvalidRomanNumeralError: Invalid Roman numeral: MMMM
======================================================================
ERROR: toRoman should give known result with known input
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\docbook\dip\py\roman\stage7\romantest71.py", line 96, in testToRomanKnownValues
    result = roman71.toRoman(integer)
  File "roman71.py", line 28, in toRoman
    raise OutOfRangeError, "number out of range (must be 1..3999)"
OutOfRangeError: number out of range (must be 1..3999)
======================================================================
ERROR: fromRoman(toRoman(n))==n for all n
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\docbook\dip\py\roman\stage7\romantest71.py", line 147, in testSanity
    numeral = roman71.toRoman(integer)
  File "roman71.py", line 28, in toRoman
    raise OutOfRangeError, "number out of range (must be 1..3999)"
OutOfRangeError: number out of range (must be 1..3999)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ran 13 tests in 2.213s

FAILED (errors=5)

Now that you have test cases that fail due to the new requirements, you can think about fixing the code to bring it in line with the test cases. (One thing that takes some getting used to when you first start coding unit tests is that the code being tested is never “ahead” of the test cases. While it's behind, you still have some work to do, and as soon as it catches up to the test cases, you stop coding.)

Example 15.8. Coding the new requirements (roman72.py)

This file is available in py/roman/stage7/ in the examples directory.

"""Convert to and from Roman numerals"""
import re

#Define exceptions
class RomanError(Exception): pass
class OutOfRangeError(RomanError): pass
class NotIntegerError(RomanError): pass
class InvalidRomanNumeralError(RomanError): pass

#Define digit mapping
romanNumeralMap = (('M',  1000),
                   ('CM', 900),
                   ('D',  500),
                   ('CD', 400),
                   ('C',  100),
                   ('XC', 90),
                   ('L',  50),
                   ('XL', 40),
                   ('X',  10),
                   ('IX', 9),
                   ('V',  5),
                   ('IV', 4),
                   ('I',  1))

def toRoman(n):
    """convert integer to Roman numeral"""
    if not (0 < n < 5000):                                                         1
        raise OutOfRangeError, "number out of range (must be 1..4999)"
    if int(n) <> n:
        raise NotIntegerError, "non-integers can not be converted"

    result = ""
    for numeral, integer in romanNumeralMap:
        while n >= integer:
            result += numeral
            n -= integer
    return result

#Define pattern to detect valid Roman numerals
romanNumeralPattern = '^M?M?M?M?(CM|CD|D?C?C?C?)(XC|XL|L?X?X?X?)(IX|IV|V?I?I?I?)$' 2

def fromRoman(s):
    """convert Roman numeral to integer"""
    if not s:
        raise InvalidRomanNumeralError, 'Input can not be blank'
    if not re.search(romanNumeralPattern, s):
        raise InvalidRomanNumeralError, 'Invalid Roman numeral: %s' % s

    result = 0
    index = 0
    for numeral, integer in romanNumeralMap:
        while s[index:index+len(numeral)] == numeral:
            result += integer
            index += len(numeral)
    return result
1 toRoman only needs one small change, in the range check. Where you used to check 0 < n < 4000, you now check 0 < n < 5000. And you change the error message that you raise to reflect the new acceptable range (1..4999 instead of 1..3999). You don't need to make any changes to the rest of the function; it handles the new cases already. (It merrily adds 'M' for each thousand that it finds; given 4000, it will spit out 'MMMM'. The only reason it didn't do this before is that you explicitly stopped it with the range check.)
2 You don't need to make any changes to fromRoman at all. The only change is to romanNumeralPattern; if you look closely, you'll notice that you added another optional M in the first section of the regular expression. This will allow up to 4 M characters instead of 3, meaning you will allow the Roman numeral equivalents of 4999 instead of 3999. The actual fromRoman function is completely general; it just looks for repeated Roman numeral characters and adds them up, without caring how many times they repeat. The only reason it didn't handle 'MMMM' before is that you explicitly stopped it with the regular expression pattern matching.

You may be skeptical that these two small changes are all that you need. Hey, don't take my word for it; see for yourself:

Example 15.9. Output of romantest72.py against roman72.py

fromRoman should only accept uppercase input ... ok
toRoman should always return uppercase ... ok
fromRoman should fail with blank string ... ok
fromRoman should fail with malformed antecedents ... ok
fromRoman should fail with repeated pairs of numerals ... ok
fromRoman should fail with too many repeated numerals ... ok
fromRoman should give known result with known input ... ok
toRoman should give known result with known input ... ok
fromRoman(toRoman(n))==n for all n ... ok
toRoman should fail with non-integer input ... ok
toRoman should fail with negative input ... ok
toRoman should fail with large input ... ok
toRoman should fail with 0 input ... ok

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ran 13 tests in 3.685s

OK 1
1 All the test cases pass. Stop coding.

Comprehensive unit testing means never having to rely on a programmer who says “Trust me.

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