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Mocking

Allows Julia function calls to be temporarily overloaded for purpose of testing

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Mocking

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Allows Julia function calls to be temporarily overloaded for purpose of testing.

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Usage

Suppose you wrote the function randdev (UNIX only). How would you go about writing tests for it?

function randdev(n::Integer)
    open("/dev/urandom") do fp
        reverse(read(fp, n))
    end
end

The non-deterministic behaviour of this function makes it hard to test but we can write some tests dealing with the deterministic properties of the function:

using Base.Test
import ...: randdev

n = 10
result = randdev(n)
@test eltype(result) == UInt8
@test length(result) == n

How could we create a test that shows the output of the function is reversed? Mocking.jl provides the @mock macro which allows package developers to temporarily overload a specific calls in their package. In this example we will apply @mock to the open call in randdev:

using Mocking

function randdev(n::Integer)
    @mock open("/dev/urandom") do fp
        reverse(read(fp, n))
    end
end

With the call site being marked as "mockable" we can now write a testcase which allows us to demonstrate the reversing behaviour within the randdev function:

using Mocking
Mocking.enable()  # Need to enable before we import any code using the `@mock` macro

using Base.Test
import ...: randdev

...

# Produces a string with sequential UInt8 values from 1:n
data = unsafe_string(pointer(convert(Array{UInt8}, 1:n)))

# Generate a alternative method of `open` which call we wish to mock
patch = @patch open(fn::Function, f::AbstractString) = fn(IOBuffer(data))

# Apply the patch which will modify the behaviour for our test
apply(patch) do
    @test randdev(n) == convert(Array{UInt8}, n:-1:1)
end

# Outside of the scope of the patched environment `@mock` is essentially a no-op
@test randdev(n) != convert(Array{UInt8}, n:-1:1)

Gotchas

Remember to:

  • use @mock at desired call sites
  • start julia with --compiled-modules=no (--compilecache=no for ≤0.6) or pass force=true to Mocking.enable
  • run Mocking.enable before importing the module(s) being tested

Notes

Mocking.jl is intended to be used for testing only and will not affect the performance of your code when using @mock. In fact the @mock is actually a no-op when Mocking.enable is not called. One side effect of this behaviour is that pre-compiled packages won't test correctly with Mocking unless you start Julia with --compiled-modules=no (≥0.7) or --compilecache=no (≤0.6).

$ julia --compilecache=no -e Pkg.test("...")

Alternatively you can use Mocking.enable(force=true) to automatically disable using package precompilation for you (experimental). Make sure to call enable before the you importing the module you are testing.

License

Mocking.jl is provided under the MIT "Expat" License.

First Commit

09/23/2015

Last Touched

about 1 month ago

Commits

223 commits

Requires: