simple test functions to make testing in perl simple
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NAME

Test::Easy - facilitates easy testing patterns

SYNOPSIS

Easy "x is within an expected range" testing:

# prove that $got is within $offset of $expected
use Test::Easy qw(nearly_ok);

my $got = 1;
my $expected = 1.25;
my $offset = .7;
nearly_ok( $got, $expected, $offset, "$got is within $offset of $expected" );

# build your own close-approximation tests:
use Test::Easy qw(nearly);
ok( nearly(1, 1.25, .7), '1 is within .7 of 1.25' );

Easy tests-in-a-loop:

use Test::Easy qw(each_ok);
each_ok { nearly($_, 1.25, .7) } (1, 1.1, .9); # each value is within 1.25 +/- .7

deep_ok() uses Data::Difflet to provide easy understanding of test failures when checking data structures:

use Test::Easy qw(deep_ok);
deep_ok(
    [1, {2 => 4}, 3],
    ['a', {b => '4'}, 'c', 3],
    'this test fails meaningfully'
);

__END__
#   Failed test 'this test fails meaningfully'
# $GOT
# @
#     1
#     %
#         2 => 4
#     3
# $EXPECTED
# @
#     a
#     %
#         b => 4
#     c
#     3
# $DIFFLET
# [
#   1,   # != a
#     {
#       '2' => 4,
#       'b' => '4',
#     }
#   3,   # != c
#   3,
# ]

deep_ok() makes it easy to do equivalence testing; here's an example of checking that a given date string ('Wed Apr 17 19:28:55 2013') is "close enough" to a given epoch time (1366241335). Spoiler alert: it's just two different representations of the exact same time.

use Test::Easy qw(around_about);

sub Production::Code::do_something_expensive {
    my $got = localtime(time);
    sleep 2;
    return (some_datetime => $got);
}

my $now = time;
deep_ok(
    +{Production::Code->do_something_expensive}, # eg: Wed Apr 17 19:28:55 2013
    +{some_datetime => around_about($now, 3)},   # eg: 1366241335-plus-or-minus-3-seconds
    "within 2 seconds of now!"
);

Easy monkey patching:

use Test::Easy qw(resub);

# Within this block, 'Production::Code::do_something_expensive' will sleep 2 seconds
# and return some static data.
{
    my $rs = resub 'Production::Code::do_something_expensive', sub {
        sleep 2;
        return (some_datetime => 'Wed Apr 17 19:28:55 2013');
    };

    like( {Production::Code->do_something_expensive}->{some_datetime}, qr/wed apr 17/i );
}

# Scope ends, the resub goes away, and your original code is restored.
unlike( {Production::Code->do_something_expensive}->{some_datetime}, qr/wed apr 17/i );

DESCRIPTION

I prefer working in a test driven development environment. One of the downsides of having a large test suite is that test files often grow into monstrosities: it's often easier to plug some new little testblock into an existing file, or stick some new failing test into the middle of some mostly unrelated test block - simply because the file or block in question happens to do a lot of the setup that you need to write.

Another downside is that any interesting system generally has tests that have pretty complicated setup: you may need to create test records in a database, mock out your network connection, and monkey patch some expensive functions. Once discovered, these pieces of setup aquire a mystical quality to them, leading to cargo-cult copy-paste setup in other tests.

Test::Easy doesn't try to prevent you from doing these things. It tries to minimize the pain that you deal onto your future self. My primary goals in writing this library for myself are:

A brief description of each of these functions is provided below. For a more complete description of each function, view the documentation for the indicated module. As a cautionary note: documentation drifts; comments lie - but test always tell the truth. If the documentation for a given function is unclear, consult the relevant tests in the t/ directory included in this module's tarball.

