19.4 Test Coverage

You can do coverage testing for a file of Lisp code by loading the testcover library and using the command M-x testcover-start RET file RET to instrument the code. Then test your code by calling it one or more times. Then use the command M-x testcover-mark-all to display colored highlights on the code to show where coverage is insufficient. The command M-x testcover-next-mark will move point forward to the next highlighted spot.

Normally, a red highlight indicates the form was never completely evaluated; a brown highlight means it always evaluated to the same value (meaning there has been little testing of what is done with the result). However, the red highlight is skipped for forms that can’t possibly complete their evaluation, such as error. The brown highlight is skipped for forms that are expected to always evaluate to the same value, such as (setq x 14).

For difficult cases, you can add do-nothing macros to your code to give advice to the test coverage tool.

Macro: 1value form

Evaluate form and return its value, but inform coverage testing that form’s value should always be the same.

Macro: noreturn form

Evaluate form, informing coverage testing that form should never return. If it ever does return, you get a run-time error.

Edebug also has a coverage testing feature (see Coverage Testing). These features partly duplicate each other, and it would be cleaner to combine them.