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authorDaniel Silverstone <>2020-02-18 20:24:46 +0000
committerDaniel Silverstone <>2020-02-18 20:24:54 +0000
commitc75d3632988e67197f1804d0a9c3c39fd4258e56 (patch)
parent5a61da785a635413e55c3f63d3d7b12e3a54d817 (diff)
Subplot blog
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/* ikiwiki local style sheet */
+/* Stolen from Lars */
+.floatTR {
+ float: right;
+ margin-left: 1em;
+ margin-bottom: 1em;
/* Add local styling here, instead of modifying style.css. */
th.month-calendar-head { text-align: center; }
diff --git a/posts/subplot_volunteers_acceptance_testing_tool.mdwn b/posts/subplot_volunteers_acceptance_testing_tool.mdwn
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+[[!meta title="Subplot volunteers? (Acceptance testing tool)"]]
+[[!meta date="2020-02-18 20:30:00 UTC"]]
+[[!meta author="Daniel Silverstone"]]
+[lars wirzenius]:
+[daniel silverstone]:
+[[!img kitten.jpg class=floatTR]]
+**Note:** This is a repost from [Lars' blog](
+made to widen the reach and hopefully find the right interested parties.
+Would you be willing to try Subplot for acceptance testing for one of
+your real projects, and give us feedback? We're looking for two
+> _given_ a project
+> _when_ it uses Subplot
+> _then_ it is successful
+[Subplot][] is a tool for capturing and automatically verifying the
+acceptance criteria for a software project or a system, in a way
+that's understood by all stakeholders.
+In a software project there are always more than one stakeholder. Even
+in a project one writes for oneself, there are two stakeholders:
+oneself, and that malicious cretin oneself-in-the-future. More
+importantly, though, there are typically stakeholders such as end
+users, sysadmins, clients, software architects, developers, and
+testers. They all need to understand what the software should do, and
+when it's in an acceptable state to be put into use: in other words,
+what the acceptance criteria are.
+Crucially, all stakeholders should understand the acceptance criteria
+the same way, and also how to verify they are met. In an ideal
+situation, all verification is automated, and happens very frequently.
+There are various tools for this, from generic documentation tooling
+(word processors, text editors, markup languages, etc) to test
+automation (Cucumber, Selenium, etc). On the one hand, documenting
+acceptance criteria in a way that all stakeholders understand is
+crucial: otherwise the end users are at risk of getting something
+that's not useful to help them, and the project is a waste of
+everyone's time and money. On the other hand, automating the
+verification of how acceptance criteria is met is also crucial:
+otherwise it's done manually, which is slow, costly, and error prone,
+which increases the risk of project failure.
+Subplot aims to solve this by an approach that combines documentation
+tooling with automated verification.
+- The stakeholders in a project jointly produce a document that
+ captures all relevant acceptance criteria and also describes how
+ they can be verified automatically, using scenarios. The document is
+ written using Markdown.
+- The developer stakeholders produce code to implement the steps in
+ the scenarios. The Subplot approach allows the step implementations
+ to be done in a highly cohesive, de-coupled manner, making such code
+ usually be quite simple. (Test code should be your best code.)
+- Subplot's "docgen" program produces a typeset version as PDF or
+ HTML. This is meant to be easily comprehensible by all stakeholders.
+- Subplot's "codegen" program produces a test program in the language
+ used by the developer stakeholders. This test program can be run to
+ verify that acceptance criteria are met.
+Subplot started in in late 2018, and was initially called Fable. It is
+based on the [yarn][] tool for the same purpose, from 2013. Yarn has
+been in active use all its life, if not popular outside a small
+circle. Subplot improves on yarn by improving document generation,
+markup, and decoupling of concerns. Subplot is not compatible with
+Subplot is developed by [Lars Wirzenius][] and [Daniel Silverstone][]
+as a hobby project. It is free software, implemented in Rust,
+developed on Debian, and uses Pandoc and LaTeX for typesetting. The
+code is hosted on [][]. Subplot verifies its own acceptance
+criteria. It is alpha level software.
+We're looking for one or two volunteers to try Subplot on real
+projects of their own, and give us feedback. We want to make Subplot
+good for its purpose, also for people other than us. If you'd be
+willing to give it a try, start with the [Subplot][] website, then
+tell us you're using Subplot. We're happy to respond to questions from
+the first two volunteers, and from others, time permitting. (The
+reality of life and time constraints is that we can't commit to
+supporting more people at this time.)
+We'd love your feedback, whether you use Subplot or not.
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