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Inteview with Remco Mulder, the creator of NCrunch

Publié par David Beaumier le jeudi 6 décembre 2012 à 21:35

In early November I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Remco Mulder, the man behind NCrunch. Now that I’m done with the editing process (yes, I improvised as both director and editor) I can now share the video with our readers.

What is NCrunch?

NCrunch being a relatively young product, you may not have heard of it yet. NCrunch is an automated concurrent testing tool for Visual Studio .NET. You can read more about it by reading this post published a while ago by my colleague Philippe Tremblay. The NCrunch demo on the product’s web site is also a must-see for those who want to discover what the product can do for them.

I have to admit that NCrunch is now part of my regular developer’s toolset. I should also confess that I’m now addicted to the feedback I get from it and that even feel confused when working on a box that don’t have NCrunch installed. I consider the productivity gain I get from NCrunch is well worth its price. Not to mention that it makes the whole TDD experience more enjoyable.

The Interview

This interview is a unique opportunity to discover who Remco Mulder is. He gives us an insight view of the journey that led him to build and then publish NCrunch. He also discusses the NCrunch roadmap for the next versions. I really appreciated learning more about the genesis of the product and watch Remco explain how publishing a specialized product like NCrunch requires a major personal investment.

I hope you’ll appreciate the final result. However, keep in mind that the interview is a recording of a Skype call between New-Zealand and Quebec (Canada). That explains why there is some occasional lag between the video and the sound throughout the interview.

You’ll find below links that give you direct access to individual section of the interview:

I’d like to personally thank Remco Mulder who kindly acceptted my invitation to take part to this interview. The team at Elapse Technologies looks forward to future versions of the product.

Additional information

.NET Continuous unit testing : a dream comes true

Publié par Philippe Tremblay le vendredi 3 février 2012 à 18:00

Update: NCrunch was commercially released on mid-october 2012. The official pricing model does not affect my initial conclusion and I still think that NCrunch remains a very useful tool for any TDD developper.

For many years, I’ve been green with envy of those Java guys who could use tools like Infinitest and JUnitMax to continuously unit test their code. My wait is finally over. Similar tools have now become available for the .NET platform! Some of you may be wondering: “What’s the point of a continuous unit test tool?” In short, a continuous unit testing tool provides you, the developer, with constant feedback about the state of your unit tests without requiring any manual intervention on your part. It tells you immediately when you break something by running the tests automatically as soon as you change the code.

A few tools started to come out last year:

ContinuousTests

.NET Demon

NCrunch

I have not used ContinousTests or .NET Demon. Therefore, my intention in this article is not to compare these tools but to discuss my experience with NCrunch.

Running in the background

The first thing you notice when using NCrunch is that there is no need to save your file. A simple keystroke will launch the continuous test runner in the background. It does not interrupt your current work and you can always see the current status of your test in the Risk/Progress window.

NC_Progress Bar

Figure A – Progress Bar (1 failing test)

You can also see a more traditional detailed view of the tests in the Tests window.

NC_Tests Window

Figure B – NCrunch Tests Window

Code Editor Integration

NCrunch offers visual indicators of the state of your tests directly in the source code editor. All paths and lines of code covered by a working unit test (and the test themselves) have a green widget besides it. There is a red widget in front of all failing tests or code that isn’t covered.

NC_Code Integration

Figure C – Code Integration

Impact navigator

You can see which tests cover a specific line of code simply by clicking on the widget in front of the line.

NC_Impact Navigator

Figure D – Impact Navigator

Conclusion

I’ve been using NCrunch for a few months and have been extremely satisfied with it. It runs smoothly on almost every existing solution I have tried it on. The very few bugs I have had were all related to specific configuration errors within a solution.

NCrunch is free for the beta testing period but will be sold as a commercial product when it officially comes out. .NET Demon, from RedGate, has the same disclaimer. I guess (and hope) those products will be reasonably priced. Not all employers will invest on a tool that does not necessarily increase the developers’ productivity by much even though it provides them with a more enjoyable experience while doing TDD.

When I use this tool, it really makes me feel more nimble. I think price will be a key point given that many companies still think tools like Resharper are expensive toys instead of seeing them as really cheap investments to increase developer productivity.

At less than 50$, I would not even wait for my company to buy it. I’d buy it from my own pocket simply for my personal enjoyment and satisfaction. I’m eagerly awaiting the official launch of NCrunch. In the meantime, I’ll probably take a look at .Net Demon but I can tell you NCrunch has definitely become part of my TDD tool belt.

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Décompilateurs .net

Publié par David Beaumier le lundi 7 novembre 2011 à 09:28

Depuis que Reflector est devenu un produit commercial dont il faut faire l'acquisition d'une licence, plusieurs développeurs sont à la recherche d'un outil équivalent mais gratuit. Voici une liste d'outils qui peuvent remplacer Reflector (l'ordre ne dénote pas une préférence ou recommandation):

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