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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Testing Your Tests? Who Watches the Watchmen?
Jul 21, 2016 @ 12:10:48

In a tutorial posted to the SitePoint PHP blog Claudio Ribeiro tries to answer the question of "who watches the watchmen" (your application's tests) to ensure they're functioning as expected and are correct. In this new tutorial he introduces the Humbug mutation testing tool and how it can be used to verify your own tests.

Regardless of whether you’re working for a big corporation, a startup, or just for yourself, unit testing is not only helpful, but often indispensable. We use unit tests to test our code, but what happens if our tests are wrong or incomplete? What can we use to test our tests? Who watches the watchmen?

[...] Mutation Testing ( or Mutant Analysis ) is a technique used to create and evaluate the quality of software tests. It consists of modifying the tests in very small ways. Each modified version is called a mutant and tests detect and reject mutants by causing the behavior of the original version to differ from the mutant. Mutations are bugs in our original code and analysis checks if our tests detect those bugs. In a nutshell, if a test still works after it’s mutated, it’s not a good test.

He starts by helping you get it installed (a quick composer require) and creating a simple "calculator" test to show it in use. He then creates the test for the class with some simple testing methods for the basic calculator functionality. He then configures the Humbug installation (via a JSON config file) and executes it on the current tests, sharing the resulting output. He goes through the results showing how to interpret them and points out places where the tests could be improved.

tagged: testing unittest humbug mutation variation example tutorial output

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/testing-your-tests-who-watches-the-watchmen/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Quick Tip: Testing Symfony Apps with a Disposable Database
Jul 14, 2016 @ 11:12:16

On the SitePoint PHP blog author Andrew Carter has shared a "quick tip" about using a disposable database in the testing of your Symfony-based applications.

Testing code that interacts with a database can be a massive pain. Some developers mock database abstractions, and thus do not test the actual query. Others create a test database for the development environment, but this can also be a pain when it comes to continuous integration and maintaining the state of this database.

In-memory databases are an alternative to these options. As they exist only in the memory of the application, they are truly disposable and great for testing. Thankfully, these are very easy to set up with Symfony applications that use Doctrine.

He talks first about the built-in functionality Symfony has to use different configuration files for different environments. This allows for easier testing in a more isolated setup than replicating development. He then shows how to use Doctrine with a SQLite in-memory database with a simple update to the config_test YAML configuration file. He also includes the code for a DatabasePrimer class that gets the Doctrine entity manager and executes the the schema tool to set up the schema in the database and "prime" it with any fixtures you might need.

tagged: tutorial symfony sqlite database inmemory testing schema fixture

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/quick-tip-testing-symfony-apps-with-a-disposable-database/

QaFoo Blog:
Outside-In Testing and the Adapter and Facade Patterns
Jul 05, 2016 @ 10:47:03

The QaFoo blog has a post today about outside-in testing, two design patterns - Adapter and Facade - and how they relate.

As part of our workshops on Test-Driven Development we explain to our customers how testing from the outside-in can help find the right test-mix.

The technique puts a focus on test-driven-development, but instead of the traditional approach starts at the acceptance test level. The first test for a feature is an acceptance test and only then the feature is implemented from the outside classes first. [...] Outside-In testing leads to interfaces that are written from what is useful for the client object using them, in contrast to objects that are composed of collaborators that already exist. Because at some point we have to interact with objects that exist already, we will need three techniques to link those newly created interfaces/roles to existing code in our project

These three techniques are:

  • using the adapter pattern to interface with third party code
  • the facade pattern to "layer" your own code
  • continuous refactoring of interfaces/implementations

In this post they focus mostly on the adapter pattern. They show how to use it in interfacing with remote systems in a Symfony application (for example) based on a remote XML file. They also include the test to verify it's functioning correctly and the PHP code to make the mocks and interfaces you'll need for the test.

tagged: outsidein testing adapter facade designpattern refactor interface

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/087_outside_in_testing_adapter_pattern.html

Laravel News:
Easily Test Email with MailThief
Jun 24, 2016 @ 11:50:56

The Laravel News site has a post that gives you a quick introduction to MailThief, a library created by the developers at Tighten Co. to make mail testing simpler.

MailThief is a new package by Tighten Co. that provides a fake mailer for your Laravel application. This makes it easy to test email without actually sending any.

They include a simple example of a script that sends an email on user registration using Laravel's own Mail library. They also include a test for the registration action showing how MailThief can be used to "hijack" the mailer and make it simpler to get information about the mail being sent. You can find out more about the tool and what prompted it in this video from Adam Wathan.

tagged: mailthief testing unittest mailer email example introduction

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/06/mailthief/

Liip Blog:
Testing in the Cloud – Using Bamboo with Amazon AWS
Jun 08, 2016 @ 14:51:19

On the Liip blog there's a new post showing you how to set up "testing in the cloud" with the help of AWS and a Bamboo instance along with some custom configuration.

Bamboo is the continous integration service by Atlassian, the company owning the code management service Bitbucket (as well as the Jira issue tracker and Confluence wiki). Bamboo can run test suites and build any kind of artefact like generated documentation or installable packages. It integrates with Amazon Web Services, allowing to spin up EC2 instances as needed.

The article talks about the permissioning needed for the EC2 AWS instances and how to trigger automatic builds. They then get into the details of configuring the test runner and the PHPUnit setup to allow for the execution of your tests.

tagged: testing cloud aws bamboo amazon ec2 instance atlassian

Link: https://blog.liip.ch/archive/2016/06/08/testing-cloud-using-bamboo-with-amazon-aws.html

Toptal.com:
Jumpstart Your PHP Testing with Codeception
May 26, 2016 @ 12:41:35

The Toptal.com blog has posted a new tutorial that wants to help you make the most of your application via testing. They show you how to use Codeception to create a set of tests to ensure your application is working as expected.

