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Use Plain JUnit5 for advanced test assertions

Context and Problem Statement

How to write readable test assertions? How to write readable test assertions for advanced tests?

Considered Options

  • Plain JUnit5
  • Hamcrest
  • AssertJ

Decision Outcome

Chosen option: “Plain JUnit5”, because comes out best (see below).

Positive Consequences

  • Tests are more readable
  • More easy to write tests
  • More readable assertions

Negative Consequences

  • More complicated testing leads to more complicated assertions

Pros and Cons of the Options

Plain JUnit5

Homepage: JabRef testing guidelines: <../>


String actual = markdownFormatter.format(source);
assertTrue(actual.contains("Markup<br />"));
assertTrue(actual.contains("<li>list item one</li>"));
assertTrue(actual.contains("<li>list item 2</li>"));
assertTrue(actual.contains("> rest"));
  • Good, because Junit5 is “common Java knowledge”
  • Bad, because complex assertions tend to get hard to read
  • Bad, because no fluent API



  • Good, because offers advanced matchers (such as contains)
  • Bad, because not full fluent API
  • Bad, because entry barrier is increased




        .contains("Markup<br />")
        .contains("<li>list item one</li>")
        .contains("<li>list item 2</li>")
        .contains("> rest")
  • Good, because offers fluent assertions
  • Good, because allows partial string testing to focus on important parts
  • Good, because assertions are more readable
  • Bad, because not commonly used
  • Bad, because newcomers have to learn an additional language to express test cases
  • Bad, because entry barrier is increased
  • Bad, because expressions of test cases vary from unit test to unit test