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Vic Cherubini:
Writing Functional Tests for Services in Symfony
Jun 16, 2016 @ 12:35:07

Vic Cherubini has written up a tutorial on his site showing you how to write functional tests for Symfony services in your application. He provides a practical example of testing a basic Symfony service and the configuration/code to go with it.

The dependency injector is an amazingly simple and flexible addition to Symfony, and one you should be using to properly structure your application. But what happens when you want to write a functional (or integration) test for a service that depends on another service? This article will show you an easy way to test complex services.

He sets up a simple InvoiceGenerator service that takes in a Doctrine entity manager and a "payment processor" instance. He stubs out a simple PaymentProcessor class and shows the configuration needed to set it all up for correct injection. He then gets into the testing of this setup, creating a simple test case that requests the invoice generator from the service container. In this call the services_test definition overrides the default and injects the test payment processor instead of the actual one.

tagged: symfony functional test services example tutorial configuration container injection

Link: https://viccherubini.com/2016/06/writing-functional-tests-for-services-in-symfony

Adam Wathan:
Writing Your Own Test Doubles
May 11, 2016 @ 10:19:58

In this recent post to his site Adam Wathan about writing your own custom test doubles (fakes) to help make your tests cleaner and improve their overall readability/maintainability.

Once in a while I run into a situation where trying to use a mocking library hurts the readability of my test. For example, say I’m building out a basic user registration flow where someone signs up and receives a welcome email. [...] To test that an account is created correctly, I can make a request to the endpoint and verify that the new account exists in a test database. [...] This covers creating the account itself, but what’s the best way to test the welcome email?

He goes through a few of the options that could be used to test this including using Mockery to replace the mailer class with a spy or actually sending emails. There's downfalls to both of these methods and he suggests using a custom "fake" where the mailer class is swapped out with an "in-memory" option with the same kind of interface. He does point out a few issues with this method, however, and offers a few tips to remember when using them.

tagged: custom test unittest doubles email example video screencast

Link: http://adamwathan.me/2016/01/25/writing-your-own-test-doubles/

QaFoo Blog:
Common Bottlenecks in Performance Tests
Apr 22, 2016 @ 11:24:46

On the QaFoo blog there's a post sharing some of what they've learned about the common bottlenecks in performance testing and some things you can to do determine the issues in your own tests.

Most developers by now internalized that we should not invest time in optimizations before we know what happens exactly. [...] This is true for optimizations in your PHP code but also for optimizations regarding your infrastructure. We should measure before we try to optimize and waste time. When it comes to the assumed performance problems in your system architecture most people guess the root cause will be the database. This might be true but in most projects we put under load it proved to be false.

So, how can we figure out where the problems are located in our stack?

They talk about some common testing practices using basic tools (like ab and siege) and having them perform common operations on the application. They then talk about testing for high load, monitoring the stack for the impact and a few tools you can use to gather statistics. They end the post with a quick mention that, despite popular opinion, the issue isn't always the database's fault. Sometimes other technology that's in play - like file locking issues or processing for server-side includes - and other things that may only show up under high load.

tagged: common bottleneck performance test advice server monitor tool

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/082_common_bottlenecks_in_performance_tests.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Contributing to PHP: How to Fix Bugs in the PHP Core
Apr 12, 2016 @ 10:37:27

On the SitePoint PHP blog Thomas Punt continues his series about how you can contribute back to the PHP language. In his previous post he talked about contributing to the PHP manual. In this latest part of the series he moves into something with a bit more complexity: contributing to the core of the language itself.

Previously, we covered contributing to PHP’s documentation. Now, we will be covering how to get involved with PHP’s core. To do this, we will be looking at the workflow for fixing a simple bug in the core.

Since submitting new features to PHP has already been explained pretty well, we will not be covering that here. Also, this article does not seek to teach PHP’s internals. For more information on that, please see my previous posts on adding features to PHP.

In this article he assumes you at least already have a working knowledge of the PHP source and how to locate/update code and execute it. He focuses instead on the bugfix process and workflow needed to:

  • find a bug to fix
  • create a test to reproduce the issue
  • use a debugger to find the exact spot where the problem is
  • and create a simple fix

In this case it's a pretty simple issue to correct, but there are much more complex things that would require more work than just a simple "if" check. This guide can help you get started on the correct workflow, however, and be sure you're handling things as the project expects.

tagged: contribute fix bug core language guide workflow test phpt

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/contributing-to-php-how-to-fix-bugs-in-the-php-core/

QaFoo Blog:
Using Mink in PHPUnit
Apr 06, 2016 @ 09:13:30

The QaFoo blog has a new post today showing you how to use Mink with PHPUnit. Mink is a testing tool that allows you to write tests as if they were happening through a browser.

Another day for a short PHPUnit trick. If you want to use PHPunit to control a browser for functional or acceptence tests, then you can easily do this using the Mink library. Mink is well known from the Behat community to facilitate Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD), but it is a standalone library that can be used with PHPUnit just as easily.

This is more flexible than using dedicated browser abstractions such as Selenium directly from PHPunit, because you can switch between different implementations or even run tests with multiple implementations using the same code base.

They start with the command you'll need to get Mink installed via Composer (a simple require) and come example code for a test on the Wikipedia site (the page about PHP). They then refactor this a bit to remove the boostrapping of the Mink client into a reusable trait, making it simpler to use in other tests. They also refactor the test to use the trait and include the phpunit.xml configuration needed to run it.

tagged: mink browser test phpunit install example trait refactor wikipedia

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/081_phpunit_mink_functional_tests.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Crash Course into Continuous Testing with Sismo
Mar 29, 2016 @ 12:03:54

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a tutorial posted helping you get started with Sismo, a simple component that can help you with the continuous testing of your PHP applications. Sismo is a project from SensioLabs, the same group behind Symfony and Twig (and several other popular tools).

