FPL&S 1: Getting to Know Angular

For my final project in my software construction and architecture class, I will be writing a 5-post series for Final Project Learning and Status (FPL&S). This project will be using Angular, Typescript, and Node Package Manager (npm). I am not familiar with these tools, but I have learned my lesson before that one should fully understand the technologies they’re using before they start a project. I have spent about 10 hours this week tinkering with Angular, reading blogs, watching tutorials, and of course referencing Angular documentation, with the goal of understanding the architecture as a whole.

My first question: why did I have to download Node.js? The answer boils down to requiring npm, which is packaged with Node.js. Npm allows users to share packages, and Angular requires quite a few packages to run. Npm takes care of this. Of course, it also installed Angular itself.

I was also confused about which files were doing what in a pre-configured project, but after playing with the code and making modifications, this started becoming second-nature, so I won’t go into detail on that. However, learning the concepts behind each file was much more important.

Traversy Media released an Angular Crash Course video which I found to be quite comprehensive and helpful in understanding the framework as a whole. Many of these concepts were learned in practice, but it is nice to be explicitly told some things to remove doubt. The video described how UI “Components” are used and built. Particularly useful were the descriptions of using a constructor to import services that will be used, and that selector was defining the tag to be used in HTML.

Modules, called NgModules, are another important concept, central to Angular. In a single-page web app you might only have a single NgModule, but in larger systems they help improve the modularity of an application, just as modules in Java or other languages. A single NgModule, however, can have many Components. Components can also be reused and nested, but should be considered a view, the goal of which is to create a user experience.

My final project will tie in with my independent study Android app next semester. My first idea was to implement audio recording that will also be necessary for my mobile app, but this turned into a much bigger challenge than expected. Due to the nature of my mobile app, I feel it will be better to start with a web front-end that can pull from data already stored in a cloud database, in order to display metrics, charts and a summary of results. Learning about Angular Observables will likely help to perform asynchronous uploading.

I’ve learned much more than what I’ve written up here, but this blog post addresses what I feel was most relevant to my project and learning Angular. Since this blog is documenting learning experiences, I welcome comments, corrections, and suggestions if anyone thinks it will help.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Inquiries and Queries by ausausdauer and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Mockito: Complicated at First Glance, Simple in Concept

Mockito is a mocking framework. In his article Mocks aren’t Stubs, Martin Fowler mentions that Mocks allow for behavior verification, rather than state verification, which verifies values after method calls to confirm the proper behavior occurred. Behavior verification instead makes sure the proper behavior happened, by confirming the proper methods themselves were called.

So mocking is a means of setting expectations of method calls on a mock object, and then verifying that those method calls actually happen. But how does this apply to Mockito?

Mockito is a bit more comprehensive. It has mocks, stubs and spies. It has a lot of methods, and a few different philosophies on how it should be used. Should everything be mocked except the system under test? Should you mock types that you didn’t create? When is partial mocking ok? These are questions that are not simply answered and will likely have answers that evolve over time. But the takeaway is that there is a lot to Mockito.

The best way to learn how Mockito can be used is to look at examples. Mockito’s documentation is a good resource and describes many of the concepts. However, the examples are a bit simple and isolated. A Vogella tutorial on Mockito has many better examples that shows how you can use Mockito in actual production code.

Complicated behavior is where mocking comes in handy. Stubs are great for making sure simple methods are called within objects. But in complicated systems, there is a lot more going on that may affect the behavior of the object under test. A mock object can trick external classes into believing that the Mock object is doing real work, by providing expected return values when a method is called. Furthermore, you cannot always check the state of an object without modifying the class itself, making behavior verification the only means of testing.

Mockito is commonly used in Android mobile app testing, especially when Android was officially using Java. In a mobile environment, you are building an app on top of a complicated framework, and as such you may encounter problems, or at least complications, when trying to test. A common example is the Context object in Android. It provides necessary information about the environment in which code is being run. Android Fragments and Activities might need this context internally, but the behavior of the Fragments and Activities should not depend on the actual Context object. Another issue arises: how do you set up application context in a test environment? With Mockito, these complications are resolved by simply creating a Mock Context object in the test cases. If you rely on return values within a mock object, you can even tell Mockito what it needs to return when methods are called.

