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All of our software projects are web based and many include the production of HTML templates (example pages) that then need to be integrated into a working software system or website.

Are there widely used generic test procedures available to check the quality of this integration step and if yes, are there any tools that would help with running these tests?

For example one bug I found is that a CSS rule

#category h2, form h2{

has been misinterpreted on integration as

#category h2, #form h2{

causing the use of a

<div id="form">

that complicates the code unnecessary.

I thought for example a tool that compares the use of classes and id tags in the HTML templates and live version may be useful to detect such issues, but I don't want to build these tools all on my own or focus on issues that are less common.

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So would you be looking for something like FX Cop or something along those lines to enforce code policies on checkin or build? –  Dan Snell Jun 19 '12 at 2:57
    
The rule was misinterpreted by developer or you have some engine that creates those CSS and HTML from template? I.e., how the process of going from templates to final CSS and HTML looks like? –  dzieciou Nov 16 '12 at 6:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Those validators will all give passing status when the failure is actually the creation of valid, yet undesired CSS.

I think dzieciou is on the right path with really taking a look at the process of how the final markup files are produced. You wrote "has been misinterpreted on integration" but you don't provide details about what exactly does the interpreting/misinterpreting. Ideally you just want to fix the code or mechanism that is responsible for generating the bad files in the first place. To check it's working is to know what you expect and don't expect so you can create a meaningful test.

It sounds like you have at-least two tests (if you find it valuable after you fix the bug) to run:

  • div id="form" should not appear in final HTML document
  • #form should always be "form" in your final CSS document

It's up to you to determine when to run them.

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the misinterpretation happened by a developer. –  jdog May 25 at 17:39

There are a number of tools that will validate the correctness of your HTML including CSS, accessibility, etc. I'm not sure if they would catch your specific scenario or not, but you could check.

One simple step would be to use the IE Developer Tools. In the latest version of IE, select "F12 Developer Tools" in the tools menu. On the Validate menu, there are a few options including "HTML", "CSS" and a couple of options under "Accessibility". If you need more you can search Google for "HTML validation tool" and a bunch show up.

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thanks. I'm looking more for tools to validate the process. Ie. comparing the quality features of different intermediate deliverables, rather than ensuring the end product is valid. Ie. implemented HTML and CSS could be valid, but loaded with lots of maintenance and technology debt –  jdog Dec 7 '11 at 22:50
    
So maybe you're looking for tools that discover technical debt issue in HTML/CSS? FindBugs and CheckStyle for instance can find, apart from bugs, common-antipatterns in Java apps. Maybe there's something like that for HTML/CSS? –  dzieciou Nov 16 '12 at 10:46

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