Before moving on to Codeception and PHP, we should cover the basics and start by explaining why we need testing in applications in the first place. Perhaps we could complete a project without wasting time on tests, at least this time?

Sure, you don’t need tests for everything; for example, when you want to build yet another homepage. [...] However, you definitely do need testing when: your team uses BDD/TDD, your Git repo contains more than a couple commits, [and] you are a proper professional, working on a serious project.

They start with a look at the kinds of things testing solves in your development process and the different kinds of tests you can create. From there they introduce Codeception, an alternative testing tool to the widely used PHPUnit. The tutorial helps you get it installed and shows you how to make a simple, first test. It helps you execute the test, debug issues that might pop up and the different assertions you can use. With the fundamentals in place, they move on to more details on using it for functional and unit testing.

tagged: jumpstart testing codeception tutorial functional unit

Link: https://www.toptal.com/php/php-testing-with-codeception

Dotdev.co:
Acceptance Testing a Laravel and Vue.js Application
May 20, 2016 @ 11:57:28

Mohamed Said has written up an article about acceptance testing a Laravel+Vue.js application with the help of the Selenium WebDriver functionality.

The good thing about writing tests at a mature stage of the project is that many of the basic parts of the application are settled down, major changes have slowed, so deciding the shape of tests can happen in a more solid way. Testing too early, in my opinion, leads to the need of changing tests whenever you change functionality, so it’s work * 2.

This post is about a single type of tests and I think it’s the most interesting one.

He starts with a brief description of what acceptance testing is for those not familiar with the concept. He then gets to the Selenium WebDriver, provides a summary on that as well and points out the main tool they use for their tests: the Javascript driver it provides. the syntax on the driver is a bit difficult to follow so they also suggest layering Nightwatch.js on top to make for simpler, cleaner and easier to read tests. There's also information and (acceptance) testing the backend of the application with various tools, ultimately deciding on the use of Codeception.

tagged: acceptance testing larvel vuejs selenium webdriver nightwatchjs codeception

Link: https://dotdev.co/acceptance-testing-a-laravel-and-vue-js-application-4160b8e96156#.vdxu8in7i

Paul Jones:
When Possible, Use File *Resources* Instead Of File *Names*
May 13, 2016 @ 10:37:38

In this new post to his site Paul Jones makes a recommendation to those working with files and other resources: pass around the resources themselves (the streams) not filenames.

In testing the Aura.Http package, I have realized that it’s much more flexible, testing wise, to pass around file resources (a.k.a. handles, pointers, or streams) than it is to pass around file names. When you do that, you can use a php://memory stream instead of attempting to touch the file system. [...] This places control of the file creation in your hands directly, not under the control of the system under test.

He gives examples based on some testing of one of his own packages where he needed to swap out the resource being tested and mock out a file system call. It's a simple trick but could help reduce some complexity in your overall code in the right situations.

tagged: file resource name unittest testing aurahttp

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/2487

Free the Geek:
Episode 16 - Talking Testing and Building YOUR Dream with Chris Hartjes
Apr 20, 2016 @ 09:13:51

The Free the Geek podcast, hosted by Matthew Setter, has posted their latest episode (#16), a chat with Chris Hartjes about testing and "building your dream" based on some of his own experiences.

In this episode I chat with Chris Hartjes, the Grumpy Programmer himself, about the ins and outs of testing and what it’s like to spend part of your working week building your dreams, instead of someone else’s.

Amongst the talk on testing, we cover a range of interesting points, such as monkey patching, mutation testing, and how TDD is more a design process than anything else. When it comes to building your dream, Chris shares some personal insights in to what prompted him to build grumpy learning, and who some of his greatest mentors have been.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 of the show for listening at your leisure. If you enjoy the show be sure to subscribe to their feed and follow them on Twitter for more updates when new shows are released.

tagged: freethegeekpodcast ep16 chrishartjes testing dream community interview

Link: http://freethegeek.fm/episode/episode-0016

Adam Culp:
Setting up step debugging in Zend Studio
Apr 11, 2016 @ 11:52:43

Adam Culp has posted a guide on his site showing you how to set up debugging in Zend Studio, the PHP IDE from Zend. In it he walks you through the setup on both the server and client side to get them working happily together.

Recently I was helping someone set up step debugging in Zend Studio, and had some difficulties. Therefore I decided to create a blog post to remind me later, and perhaps help others get it set up.

I was doing this on an Ubuntu laptop, so while menus may vary slightly the process should be very similar. Also, I did this using a local virtual machine in VirtualBox, but using Bridged networking mode to simulate a remote server. In Zend Studio I had a project created with the Zend Framework Skeleton Application, and created a virtualhost in the virtual environment that mirrored that.

He starts with the server, pointing out that the only thing really needed there is an installed and working version of Xdebug. He then goes through each step in the IDE, complete with screenshots:

  • Configuring the server in the Preferences
  • Testing the connection between the two
  • Enabling debugging on the project
  • Ensuring the server is configured correctly to use debugging when specified

While some of his instructions are more specific to a Zend Server installation, they can still be mostly applied to any kind of system. You can also check the Xdebug documentation for additional help.

tagged: debugging zendstudio guide zendserver configuration testing xdebug

Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/1220