Mockito can be used in combination with other test methods, using as many or as few of its features as desired. Mocking is quite possibly a necessity when testing complicated systems, and at the very least powerful and convenient.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Inquiries and Queries by ausausdauer and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

A Different Type of Angles

I decided to learn more about angular since it peaked my interest in class and in general. in my search for more information on Angular, I found “Introduction to AngularJS” by GeeksForGeeks. This post explains the strengths and important things to know about Angular and some of the key features of Angular. some key points from the post are that its easy to use and requires little understanding of different coding languages like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Angular saves time as well and avoids unnecessary code. Angular is a powerful framework that allows the developer more control over their applications and web resources. Angular is also unit test ready which helps the developer even more in there processes of creating applications and resources. Angular has Data Binding which means that the developer does not need to continuously update the HTML file or create a special code to bind the data. This keeps data consistent and updated with the most recent version of an application or resource that the developer provides.
Angular seems to make web development easier than ever and gives people the templates and tools needed to create powerful and intuitive applications to suit their own needs. From my short experience with angular, i felt confident and powerful while using the framework and wasted less time than expected had i tried to create a web application without it. I felt in control and could see the real time changes that were occurring in my local website due to the changes I was making. Angular has been for sometime one of the three major frameworks for web developers and the other two are React and Vue. I’m unsure about the other too languages are better or worse or have advantages over Angular, but at this point in time Angular seems like a strong and good choice for my future with any type of web development. the one thing that i think makes angular so appealing to me and others is that the data is bonded and you don’t need to constantly change things to reflect one change in a web application or resource. This framework is something i could see myself using in the future or something like it for web development because it simplifies a larger more difficult job and allows people with enough information to traverse its power and harness that power to create powerful applications. I can’t wait to learn even more about Angular and how to use it effectively.
link to article referenced: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/introduction-to-angularjs/

From the blog CS@Worcester – Tyler Quist’s CS Blog by Tyler Quist and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Seeing Doubles

In Computer testing there exist many ways to automate test and create ways to use objects that behave in a similar way to what they are supposed to be. In the blog post by Michal Lipski titled “Test Doubles — Fakes, Mocks and Stubs.”, he goes through the different doubles testing forms and explains their strengths and weaknesses and even shows diagrams and examples of code to help people better understand what each one of them is. Fakes being a working implementation that takes shortcuts and are different from the actual version. Stubs hold data given to the object via the tester to check if that data is being returned at the right time and calls. Mocks just write down the calls they receive and allow the tester to know that the actions were completed, but not if they were completed correctly. these forms of testing allow the tester to create version that satisfy conditions that they wish to check and understand.
I personally really enjoy the simplicity of these testing methods and how they don’t require much time or effort to be completed. while stubs are one of the simplest, in my opinion, they take a good amount of time and are thrown away later which makes them a hassle and a waste. Fakes seem to be a great choice for prototyping different things and allowing the tester to do as they please without any fear of damaging or changing any actual data. all together these testing methods are useful and will help me in my future in the computer science field.
link to the article referenced: https://blog.pragmatists.com/test-doubles-fakes-mocks-and-stubs-1a7491dfa3da

From the blog CS@Worcester – Tyler Quist’s CS Blog by Tyler Quist and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

The Single Responsibility Principle

Several weeks ago, we briefly discussed the SOLID design
principles in CS-343. This discussion was supposed to lead into a homework
assignment where we would research a couple of principles, but since this never
happened I decided to research a SOLID principle for a blog post instead. In
this post, I will be focusing on the Single Responsibility Principle, or SRP
(the ‘S’ in SOLID). This principle declares that a class should have only one
reason to change, or in other words, a single responsibility. It sounds like a
simple concept, but actually implementing it can be challenging. My research
into the SRP helped me come across a blog post by Patrick Smacchia titled “SOLID
Design: The Single Responsibility Principle (SRP),” which defines guidelines
that may help make the principle easier to follow.

The blog can be found here:

In the blog, Smacchia explains that the SRP is not as simple
to follow as it sounds, because different programmers may define a responsibility
or a reason to change in different ways. For this reason, he approaches
the principle based on its fundamental purpose of determining which logic
should be in which class. From this approach, he explains several aspects of
the SRP using example code, and he provides a set of concrete guidelines that
can help enforce the principle. I chose to share this post because Smacchia’s
approach to explaining the SRP has helped me understand it better by getting me
to think about it from a more fundamental perspective. I also think his
guidelines would be useful to any programmers, myself included, who intend on
following this principle in their projects.

I certainly intend on referring back to the guidelines
included in this blog to ensure that my future projects follow the SRP. Although
there are a couple I don’t fully understand, such as the one on POCO classes, I
think the others will greatly help me adhere to the SRP. His suggestion to keep
logic related to different functions separated into different classes makes
sense thanks to his Employee example, which I will refer back to when deciding
which functions should be separated into different classes. I found Smaccia’s
discussion on cohesion especially interesting because it exposed me to the Lack
of Cohesion Of Methods metric, or LCOM, which is used to actually quantify how
cohesive a class is. It surprised me that a more complex class can have a lower
LCOM score than a simpler one, and that a class’ simplicity does not represent
its adherence to the SRP. I will definitely refer back to this blog to help me
ensure that my own classes keep a low LCOM score even as they grown more
complex as a way to follow the SRP. I have certainly had issues with classes
getting too large and doing too many things in the past, and I think learning
more about the SRP from this blog will help me avoid this problem in the future.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Computer Science with Kyle Q by kylequad and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Define-Use Testing