EXPORTS

Test::Easy re-exports a lot of functionality from various other modules within the Test::Easy ecosystem.

resub SUBNAME [, CODEREF [, ARGS] ]

Easily monkey-patch SUBNAME to perform CODEREF instead. ARGS, if given, control behavior of the resub object. When the resub object goes out of lexical scope, its DESTROY method restores the previous bit of code that was lurking at SUBNAME back in place.

resub objects may be stacked; this is legitimate code:

use Test::More;
use Test::Easy qw(resub);

sub somewhere::foo { 'hi' }

is( somewhere->foo, 'hi', 'sanity test' );

{
    my $rs = resub 'somewhere::foo', sub { 'bye' };
    is( somewhere->foo, 'bye' );

    {
        my $rs2 = resub 'somewhere::foo', sub { 'hello there' };
        is( somewhere->foo, 'hello there' );
    }

    is( somewhere->foo, 'bye' );
}

is( somewhere->foo, 'hi', 'world is restored to sanity' );

resub knows how to handle subroutines with prototypes without causing errors. If you are monkey- patching a method in a Moose class which has some 'before', 'around', or 'after' advice applied to it, the unadorned method will be swapped out for the CODEREF of your choosing - and then the advice is re-applied around your patched-in code.

See also: Test::Resub

wiretap SUBNAME [, CODEREF [, ARGS] ]

This is similar to resub, except that instead of *replacing* SUBNAME with CODEREF, instead CODEREF will be called immediately before SUBNAME is called. This allows you to inspect the arguments coming in to a given function, while still allowing the function to maintain its real behavior. Note that your wiretap does not have the ability to prevent the original SUBNAME from being called.

See also: Test::Wiretap

each_ok BLOCK LIST

Apply the checks in BLOCK across LIST. each_ok is itself your testing function; though BLOCK may contain individual test assertions, I recommend against doing so: each_ok is an implicit loop over LIST, which means any test assertion you add within BLOCK will inflate your test count by one.

Your BLOCK is expected to return either:

  • a single value: its truthines will be tested (i.e. each_ok will act like ok())

  • two values: they will be treated as $got and $expected, respectively, and will be checked for a match.

    See also: Test::Easy::DataDriven.

run_where LIST, CODEREF

Set up the data structure preconditions specified in LIST, then run CODEREF - which presumably closes over variables mentioned in LIST.

Each precondition in LIST is an ARRAYREF, and has the form: REFERENCE => $NEW_VALUE_FOR_CODEREF_TO_SEE. Some examples:

my $just_a_scalar = 1;
my $arrayref      = [1..10];
my $hashref       = {'a'..'f'};
my $coderef       = sub { 'hi' };

run_where(
    [\$coderef => sub { 'bye' }],
    [\$hashref => {apple => 'banana'}],
    [\$arrayref => [qw(hi mom)]],
    [\$just_a_scalar => 8843],
    sub {
        $coderef->() . join ',', %$hashref, @$arrayref, $just_a_scalar,
    }
);

time_nearly GOT_TIME, EXPECTED_TIME, ALLOWABLE_OFFSET

Check that GOT_TIME is EXPECTED_TIME, +/- ALLOWABLE_OFFSET.

GOT_TIME and EXPECTED_TIME need not be the same types of times. For example, GOT_TIME can be a date string (Sat Apr 20 05:05:58 2013), whereas EXPECTED_TIME can be an epoch (1366448758). As long as you have instructed Test::Easy::Time how to handle your given time format, time_nearly will be able to answer your burning time equivalence questions.

ok( time_nearly('Sat Apr 20 05:05:58 2013', 1366448758, 1), "It's within 1 second of the expected epoch" );

Being able to work with expected time values in tests as epoch seconds is handy, because you can easily perform math them.

See t/nearly.t, included with Test::Easy, for how to add a different time format to time_nearly().

See also the code for Test::Easy::Time.

deep_ok GOT, EXPECTED [, DESCRIPTION]

Check the equality or equivalence of two data structures. This differs from Test::Deep in that Test::Deep supports a limited set of equivalence objects (re, num, str); deep_ok() allows you to build your own equivalence objects for handling arbitrary this-looks-enough-like-that testing.

