To error out or to skip tests?

Reece Dunn msclrhd at
Mon Nov 9 07:33:16 CST 2009

2009/11/9  <Joerg-Cyril.Hoehle at>:
> Hi,
> Paul Vriens wrote:
>>In my opinion the main purpose for skip() is to not run tests for
>>legitimate reasons.
> Alas, this sentence and the examples you give do not explain to me why
> to use skip instead of e.g. trace + return. What is the added value?
> What to do about that blue color or mention in the log file?
> My principle is: do not produce output if there's no consumer.
> Refuse to write a memo if nobody is going to read it!
> Why, on w95, should I use skip to mark the impossibility
> to call UTF-16 xyzW functions? Why not simply use
> if (W_isAvailable) { do_more_tests }
> We already have files that end up performing a varying number
> of tests, depending on simple if-then-else statements, without use of skip.
> That's different from the localisation example: I could switch the locale,
> then re-run the tests.  This is again this skip=="call for action" idea
> I mentioned previously.
> BTW, I've sent two patches today to stop errors on machines with sound.  The
> third one (the localisation issue -- milliseconden, you already know it)
> is written but currently at the end of my patch queue.  That should bring
> the number of errors down to 0 on every machine with sound.
> The final one, about how to deal with machines with no sound, yet trying
> to test something instead of skipping everything, I still have to think about.

Skipping is a standard way of saying that "we are trying to test
functionality A, but the host machine/configuration does not support
it." This is not an error (as it is a valid confgiuration/setup on
Windows machines), so producing errors only adds to the noise.

- Reece

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