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A mocking library for Erlang
Erlang Other

README.md

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Meck

A mocking library for Erlang.

Features

See what's new in 0.8 Release Notes.

  • Dynamic return values using sequences and loops of static values
  • Compact definition of mock arguments, clauses and return values
  • Pass through: call functions in the original module
  • Complete call history showing calls, return values and exceptions
  • Mock validation, will invalidate mocks that were not called correctly
  • Throwing of expected exceptions that keeps the module valid
  • Throws an error when mocking a module that doesn't exist or has been renamed (disable with option non_strict)
  • Support for Hamcrest matchers
  • Automatic backup and restore of cover data
  • Mock is linked to the creating process and will unload automatically when a crash occurs (disable with option no_link)
  • Mocking of sticky modules (using the option unstick)

Examples

Here's an example of using Meck in the Erlang shell:

Eshell V5.8.4  (abort with ^G)
1> meck:new(dog, [non_strict]). % non_strict is used to create modules that don't exist
ok
2> meck:expect(dog, bark, fun() -> "Woof!" end).
ok
3> dog:bark().
"Woof!"
4> meck:validate(dog).
true
5> meck:unload(dog).
ok
6> dog:bark().
** exception error: undefined function dog:bark/0

Exceptions can be anticipated by Meck (resulting in validation still passing). This is intended to be used to test code that can and should handle certain exceptions indeed does take care of them:

5> meck:expect(dog, meow, fun() -> meck:exception(error, not_a_cat) end).
ok
6> catch dog:meow().
{'EXIT',{not_a_cat,[{meck,exception,2},
                    {meck,exec,4},
                    {dog,meow,[]},
                    {erl_eval,do_apply,5},
                    {erl_eval,expr,5},
                    {shell,exprs,6},
                    {shell,eval_exprs,6},
                    {shell,eval_loop,3}]}}
7> meck:validate(dog).
true

Normal Erlang exceptions result in a failed validation. The following example is just to demonstrate the behavior, in real test code the exception would normally come from the code under test (which should, if not expected, invalidate the mocked module):

8> meck:expect(dog, jump, fun(Height) when Height > 3 ->
                                  erlang:error(too_high);
                             (Height) ->
                                  ok
                          end).
ok
9> dog:jump(2).
ok
10> catch dog:jump(5).
{'EXIT',{too_high,[{meck,exec,4},
                   {dog,jump,[5]},
                   {erl_eval,do_apply,5},
                   {erl_eval,expr,5},
                   {shell,exprs,6},
                   {shell,eval_exprs,6},
                   {shell,eval_loop,3}]}}
11> meck:validate(dog).
false

Here's an example of using Meck inside an EUnit test case:

my_test() ->
    meck:new(my_library_module),
    meck:expect(my_library_module, fib, fun(8) -> 21 end),
    ?assertEqual(21, code_under_test:run(fib, 8)), % Uses my_library_module
    ?assert(meck:validate(my_library_module)),
    meck:unload(my_library_module).

Pass-through is used when the original functionality of a module should be kept. When the option passthrough is used when calling new/2 all functions in the original module will be kept in the mock. These can later be overridden by calling expect/3 or expect/4.

Eshell V5.8.4  (abort with ^G)
1> meck:new(string, [unstick, passthrough]).
ok
2> string:strip("  test  ").
"test"

It's also possible to pass calls to the original function allowing us to override only a certain behavior of a function (this usage is compatible with the passthrough option). passthrough/1 will always call the original function with the same name as the expect is defined in):

Eshell V5.8.4  (abort with ^G)
1> meck:new(string, [unstick]).
ok
2> meck:expect(string, strip, fun(String) -> meck:passthrough([String]) end).
ok
3> string:strip("  test  ").
"test"
4> meck:unload(string).
ok
5> string:strip("  test  ").
"test"

Build

Meck requires make and rebar to build. To build Meck go to the Meck directory and simply type:

make

In order to run all tests for Meck type the following command from the same directory:

make test

Two things might seem alarming when running the tests:

  1. Warnings emitted by cover
  2. An exception printed by SASL

Both are expected due to the way Erlang currently prints errors. The important line you should look for is All XX tests passed, if that appears all is correct.

Documentation can be generated through the use of the following command:

make doc

Install

Meck is best used via rebar. Add the following dependency t your rebar.config in your project root:

{deps, [
 {meck, ".*",
  {git, "https://github.com/eproxus/meck.git", {tag, "0.8.3"}}}
 ]}.

If you want to install your own built version of Meck add the ebin directory to your Erlang code path or move the Meck folder into your release folder and make sure that folder is in your ERL_LIBS environment variable.

Caveats

Meck will have trouble mocking certain modules since Meck works by recompiling and reloading modules. Since Erlang have a flat module namespace, replacing a module has to be done globally in the Erlang VM. This means certain modules cannot be mocked. The following is a non-exhaustive list of modules that can either be problematic to mock or not possible at all:

  • erlang
  • os
  • crypto
  • compile

Also, a meck expectation set up for a function f does not apply to the module-local invocation of f within the mocked module. Consider the following module:

-module(test).
-export([a/0, b/0, c/0]).

a() ->
  c().

b() ->
  ?MODULE:c().

c() ->
  original.

Note how the module-local call to c/0 in a/0 stays unchanged even though the expectation changes the externally visible behaviour of c/0:

3> meck:new(test, [passthrough]).
ok
4> meck:expect(test,c,0,changed).
ok
5> test:a().
original
6> test:b().
changed
6> test:c().
changed

Contribute

Patches are greatly appreciated! For a much nicer history, please [write good commit messages][5]. Use a branch name prefixed by feature/ (e.g. feature/my_example_branch) for easier integration when developing new features or fixes for meck.

Should you find yourself using Meck and have issues, comments or feedback please create an issue here on GitHub.

Contributors:

  • Maxim Vladimirsky (@horkhe)
  • Ryan Zezeski (@rzezeski)
  • David Haglund (@daha)
  • Magnus Henoch (@legoscia)
  • Susan Potter (@mbbx6spp)
  • Andreas Amsenius (@adbl)
  • Anthony Molinaro (@djnym)
  • Matt Campbell (@xenolinguist)
  • Martynas Pumputis (@brb)
  • Shunichi Shinohara (@shino)
  • Miëtek Bak
  • Henry Nystrom
  • Ward Bekker (@wardbekker)
  • Damon Richardson
  • Christopher Meiklejohn
  • Joseph Wayne Norton (@norton)
  • Erkan Yilmaz (@Erkan-Yilmaz)
  • Joe Williams (@joewilliams)
  • Russell Brown
  • Michael Klishin (@michaelklishin)
  • Magnus Klaar
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