The PHP community started to adopt the testing culture relatively recently. Despite there being some debates on how to achieve this, nobody can argue the importance of having your code fully covered by tests. In this article, we’re going to explore a tool that will help you in a major part of the testing culture called continuous testing.

Sismo is a small component which you can easily integrate with your projects to make the process of continuous testing easier. Sismo's main focus is to run your tests and send you status notifications.

They help you get the tool installed (either from GitHub or directly) and configure your project with a simple PHP file. They also include instructions on how to execute the tests for the project and an example of the resulting output. The tutorial then shows how to set up a project using the remote repository handling, setting up notifiers for failures, storing the build information and using it in a git hook.

tagged: continuous testing sismo sensiolabs tutorial setup configuration phpunit test

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/continuous-testing-with-sismo/

Carlos Buenosvinos:
First tests with #PHP7 in production at @AtrapaloEng
Mar 18, 2016 @ 11:15:45

On his site Carlos Buenosvinos has a new post talking about the experience they had at @AtrapaloEng with PHP 7 and shares some of the improvements they've already seen so far.

On Monday, Badoo blogged about its migration to PHP7 (https://techblog.badoo.com/blog/2016/03/14/how-badoo-saved-one-million-dollars-switching-to-php7/). Those are great results! At @AtrapaloEng, we’re running already tests in production to perform the same step. We could have started some months before, but we’ve been struggling with the php-msgpack extension and its (un)support for PHP7. We hope to deploy PHP7 in all our server during this week but we would like to share with you what we have seen so far.

They share some graphs showing the changes when PHP 7 was deployed on their systems for both memory consumption and overall load average. They also talk about the boost in performance as far as response times and, an often not reported statistic, how it sped up their unit test runs too.

tagged: test php7 atrapaloeng performance results graph unittest

Link: https://carlosbuenosvinos.com/first-tests-with-php7-in-production-at-atrapaloeng/

Johannes Schlüter:
References - Still bad in PHP 7
Feb 19, 2016 @ 09:18:45

Johannes Schlüter has a post to his site that talks about references in PHP 7 and how they're "still bad" based on some of his previous findings.

I'm known for telling "Don't use references" (also as video) as those cause different problems (i.e. with foreach) and hurt performance. The reason for the performance loss is that references disable copy-on-write while most places in PHP assume copy-on-write. Meanwhile we have PHP 7. In PHP 7 the internal variable handling changed a lot among other things the reference counting moved from the zval, the container representing a variable, to the actual element. So I decided to run a little test to verify my performance assumption was still valid.

He includes his testing code that calls a function (strlen) in a loop and compares the handling against two methods, one passing by reference the other not. The results are shown in time taken to execute. He compares the results for PHP 5 and PHP 7, noting that PHP 7 is marginally better when passed by value, by-reference is still about the same.

tagged: reference php7 php5 compare value byreference byvalue test benchmark execution

Link: http://schlueters.de/blog/archives/180-References-Still-bad-in-PHP-7.html

Adam Wathan:
Preventing API Drift with Contract Tests
Feb 03, 2016 @ 12:11:21

In this post to his site Adam Wathan shares a screencast talking about changing APIs (the structure of your code, not like REST/SOAP APIs) and how "API drift" could cause problems in your testing.

One of the risks of writing your own test doubles is that the API of the double can fall out of sync with the API of the real implementation.

In this screencast I walk through an example that explains: how interfaces can provide a false sense of security, why tests make better contracts than interfaces and how to run multiple implementations against a shared set of contract tests.

You can watch the screencast either through the in-page video player or over on Vimeo directly. It's about 10 minutes long but it covers an interesting topic that could throw you if you're not careful in your testing/code changes.

tagged: screencast contract test unittest api drift interface changes

Link: http://adamwathan.me/2016/02/01/preventing-api-drift-with-contract-tests/

Lakion Blog:
How we sped up Sylius' Behat suite with Blackfire
Dec 01, 2015 @ 12:08:57

On the Lakion blog there's a recent post sharing how they used the Blackfire.io profiling service to [speed up their application's tests] (Behat)(http://lakion.com/blog/how-did-we-speed-up-sylius-behat-suite-with-blackfire) and find the "pain points" to fix.

Feedback time is one of the most crucial factors during development and the red - green - refactor cycle. In case of Sylius, the full build used to take two and a half hour, including 55 minutes for only PHP 5.6 jobs. Waiting so long for feedback is not an option for a project of this size and with so many active contributors. As much as I am Xdebug fan, I have never really used it for profiling - the snapshots generation was slowing down the profiled script significantly and resulted in monstrous files, which weren't easy to read.

Half a year after I have first heard of blackfire.io I decided to give it a try. It resulted in a series of pull requests that speeds up Sylius test suites 6 times and reduces memory usage to one tenth.

They go through some of the major bottlenecks that the service helped them locate including:

  • an issue with the login process and their role evaluation handling
  • problems with time spent doing router initialization
  • Doctrine performance issues running it without a class metadata cache

For each item they describe what the service was reporting and how they corrected it in the application. Most of the changes were relatively small, fortunately. They also link to the results from before and after the changes so you can see the difference. As their environment is Symfony-based they end the post with some other helpful Symfony tips to getting the most out of your application and enhancing its performance in a few simple ways.

tagged: blackfireio behat test suite performance improvement profiling

Link: http://lakion.com/blog/how-did-we-speed-up-sylius-behat-suite-with-blackfire