Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clojure: Another Testing Framework - Expectations

Once upon a time I wrote Expectations for Ruby. I wanted a simple testing framework that allowed me to specify my test with the least amount of code.

Now that I'm spending the majority of my time in Clojure, I decided to create a version of Expectations for Clojure.

At first it started as a learning project, but I kept adding productivity enhancements. Pretty soon, it became annoying when I wasn't using Expectations. Obviously, if you write your own framework you are going to prefer to use it. However, I think the productivity enhancements might be enough for other people to use it as well.

So why would you want to use it?

Tests run automatically. Clojure hates side effects, yeah, I hear you. But, I hate wasting time and repeating code. As a result, Expectations runs all the tests on JVM shutdown. This allows you to execute a single file to run all the tests in that file, without having to specify anything additional. There's also a hook you can call if you don't want the tests to automatically run. (If you are looking for an example, there's a JUnit runner that disables running tests on shutdown)

What to test is inferred from your "expected" value. An equality test is probably the most common test written. In Expectations, an equality test looks like the following example.
(expect 3 (+ 1 2))
That's simple enough, but what if you want to match a regex against a string? The following example does exactly that, and it uses the same syntax.
(expect #"foo" "afoobar")
Other common tests are verifying an exception is thrown or checking the type of an actual value. The following snippets test those two conditions.
(expect ArithmeticException (/ 12 0))

(expect String "foo")
Testing subsets of the actual value. Sometimes you want an exact match, but there are often times when you only care about a subset of the actual value. For example, you may want to test all the elements of a map except the time and id pairs (presumably because they are dynamic). The following tests show how you can verify that some key/value pairs are in a map, a element is in a set, or an element is in a list.
;; k/v pair in map. matches subset
(expect {:foo 1} (in {:foo 1 :cat 4}))

;; key in set
(expect :foo (in (conj #{:foo :bar} :cat)))

;; val in list
(expect :foo (in (conj [:bar] :foo)))
Double/NaN is annoying. (not= Double/NaN Double/NaN) ;=> true. I get it, conceptually. In practice, I don't want my tests failing because I can't compare two maps that happen to have Double/NaN as the value for a matching key. In fact, 100% of the time I want (= Double/NaN Double/NaN) ;=> true. And, yes, I can rewrite the test and use Double/isNaN. I can. But, I don't want to. Expectations allows me to pretend (= Double/NaN Double/NaN) ;=> true. It might hurt me in the future. I'll let you know. For now, I prefer to write concise tests that behave as "expected".

Try rewriting this and using Double/isNaN (it's not fun)
{:x 1 :a Double/NaN :b {:c Double/NaN :d 2 :e 4 :f {:g 11 :h 12}}}
{:x 1 :a Double/NaN :b {:c Double/NaN :d 2 :e 4 :f {:g 11 :h 12}}})
Concise Java Object testing. Inevitably, I seem to end up with a few Java objects. I could write a bunch of different expect statements, but I opted for a syntax that allows me to check everything at once.
(given (java.util.ArrayList.)
.size 0
.isEmpty true))
Trimmed Stacktraces. I'm sure it's helpful to look through Clojure and Java's classes at times. However, I find the vast majority of the time the problem is in my code. Expectations trims many of the common classes that are from Clojure and Java, leaving much more signal than noise. Below is the stacktrace reported when running the failure examples from the Expectations codebase.
failure in (failure_examples.clj:8) : failure.failure-examples
raw: (expect 1 (one))
act-msg: exception in actual: (one)
threw: class java.lang.ArithmeticException-Divide by zero
failure.failure_examples$two__375 (failure_examples.clj:4)
failure.failure_examples$one__378 (failure_examples.clj:5)
failure.failure_examples$G__381__382$fn__387 (failure_examples.clj:8)
failure.failure_examples$G__381__382 (failure_examples.clj:8)
Every stacktrace line is from my code, where the problem lives.

Descriptive Error Messages. Expectations does it's best to give you all the important information when a failure does occur. The following failure shows what keys are missing from actual and expected as well is which values do not match.

{:z 1 :a 9 :b {:c Double/NaN :d 1 :e 2 :f {:g 10 :i 22}}}
{:x 1 :a Double/NaN :b {:c Double/NaN :d 2 :e 4 :f {:g 11 :h 12}}})


failure in (failure_examples.clj:110) : failure.failure-examples
raw: (expect {:z 1, :a 9, :b {:c Double/NaN, :d 1, :e 2, :f {:g 10, :i 22}}} {:x 1, :a Double/NaN, :b {:c Double/NaN, :d 2, :e 4, :f {:g 11, :h 12}}})
result: {:z 1, :a 9, :b {:c NaN, :d 1, :e 2, :f {:g 10, :i 22}}} are not in {:x 1, :a NaN, :b {:c NaN, :d 2, :e 4, :f {:g 11, :h 12}}}
exp-msg: :x is in actual, but not in expected
:b {:f {:h is in actual, but not in expected
act-msg: :z is in expected, but not in actual
:b {:f {:i is in expected, but not in actual
message: :b {:e expected 2 but was 4
:b {:d expected 1 but was 2
:b {:f {:g expected 10 but was 11
:a expected 9 but was NaN
note: I know it's a bit hard to read, but I wanted to cover all the possible errors with one example. In practice you'll get a few messages that will tell you exactly what is wrong.

For example, the error tells you
:b {:f {:g expected 10 but was 11
With that data it's pretty easy to see the problem in
{:z 1 :a 9 :b {:c Double/NaN :d 1 :e 2 :f {:g 10 :i 22}}}
{:x 1 :a Double/NaN :b {:c Double/NaN :d 2 :e 4 :f {:g 11 :h 12}}})
Expectations also tells you, when comparing two lists:
  • if the lists are the same, but differ only in order
  • if the lists are the same, but one list has duplicates
  • if the lists are not the same, which list is larger

    JUnit integration. My project uses both Java and Clojure. I like running my tests in IntelliJ and I like TeamCity running my tests as part of the build. To accomplish this using Expectations all you need to do is create a java class similar to the example below.
    import expectations.junit.ExpectationsTestRunner;
    import org.junit.runner.RunWith;

    public class FailureTest implements ExpectationsTestRunner.TestSource{

    public String testPath() {
    return "/path/to/the/root/folder/holding/your/tests";
    The Expectations Test Runner runs your Clojure tests in the same way that the Java tests run, including the green/red status icons and clickable links when things fail.

    Why wouldn't you use Expectations?

    Support. I'm using it to test my production code, but if I find errors I have to go fix them. You'll be in the same situation. I'll be happy to fix any bugs you find, but I might not have the time to get to it as soon as you send me email.

    If you're willing to live on the bleeding edge, feel free to give it a shot.

    1. This is great, thanks! Your framework has some very nice touches.

    2. Anonymous9:31 AM

      Thanks Paul


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