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Getting FIT

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I have been using Fitnesse for a number of years now. It was available at an organization I recently worked for. They provided a wiki page complete with the jar file to download and very good instructions on how to install it and use it. Easy peasy! Since then I have moved on to a different company as an “automated tester”. My first choice of tools – Fitnesse. It’s well suited to what I’m testing using REST calls. I assumed installation and configuration would be a piece of cake. Not so much. To begin with I have to download another tool – Maven – in order to install Fitnesse. I know it sounds pretty simple right? Keep reading. Installation involved something called a POM file. OK, I’m a tester – I don’t speak developer.

The online instructions we not meant for me. But I gave it my best shot – and failed. So I swallowed my pride and posted to a Fitness group begging for assistance. I got help and not only got Fitnesse installed but also the REST fixture that I needed to run my tests (thanks to Maven which is like gibberish to me . But I followed the instructions and, viola it’s installed. Ready to test right? Not so fast. I ran the included REST Fixture Installation Test – failed. Now I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty intelligent guy, but i am sincerely humbled. Tail between my legs, I go back to the internet for help. With some help I finally get up and running and the installation test is clean and green. I should be a happy camper now. Yeah, that didn’t happen. While the older versions of Fitnesse format the XML response nicely, the new version doesn’t. Back to the blog – the reponse was basically: Yep I removed that. My bad. I’ll put it back in. So in the meantime I install the version that I know and love. The familiar UI pops up and its time to do what I do best – write an automated test. Again – not so fast. This time the problem is not Fitnesse but the system under test. The authorization scheme is a nightmare. Before I can do a simple GET or POST I need to figure out how to log on and become an authenticated.  If it were only so simple. The good news is that this is someone else’s problem.  

So I pass the buck and let someone else figure it out.  While I wait, I download one of the books on Fitnesse and try to see if I can learn anything new.  I learned the book is crap.  The examples in the book look pretty straight forward so I give them a try.  RED.  Dammit!  Come to find out there is something else I need to download.  Apparently, a key feature was removed as is no longer included with the installation.  Back to the blog site. So not only is the book completely useless, I can find a key file that I need to do the exercises in the book.  That’s it!  Stick a fork in me – I’m done



  1. Dan Woodward says:

    Wow. As one of the lighter contributors and someone who has tried to help on the Yahoo group, I’m sorry we haven’t been the help you needed.

    As I indicated in my post to the group, the FIT classes are still there. We do intend to remove them due to the license they are under, but haven’t done that yet. I don’t recommend using them though, as Slim and FitLibrary are easier in the long run to use.

    As for the Maven thing, that sounds like a miscommunication. There are two Jar files now. Fitnesse.jar is intended for use in Maven. Fitnesse-standalone.jar works just the way it used to. Download the file and run “java -jar fitnesse.jar -p 8080” and it will unzip everything you need to do fitnesse. Adding the REST class then just involves putting into a folder that gets added to the path via the Wiki (!path).

    Yeah, Fit for Developing Software was a useful book at one point, but things have kept moving forward. Markus’s books is good. So is http://schuchert.wikispaces.com/FitNesse.Tutorials.

    If you really are done, I’m sorry to hear that. If you need more help, reach out to me through twitter @woodybrood.

    • Cap'n Dave says:

      Nah…just frustrated. I’m still a big fan of Fitnesse. I’ve got Fitnesse up and running and thanks to Maveni have the REST fixture installed. I volunteered to do a 1 hour Introduction to Fitnesse and a 4 hour Fitnesse tutorial at the upcoming Software Quality Association in Denver’s (SQuAD) conference in October. I’d really like to use something like these fixtures in my presentation. Suggestions?

    • Cap'n Dave says:

      Also…I did get Markus’ book. I’ll be in touch.

      • Dan Woodward says:

        Glad to hear that we hadn’t frustrated you to the point of mutiny. 😉

        I decided that I needed to get a handle on what you are trying to do for my own education. In my previous position, we wrote our own REST fixture for Slim as I wasn’t sure I liked the way REST Fixture worked. Unfortunately that code was not mine to take with me when I left the company, so don’t have that to share.

        I don’t like to bash on folks who put out a tool that clearly does work for some folks, and I have a bit more experimentation to go on this. So far, I have the fixture running in my own setup by downloading the 3.0 version of the fixture and just running everything using the jars bundled with it. I got the fixture to work, but it doesn’t do exactly what I want. And it still doesn’t work the way I think.

        Unfortunately this is a side thing for me, so I can’t promise any great revelations with either the REST Fixture itself or if/when I decide to do my own.

        But please feel free to contact me and I’ll offer what I can.

  2. Cap'n Dave says:

    Thanks for your help Dan!

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