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How to test private method in JUnit?

guo mark
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Joined: Oct 20, 2001
Posts: 43
I am new in JUnit.
I found that junit can test public method only.I used to change private method to public and change it back after test,but i feel its
not the right way.
Anyone can do me a hand in that question?


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Peter den Haan
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Joined: Apr 20, 2000
Posts: 3252
You should not want to test these. Private methods are implementation details (that's why they are private), not part of the API exposed by the class, and not part of its documented and therefore testable behaviour.
- Peter
Ilja Preuss
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Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
There are many things you could do about testing a private method. I will try to list them in order of (my personal) priority:
- Think about why a private method is doing so much that you want to test it separately. There is possibly another (new) class lurking where it would be natural for the method to be public.
- Do you really need to test the method? Perhaps it would suffice to test the method indirectly through the public interface of the class?
- Why needs the method to be private? Would it perhaps make sense to make it public?
If you really need to test a private method, there are at least two ways to do so (generally, I find these too cumbersome to use):
- A pattern I call Test Probe - implement an inner class which publicizes the method for testing purposes:

- http://sourceforge.net/projects/junit-addons has a PrivateAccessor class, which can be used to call private methods from unit tests.
See also http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?ExtremeProgrammingTestingPrivateMethods


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