A Fitnesse Glossary for Non-Programmers

by Jeff Langr

June 24, 2011

Fitnesse is designed to be a simple table-driven testing framework that’s accessible to anyone who has a web browser. Just like anything, however, it’s not without its own set of terms, which can be initially overwhelming, particular for folks who don’t program computers for a living. Here’s a glossary you may find useful.

acceptance test
A test whose success indicates that a particular feature meets the expectations of the customer and thus may be delivered.
action fixture
A FIT fixture type that supports tests that capture a series of events. Each row in an action fixture table supports either an action–such as “press” or “enter”–or a verification (“check”) that the system shows a certain value.
camel case
A compound word with no spaces (or other special characters) where the start of each contained word is an upper case letter. For example: ThisIsCamelCase appears in upper camel case; thisIsCamelCase appears in lower camel case.
child page
A page that is conceptually subordinate to another. For example, a page named GovernmentBranches might have three child pages: LegislativeBranch, ExecutiveBranch, and JudicialBranch.
The intersection of a row and column in a table.
A configuration element that tells Fitnesse where to look for fixture code.
collapsible section
A portion of a wiki page that can be “collapsed” (mostly hidden from view) or expanded.
column fixture
A FIT fixture type that supports a number of functional tests. Each row in a column fixture is a collection of inputs and expected outputs.
decision fixture
A SLIM fixture type that is analogous to the FIT column fixture.
do fixture
DoFixture is a FitLibrary fixture type that supports verifying a workflow–an arbitrary set of sequential steps.
The original Fitnesse test system (“Framework for Integration Tests”); see also SLIM.
A third-party collection of additional test fixture types.
A thin layer of code that Fitnesse uses to drive the application being tested from a test table.
fixture argument
A value passed to a fixture, appearing after the name of the fixture, used to initialize the fixture (often used to constrain results returned from a query).
graceful name
An aesthetically pleasing, more readable version of a wiki word or other compound word. For example, “customer name” is a graceful name that translates to “customerName” when Fitnesse runs its tests.
A web page element that navigates to another web page when clicked.
markup language
the set of conventions used by the Fitnesse wiki to “mark up” page text for formatting purposes. For example, to create the italicized word fish in the Fitnesse wiki, you mark it up by surrounding it with double-tics: ”fish”.
markup variable
a Fitnesse mechanism that allows for simple text substitution anywhere in a test page or sub-wiki
page hierarchy
A set of wiki pages organized like an upside-down tree, into parent and child relationships. Each wiki page may have one or more child pages.
Various page attributes. Fitnesse allows customization of features such as editability on a per-page basis.
To restructure some aspect of the Fitnesse wiki. The refactoring features of Fitnesse allow for search & replace, renaming pages, moving pages to another location, and deleting sub-wikis.
To change the currently active Fitnesse page version to an older version.
row fixture
A FIT fixture type that supports verifying the result of a query. A row fixture contains one row for each record expected when the system returns a collection of results.
query fixture
A SLIM fixture type that is analogous to the FIT row fixture.
scenario table
A SLIM fixture type that can be called from other tables.
script fixture
A SLIM fixture type that is similar to the FitLibrary do fixture.
set up
A page that contains a number of common initialization test tables. The SetUp page in Fitnesse is run prior to each test in the sub-wiki where it is defined.
A Fitnesse test system with a thinner client architecture that supports easier porting to new versions and languages than does FIT.
A whole new page hierarchy that lives between a single Fitnesse page.
A sub-wiki that is run as a collection of tests. Any test pages appearing as child pages of a page marked as a suite are executed when the suite is executed.
A variable that appears in a table, allowing you to capture or use the value returned into an output cell from a fixture.
symbolic link
An alias for another page in the wiki
A number of rows and columns grouped together.
tear down
A page that contains a number of common test tables used for cleanup. The TearDown page in Fitnesse is run subsequent to each test in the sub-wiki where it is defined.
test page
Also known as a Fitnesse page. The test page represents a set of steps to be executed for a single test case. A test page is identified by a wiki word and contains one or more test tables.
test runner
An application that executes one or more Fitnesse test pages. For example, the CommandLineTestRunner is used to execute tests from a batch or build process without need for human interaction.
test table
A table that declares inputs and expected outputs for test scenarios.
The contents of a page at a specific point in time. Fitnesse creates a new version each time you change a page’s contents.
a web site that allows all users to directly edit and add web pages, using a simpler formatting convention than HTML.
wiki import
A feature that allows you to import an entire wiki or subwiki from another Fitnesse site.
wiki word
A unique name for a web page that is created by appending two or more words using upper camel-case. For example, FitnessePage.

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Jeff Langr

About the Author

Jeff Langr has been building software for 40 years and writing about it heavily for 20. You can find out more about Jeff, learn from the many helpful articles and books he's written, or read one of his 1000+ combined blog (including Agile in a Flash) and public posts.