You can do this with deep_ok:

deep_ok(
    +{beginning_of_time => 'Wed Dec 31 19:00:00 1969'}, # i.e. epochtime = 0
    +{beginning_of_time => around_about(300, 1800)},    # i.e. "epoch 300 is within 1800 seconds of the date above"
);

Additionally, deep_ok() produces very informative output when things fail to match, for example:

deep_ok(
    [1, {2 => 4}, 3],
    ['a', {b => '4'}, 'c', 3],
    'this test fails meaningfully'
);

__END__
#   Failed test 'this test fails meaningfully'
# $GOT
# @
#     1
#     %
#         2 => 4
#     3
# $EXPECTED
# @
#     a
#     %
#         b => 4
#     c
#     3
# $DIFFLET
# [
#   1,   # != a
#     {
#       '2' => 4,
#       'b' => '4',
#     }
#   3,   # != c
#   3,
# ]

This is not intended to be concise. It is intended to be fully descriptive of the difference between your got and expected values.

See also: Test::Easy::DeepEqual. For guidance on how to create your own equivalence objects, see the source for Test::Easy and look for 'sub around_about'.

deep_equal GOT, EXPECTED

This is the function that does the heavy lifting for deep_ok(). This does all of the checking whether GOT and EXPECTED are strictly equal (or loosely equivalent, depending on what your EXPECTED looks like). It simply returns a success or fail value. It does not produce an 'ok' line of TAP output, nor does it produce any diagnostic output.

See also: Test::Easy::DeepEqual.

WHAT'S COMING NEXT

Finish documenting the individual functions in more detail in their own modules.

Better deep_ok dumping of equivalence objects that have matched in a failing-match data structure.

Add simple libraries for mocking and stubbing out other classes.

GOALS

Write Highly Expressive Tests

Test failure is an expected state within TDD. A well-written failing test is a useful test. A well-spoken failing test is invaluable. Writing tests well means being able to express a complex thought with minimum effort.

Consider this bit of code, which does a Schwartzian transform on a list:

my @files = qw(photo1 video10 photo2 video3 photo12);
my @temp1 = map { my ($word, $number) = m{^ (\D+) (\d+) $}x; [$1, $2, $_] } @files;
my @temp2 = sort { $a->[0] cmp $b->[0] || $a->[1] <=> $b->[1] } @temp1;
my @final = map { $_->[2] } @temp2;

This accomplishes the task of sorting the original list into the order qw(photo1 photo2 photo12 video3 video10), but most Perl developers would find it jangly to read. This is a more common expression:

my @files = qw(photo1 video10 photo2 video3 photo12);

my @final =
    map { $_->[2] }
    sort { $a->[0] cmp $b->[0] || $a->[1] <=> $b->[1] }
    map { my ($word, $number) = m{^ (\D+) (\d+) $}x; [$1, $2, $_] } @files;

This looks "backwards" to newcomers until one day it does not. The advantage of the second form over the first is that the first is emphasizing the individual transformations done to the data; the second form expresses the general pattern of applying a complex sorting function cheaply across a list.

Consider now tests such as this:

# pretend you actually implemented this for some horrible reason
sub Your::Production::Code { return qw(photo1 video10 photo2 video3 photo12) }

# and now you need to test it
use Test::More tests => 5;
use Your::Production;

foreach my $file (Your::Production::Code) {
    my ($word, $number) = $file =~ m{^ (\D+) (\d+) $}x;
    like( $word, m{^ (?: photo | video ) }, "$word is 'photo' or 'video'" );
}

How many lines of test output will there be? Currently 5 - but once someone adds another item to Your::Production::Code, then there will be 6, and you'll have testcount failures. Here's an intermediate improvement:

use Test::More tests => 1;
use Your::Production;

my @bad;
foreach my file (Your::Production::Code) {
    my ($word, $number) = $file =~ m{^ (\D+) (\d+) $}x;
    push @bad, $word if $word !~ m{^ (?: photo | video ) }x;
}
is_deeply( \@bad, [], "All items are either 'photo' or 'video'" );

