Green Bar

What some unit testing tools display when all unit tests run successfully. For example, here is JavaUnit's GUI after a successful test run:

The term "green bar" can also be a reference to the wide paper with alternating horizontal green and white stripes that we used to get our printouts on. (ImissGreenBar)

See also: GreenBarPolicy? and RedBar (the opposite of a GreenBar).

Before you do anything risky with code, you want to get yourself to a green bar, or a known state. When you're working under a green bar, with good tests, you can change code around, and improve it, more easily than when you're working in an unknown state.

At work we sometimes say we're "yellow-diffing a green bar." Our check-in script does color syntax highlighting of our diffs, and the subtractions from code show up in yellow. If you have a check-in with a net reduction in code, it's a yellow diff. If you yellow-diff a green bar, you've managed to make code smaller without losing any fuctionality. Obviously, you never want someone else to yellow-diff your green bar, so once you get to a green bar, you immediately look to refactor your code.

In the old days of line printers and continuous pin-feed (that is IBM mainframes and the like), the paper had alternating green and white horizontal sections, and was referred to as GreenBar paper. Typical size was 14 1/2 inches wide, 11 inches high.

It is still available, for example:

with a small picture.

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