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digitalmars.D - Chained unit tests in module info?

Since std.experimental.testing got rejected, I've started to 
think of what next. I started working on a new project that would 
allow to run its test runner for any project with no other 
intervention from the user. The idea would be to use `-unittest` 
as now, until a test failed. Then use the tool and get the output 
and options from std.experimental.testing / unit-threaded without 
changing or adding to the source files. It turned out to be more 
complicated than I thought.

The main problem is that the only way that is currently possible 
to get at individual unit tests is __traits(getUnitTests). That 
means compile-time reflection, which means enumerating all 
modules that should be tested. This is a duplication of the 
information already known by the build system. Furthermore, 
knowing _how_ to reflect on modules is... tricky. If a module bar 
in a package foo is in directory src, then the compile-time 
string should be "foo.bar", _not_ "src.foo.bar". No regular tool 
can know that, this is build-system specific. One could open the 
files and parse the module declaration at the top, but obviously 
this is not the best idea ever.

This isn't a problem for anybody using unit-threaded because I 
encouraged the tests to be kept separate from production code. If 
all tests are in a base package called `tests`, things are 
considerably easier.

So I started working on a tool that would use the information 
from "dub describe". dub knows where all the files are and how 
they should be imported. However, there are two problems with 

1) It's a _lot_ of work, and who knows who'll actually use this
2) It would limit the tool's applicability to dub projects

The only other way of running unit tests differently is to change 
the runner at runtime. However, the way it works right now is 
that the module info contains a function that calls all unit 
tests in that module. There's no granularity.

I'm thinking that it might be worth changing how the module info 
is written so that unit tests can be chained in a linked list or 
just written as an array of function pointers instead. No 
reflection needed, no figuring out how to build the project all 
over again. Also, metadata for each individual test could be 
added. This is where a string for its name could go. To keep it 
extensible, the metadata could be an associative array of string 
to string.

Is this worth pursuing?

Oct 30 2015