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17.3 Example: Using Guile for an Application Testbed

As an example of what this means in practice, imagine writing a testbed for an application that is tested by submitting various requests (via a C interface) and validating the output received. Suppose further that the application keeps an idea of its current state, and that the "correct" output for a given request may depend on the current application state. A complete "white box"1 test plan for this application would aim to submit all possible requests in each distinguishable state, and validate the output for all request/state combinations.

To write all this test code in C would be very tedious. Suppose instead that the testbed code adds a single new C function, to submit an arbitrary request and return the response, and then uses Guile to export this function as a Scheme procedure. The rest of the testbed can then be written in Scheme, and so benefits from all the advantages of programming in Scheme that were described in the previous section.

(In this particular example, there is an additional benefit of writing most of the testbed in Scheme. A common problem for white box testing is that mistakes and mistaken assumptions in the application under test can easily be reproduced in the testbed code. It is more difficult to copy mistakes like this when the testbed is written in a different language from the application.)


  1. A white box test plan is one that incorporates knowledge of the internal design of the application under test.