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Practical Fascism

On my recent project at work, I’ve instigated a number of features:

  • An XSLT stylesheet that strips out all inline JavaScript and inline CSS before it ever hits the browser. Go-go Unobtrusive JavaScript!
  • Lots of jUnit tests:
    • Every piece of static HTML gets validated via RelaxNG (we had to use RelaxNG in order to allow mixed namespaces).
    • Ditto for every piece of XSLT.
    • A well-formedness test for every piece of XML.
    • A jslint test to check every file of JavaScript isn’t doing anything silly.
    • A “no tabs” test to ensure that there are no literal tabs in any piece of source code (in accordance with our local conventions).

I haven’t yet gotten around to integrating checkstyle. And I really need to write an XQuery parser that understands the ancient dialect we seem to be saddled with.

On the whole, these tests have proved to be a minor inconvenience up-front, often leading to groans around the office when the build breaks. But as a whole they’ve kept the code base clean and managed to detect problems early. So on the whole they’re a win. I’ll definitely be dragging them along to my next project.

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