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Language-agnostic tests for BespON

This is a language-agnostic test suite for BespON encoders and decoders. The current focus is on decoders.

Decoding tests

Decoding tests in tests/decoding may be run against the bespon package for Python using the included script Future implementations in other languages may use this as a template for working with decoding tests.

Test files are themselves written in BespON. The top level of each test file is a dict. Each key in this dict corresponds to a test name, and each value to a test. An example from test_strings.bespon is shown below.

|=== test_keylike
status = valid
bespon = ['string', "'string'", '"string"', '`string`']
json = '"string"'

In this case, the test is called test_keylike. The test data itself is in the form of a dict. Since status is valid, all of the data string of BespON data, or a list of BespON data as in this case. json provides equivalent data in JSON form, to allow the loaded BespON data to be validated. If json is a string, as in this case, then all data provided in bespon must provide the same result. If json is a list instead, then the data represented by each element in json must be identical to that in the corresponding index in bespon. Most tests only provide a single json string for comparison, but this functionality is convenient for testing things like numbers without greatly increasing the overall number of tests.

Tests may have status = invalid instead. In this case, json values are omitted, and all data in bespon must fail to load. Invalid data should be designed to be invalid only in one respect, so that each invalid test is only checking one failure mode.

Finally, tests may have status = implementation. In this case, each string of BespON data in bespon must either fail to load, or load with a value that agrees with the corresponding element in json. Typically, implementation is reserved for use with things like integers, which may have limited precision in some implementations (say, 32-bit) but unlimited precision in other implementations (say, automatic promotion from 64-bit to arbitrary precision).

Types in JSON validation

JSON supports a more limited range of data types than BespON, particularly for dict keys. When types that are not directly supported by JSON are required, type information is represented in JSON using a two-element list of the form

[":<type>", <data>]

<data> may be a literal dict or list. Other types should be represented as strings to which typing will be applied.

After the data in the json part of a test is loaded, it is searched recursively for lists of this form, and they are replaced by applying typing <type> to objects <data>. Currently, the following types are provided using this approach:

  • :int64 – 64-bit integer
  • :bigint – arbitrary precision integer
  • :int64:2 – 64-bit integer, represented in binary (base 2) form
  • :int64:8 – 64-bit integer, represented in octal (base 8) form
  • :int64:16 – 64-bit integer, represented in hex (base 16) form
  • :float64 – IEEE 754 binary64, represented in decimal form
  • :float64:16 – IEEE 754 binary64, represented in hex form
  • :dict – dict collection; used to convert a list of two-element lists into a dict, to create dicts with non-string keys (which are not supported by JSON)

Encoding tests

Currently, encoding tests are limited to loading the valid decoding tests, encoding them, and then decoding to make sure that the results match. Additional, more targeted encoding tests may be added in the future.

This encoding check may be run against the bespon package for Python using the included script


All test data is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.

All test code is licensed under the BSD 3-Clause license.


Language-agnostic tests for BespON






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