Why I don't like Fit

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I don’t like Fit. Believe me, I want to like it, I have tried to like it. I mean, Ward Cunningham created it for crying out loud, the man is a genius, so I am probably just missing something - right?

Every time I have looked at Fit, I always like the parts that handle column fixtures. They are clean and easy to read and generally does a really good job. Buth then we get to weird cousin Row Fixture which is not at all that easy to read and uncle Action Fixture which just won’t stop and finally family FitLibrary which does all good things but are utterly unreadble - which probably is due to my lack of experience, but then again wasn’t this intended for non-programmers?

Geoff Bache told me at XP2006 to look into FitLibrary and Erik Lundh suggested that I read the book on Fit. So now I have done just that, and I still don’t like Fit. As a language that is.

What the book did explain clearly, which I find the truly awesome part of Wards invention, is the idea of executable requirements written in advance. It is soo XP that you just have to love it. And I finally get why you should test the logic layer and not through the UI. Happy now?

But the book did not address all my concerns. It does not talk about the problems with version control; if you choose to work with Excel based Fit tests you will not be able to track changes as they are binary files. Neither does it suggest how Fitnesse pages are to be kept in version control. Also, all Fit formats are hard to follow if you track changes by commit messages by email.

The Fit syntax is in my opinion a table based DSL for writing acceptance tests. How many other programming languages do you regularly use that are table based? Excel? It is awesome for column based calculations which is the same as Column Fixtures, which I like. I alreay wrote that. But the rest is just … ugly.

A better solution in my opinion would be a Markdown based documentation format, where code formatted text, the indented one, is executed as tests just like tables in Fit. Could probably easily be turned into a Wiki if needed. For testdata I would use Yaml. Now if I could just find the time :)