Many times in testing, the thing being checked is whatever state the object that is being returned is in. While this makes sense for testing whether the output is correct, there are often times you want to make sure that the correct variables are being defined and used. In define-use testing this is exactly what is done. In define-use testing, simple ordered pairs of the lines of code in which the object is created followed by the line the object is used, are created. I.E < 3, 5 >. This allows the user to make sure there is no unused objects that can take up memory for no reason. You can also follow the path of these objects to make sure they are being executed in proper order.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Journey Through Technology by krothermich and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Apps Made Easy With Angular

If you have ever been around anything web-based, there is a
good chance you have heard or come across angular. Angular for those unfamiliar
is a framework that allows for a wide range of possibilities. Angular all stems
from 4 main parts: components, dependency injection, property bindings and
typescript. Components are what Angular is entirely composed of. Most things
created in Angular are components or collection of components. While there are still
a few other concepts to angular, components are the most prominent. Components
are usually comprised of HTML, CSS and JS but with angular, these are all
combined into an easy to manipulate sense to allow for customization of the
components. The next part of angular is the dependency injection which helps
largely with dependency management. Dependencies are all in a collection together
and when new components are created, the dependency for that object is
automatically created and put into the collection alongside the other dependencies.
This allows for the user to easily streamline dependency management as angular
is able to “automatically” create and track dependencies. The next main aspect
of angular is the property bindings. What this means is that the data that the
app contains is separate from the what is being presented. This allows for the
user to make changes to this data and automatically have it update and be
displayed on the presentation side. This allows for the user to seamlessly update
anything needed in real time. The last part of angular is the support and use
of typescript. Javascript, for the ones unaware, is a subset of typescript.
Typescript allows for a very straight forward approach to writing javascript.
The user is able to write the code needed in typescript and it will be automatically
generated into javascript to be used by the app.

The main benefit of angular is allowing for users to easily
be able to build large scale apps with everything being self-contained in the program.
A lot of the complicated processes that went along with developing apps are now
very easy to be implemented with Angular. People that are not skilled in javascript
generally have a much easier time adapting typescript due to the fact that the syntax
is not all too different from java. Most skilled programmers are able to pickup
and implement typescript rather quickly. This allows for almost anyone to be
able to create and build large scale apps without having to personally be
responsible for many of the complications that would prevent people from trying.

If you want to learn more, this website has a great overview
of Angular:

https://www.telerik.com/blogs/all-things-angular

From the blog CS@Worcester – Journey Through Technology by krothermich and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

6 Weeks to Write 6 Blogs

Hello again my few readers, sorry I haven’t posted in a while but as you all know, I am a heavy procrastinator hence why I have 6 weeks to write 6 blogs in order to obtain an A in my class. Luckily, I am attending a presentation today so now I only have to write 5 blogs. Regardless, lets get this show on the road.

Today, I am going to talk about a blog with the title of “How Testers Can Become Agents of Change” Honestly, kind of a long title, but I don’t mind. The article is pretty short overall with 5 short sections. The first section is simple introduction to what the blog entry is going to be about. That is kind of like what I did for the first paragraph of this post. The author asks the reader to consider what they think is difficult at their job and how they will overcome said difficulty. Honestly, so far this sounds like one of those inspirational talks with some really outdated famous celebrity talking about how to be like them. This isn’t a bad thing, I just found that to be funny.

The post then explains how to identify opportunities for change. She mentions how there are three types of change: “Tool’s, processes, and people” (Norville) I assume this can mean that staff is always changing, methods are always changing, and tools are always changing which makes sense in a working environment. She says that anyone can bring change which sounds kind of cheesy, but I do like that because this shows that somebody like an Intern can bring about change. She then mentions a start, stop, continue model which is explained as the team discussing what they should stop doing, and what they should start doing. She uses an agile group as an example here and we learned about agile last semester.

Norville then talks about how to actually enact this change. This section is broken up into several subtopics which I think makes an article look cleaner and more organized. She tells the reader to know their audience in order to persuade them in the best way possible. She also says to fully understand the problem which is self explanatory. She describes the pitch as a way of presenting your information and evidence to the person you are trying to convince. This kind of follows the know your audience path. She also tells the reader to poke holes in the pitch. This is interesting because it is kind of exactly like testing where you try and break the code in order to ensure quality.

The last real paragraph is some tips that you can use in case you hit some bumps. The first of the tips is “Don’t Give Up” (This is in every inspirational post I swear). But regardless, it is true, even if you hit a bump along the way, you shouldn’t give up. The next tip is finding a team. This can be helpful with the knowing your audience part because everybody is different. She mentions learning from others successes, and I think this one is helpful because you can use methods that other people used to get your point across.