This is marginally better, but there's a lot of extra data management there. Plus the use of Test::More::is_deeply only shows us a first failure. Here's a more compact expression of this test:

use Test::More tests => 1;
use Test::Easy qw(each_ok);
use Your::Production;

each_ok {
    my ($word, $number) = $file =~ m{^ (\D+) (\d+) $}x;
    $word =~ m{^ (?: photo | video ) }x;
} Your::Production::Code;

Receive Highly Informative Test Failures

Until recently, I've never been very satisfied with the state of the art on CPAN for expressing failures when testing deep data structures. Matsuno Tokuhiro released Data::Difflet which produces concise colorized data diffs for arbitrary data structures.

Consequently, instead of seeing this type of failure for this test:

use Test::More tests => 1;

is_deeply( [1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 3], 'lists are the same' );

__END__
#   Failed test 'lists are the same'
#     Structures begin differing at:
#          $got->[0] = '1'
#     $expected->[0] = '4'

You can instead see this failure:

use Test::More tests => 1;

deep_ok( [1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 3], 'lists are the same' );

__END__
#   Failed test 'lists are the same'
#   at (eval 4) line 120.
# $GOT
# @
#     1
#     2
#     3
# $EXPECTED
# @
#     4
#     5
#     3
# $DIFFLET
# [
#   1,   # != 4
#   2,   # != 5
#   3,
# ]

The $GOT and $EXPECTED representations of your data come from Data::Denter. The $DIFFLET comes from Data::Difflet, except the $DIFFLET you'll see is actually more meaningful, because it has color.

Minimize Manual State Tracking and Resetting

Sometimes in the course of a test you'll be tracking and resetting the state of some variables:

my $foo = 1;
my $bar = {hello => 'world'};
is( some_code($foo, $bar), "hello, world", 'got key => value once' );

$foo = 2;
is( some_code($foo, $bar), "hello, world\nhello, world", 'got key => value twice' );

$bar = {};
is( some_code($foo, $bar), "", 'no data gives empty string' );

{
    $foo = 0;
    $bar = {goodnight => 'moon'};
    is( some_code($foo, $bar), 'something surprising', "zero count gives 'something surprising'" );
}

$foo = undef;
is( some_code($foo, $bar), undef, 'undefined multiplier gives undef back' );

The inner block, presumably representing some bugfix, exposes every subsequent test to risk: two global test variables are tweaked but not reset to their previous values. At a minimum, that inner test block should be written like this:

{
    my (@original) = ($foo, $bar);
    $foo = 0;
    $bar = {goodnight => 'moon'};
    is( some_code($foo, $bar), 'something surprising', "zero count gives 'something surprising'" );
    ($foo, $bar) = @original;
}

Another way to write that inner block is like so:

run_where(
    [\$foo => 0],
    [$bar => {goodnight => 'moon'}],
    sub {
        is( some_code($foo, $bar), 'something surprising', "zero count gives 'something surprising'" );
    }
);

This becomes particularly handy when some_code() needs to learn about a third argument, perhaps representing some terminal piece of punctuation. At this point, all tests need to have a third agument, $baz, and the Cartesian product of variables needs to be accurately represented within the test.

If all of the tests were originally written to track their individual pieces of data, then this whole problem of "Did I cover all combinations?" becomes easy to answer at a glance:

my ($foo, $bar) = (undef, {});

run_where(
    [\$foo => 1],
    [$bar => {hello => 'world'}],
    sub {
        is( some_code($foo, $bar), "hello, world", 'got key => value once' );
    }
);

run_where(
    [\$foo => 2],
    [$bar => {hello => 'world'}],
    sub {
        is( some_code($foo, $bar), "hello, world\nhello, world", 'got key => value twice' );
    }
);

run_where(
    [\$foo => 2],
    [$bar => {}],
    sub {
        is( some_code($foo, $bar), "", 'no data gives empty string' );
    }
);

run_where(
    [\$foo => 0],
    [$bar => {goodnight => 'moon'}],
    sub {
        is( some_code($foo, $bar), 'something surprising', "zero count gives 'something surprising'" );
    }
);

run_where(
    [\$foo => undef],
    [$bar => {}],
    sub {
        is( some_code($foo, $bar), undef, 'undefined multiplier gives undef back' );
    },
);

