Slides shown at the W3C's Social Testing Task Force today

By Johannes Ernst


The W3C’s Social Community Group – shepherd of the ActivityPub and ActivityStreams standards – has a Testing Task Force. It had a meeting today, and I showed these slides, figured I put them here, too. (These are work in progress, and more notes than “presentation” slides, my apologies for the lack of prettiness.)

First, on user stories. Like for all systems, it is useful to consider who we write a Fediverse test suite for, and what they are trying to accomplish with it. In this slide, we have two personas shown in separate columns, with a list of what they want to do and why.

User stories for FediTest

Other personas might also want to run certain tests, as was pointed out during the call today. For example, an end user might want to determine why somebody else’s Fediverse server does not accept their content. This is out of scope for FediTest, however.

Secondly, on the question of: how do we translate the various standards documents (like ActivityPub, or WebFinger) into the set of tests that test them? And then, how do we make sure we have good test coverage, and how do we evolve tests with the specs change?

I came up with something very hacky, which is to simply copy the spec HTML, and inline test annotations right there. Here is an example. The things in the red boxes are my test annotations into the ActivityPub standard. They are added by means of a custom web component (<annost-test> at the bottom) which renders into the box with the red border.

Test specifications inlined into the standard

Is it a good idea? Not sure yet, and it certainly can be made better, but perhaps worth considering. It certainly wins today’s prize for hackiness :-)

(This is also worth a separate blog post in the future.)