The actual last paragraph is just a closer telling the reader to start enacting change. I did enjoy this article, however this seems like an article that was directed at everyone rather than just testers. This isn’t a bad thing, but I would have liked to see more direct examples of how Software Testers can enact change. Overall this was a very well written blog. It was short and concise, and it was organized very well. I would recommend this article to anyone who is trying to make changes in their workplace, but they donf’t know how to start.

Making Software Quality a Critical Priority: How Testers Can Become Agents of Change

From the blog CS@Worcester – My Life in Comp Sci by Tyler Rego and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Javascript vs. Typescript

As someone fairly new to coding, learning new languages is both fun and painful. When I heard we were going to be doing some web development, I figured Javascript would be involved, and I had a brief moment of panic. I am a frequenter of subreddits like /r/programmerhumor, or other humor-based tech blogs, and there is a lot of dogpiling on Javascript as a language. It gets a lot of flak for being very weakly typed, and for its default behaviors utilizing this weak typing leading to a lot of wacky and confusing results for people who aren’t deeply familiar with the language. A quick example:

When I discovered we would be using Typescript (And what Typescript was), it was a bit of a relief. The way that the language looks just feels more comfortable to me, especially as someone who has mostly been learning Java. I have been trying to expand my horizons as of late, and wanted to look into people that may feel the opposite. Maybe the verbosity and strictness of a strongly-typed object oriented language is bad if you know what you’re doing, and I found a very interesting blog expressing just that.

In the blog post “Shit Javascript Coders Say” by Dave Sag found here: https://medium.com/@davesag/shit-javascript-coders-say-7a2d2881228d,
he utilizes a very pointed and crass writing style to express his distaste for OOP and strong-typed languages in general compared to Javascript. He also does not like Typescript. One reason I find this funny is because in this Software Architecture class I am writing this blog for, there is a big focus on creating interfaces, organizing classes, and figuring out the best ways to group and create objects. These are all things, according to Dave Sag, that are not needed in Javascript, and that Typescript “encourages the use of these practices as a weak, wobbly crutch” (paraphrasing).

I found this juxtaposition very amusing, and would be very interested in going down the rabbit hole more and finding out about best pure Javascript practices, or if Mr. Sag’s views are commonly held in some communities (I found plenty of blog posts praising Typescript, for what it’s worth).

In my brief time with Typescript so far, I have found it a bit verbose and clunky (though I am certainly a neophyte coder). Hopefully as I continue to learn, these distinctions become more clear and I can post an updated perspective.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Alan Birdgulch&#039;s Blog by cjsteinbrecher and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Getting Angular

The topic for my post this week is Angular. CS 343, Software construction, design, and architecture, introduced REST API frontend last week. I did not have a good grasp of what Angular is, so I read the article “Angular Tutorial: Getting Started With Angular 4”, by Shubham Sinha. The article breaks down Angular into easy to understand parts which are then explained thoroughly.

The article begins with describing the general history of
Angular and why it was designed. Originally AngularJS, Angular was designed for
the use in designing SPAs (Single-Page Application). SPAs are useful as they do
not require an entire page to be refreshed. Instead SPAs only refresh necessary
components. This allows for SPAs to act similarly to desktop applications.

The article then begins its tutorial, though I would describe
it as an overview of the details of Angular projects. The author goes into the
different parts of Angular and describing them each in detail.

  • Modules:                           
    Chunks of code with a specific task, such as classes.
  • Components:                   
    Code that use API to control sections of the screen. Contains instructions for
    client-side GUI.
  • Templates:                        
    HTML tags that describe how to render components.
  • Metadata:                          
    The code that informs Angular on how to process a class.
  • Data
    binding:   
                   
    The connection used to tie parts of a template to parts of a component. An easy
    connection for data state and data events.
  • Directives:                         
    Logic code for manipulating data: adding, removing, changing.
  • Services:                             
    A wide category for encompassing anything an application my need.
  • Dependency
    Injection: 

    Allows Angular to create new instances of a class with all its dependencies
    that can be “injected” into another class.

From what I understand, the page code will be divided into
modules. The page view will be divided into components that use templates and
metadata to determine how to display the component. Directives are logic code
that manipulate data. Data binding allows for easy access to a data’s state and
events. Dependency injection inserts an instantiation of a class with all its
dependencies. Finally, services are simply anything an application may need:
value, function, feature.

I found that after reading this article I have a better
understanding of Angular. Angular can be used for client-side rendering of
data. By separating the page into several different components, Angular can create
SPAs that are dynamic and responsive. This article is informative and accessible,
I highly recommend this article to anybody who is getting acquainted to
Angular.

Referenced Article:
https://www.edureka.co/blog/angular-tutorial/

From the blog CS@Worcester – D’s Comp Sci Blog by dlivengood and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.