There's no reason these all need to be expressed as individual tests. You can set up a data structure that holds each of the precondition clauses for the run_where()s, and which holds the expected output, and then use run_where() inside an each_ok to reduce all of the above to a more compact form still:

1      my ($foo, $bar) = (undef, {});
2
3      each_ok {
4          run_where(
5            @{$_->{preconditions}},
6            sub { some_code($foo, $bar), $_->{expected_output} }
7          );
8      } ({
9          preconditions => [
    10              [\$foo => 1],
    11              [$bar => {hello => 'world'}],
    12          ],
    13          expected_output => "hello, world",
    14      }, {
    15          preconditions => [
    16              [\$foo => 2],
    17              [$bar => {hello => 'world'}],
    18          ],
    19          expected_output => "hello, world\nhello, world",
    20      }, {
    21          preconditions => [
    22              [\$foo => 2],
    23              [$bar => {}],
    24          ],
    25          expected_output => '',
    26      }, {
    27          preconditions => [
    28              [\$foo => 0],
    29              [$bar => {goodnight => 'moon'}],
    30          ],
    31          expected_output => 'something surprising',
    32      }, {
    33          preconditions => [
    34              [\$foo => undef],
    35              [$bar => {}],
    36          ],
    37          expected_output => undef,
    38      });

Let's break that down a bit:

Line 1 simply sets up $foo and $bar to default undefined values.

Lines 3-8 encompass a call to each_ok BLOCK. In order to pass, the return value of each_ok must
          either be a single value (in which case it is checked for truthiness, a-la ok()), or
          it must be a pair of values (in which case they are treated as $got and $expected,
          respectively, and compared using deep_ok().

Lines 4-7 encompass a run_where(LIST, CODEREF) block. The return value of run_where() is the return
          value of whatever CODEREF you have provided. In this case, the return value will be a
          pair of values: the result of calling some_code($foo, $bar), and the corresponding
          expected piece of output. In Line 5, we expand the preconditions into the LIST of
          conditions that run_where() expects.

Lines 9-38 are simply data representing the various conditions we are testing, and their
           expected pieces of output.

This is dense, yes. But once I discovered this pattern and explained it to my former team, we found our tests to be easier to maintain (there's only 1 call to the function; adding support for a third argument is now dead simple) and faster to read (understand the testing crank that we're going to turn, then scan the data to make sure nothing looks missing).

Recognize Missing Test Coverage

Looking at the data structure above, you might notice that this condition is not tested:

preconditions => [
    [\$foo => undef],
    [$bar => {fly_me => 'to the moon'}],
],
expected_output => ..., # well, what should we expect here? 'something surprising'? undef? croak?

It's very rare that I've rewritten some large state-tracking test to use each_ok { run_where ... } ... and not discovered some unreached combination of state variables. Once you see what you've missed testing, it's quite simple to add coverage and either accept what your function does and codify that as the expected value, or to decide on enforcing different behavior from your function.

AUTHOR AND COPYRIGHT

(c) 2013 Belden Lyman <belden@cpan.org>

CONTRIBUTING

My hope is that other developers who also favor TDD will find these functions useful, and consider contributing their own. You may fork this project via Github, and submit a pull request in the standard fashion.

BUGS AND OVERSIGHTS

No bugs are known. There are certainly various oversights within this library. If you discover a bug, or simply want these functions to behave differently or better, please file a request via this project's issues page.

SEE ALSO

Data::Difflet does the hard work of comparing two data structures and presenting nice output.

Test::Deep provides useful functions for testing the equality of data structures.

LICENSE

You may use this under the same terms as Perl itself.