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Rob Allen:
First beta of Slim Framework 3
July 03, 2015 @ 08:03:18

Rob Allen has a new post about the tagging of the first beta of Slim Framework v3, the popular PHP microframework's latest version. In it he details a few of the major changes and requests help testing.

Last night, I tagged beta 1 of Slim Framework 3! This is a significant upgrade to v2 with a number of changes that you can read on the Slim blog. For me, the two key features that I'm most excited about are: PSR-7 support, [...and a] dependency injection container with container-interop compliance. [...] There's lots of other changes and we believe we have kept to the key tenants of Slim, keeping it focussed as a micro-framework suitable for building any application that you want to build.

He includes everything you'll need to test this newly tagged release with the help of his skeleton application. He also links to the new documentation that's a work in progress to replace the current set of docs. You can find more information on the full list of changes over on the Slim blog.

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Giorgio Sironi:
Property-based testing primer
June 19, 2015 @ 12:15:29

Giorgio Sironi has a new post to his site today talking about a method (and tool) around a different sort of testing practice: property-based testing. The difference is that, instead of hard-coding values and evaluating them post-processing, you're generating random values and ensuring they match against a set of properties, not values.

I'm a great advocate of automated testing and of finding out your code does not work on your machine, 30 seconds after having written it, instead of in production after it has caused a monetary loss and some repair work to be performed. [...] However, classic test suites written with xUnit and BDD styles have some scaling problems they hit when you want to exercise more than some happy paths. [...] Property-based testing is an approach to testing coming from the functional programming world.

He helps to make the point a bit more clear with an example of testing the "sort" function and its results. He talks about how to test it using normal data, empty data, etc. but notes that this kind of testing can become "boring and error-prone". Instead he proposes the property-based testing of the results. He generates random values to feed into the method and checks to ensure the results are sorting by comparing them to each other. He expands this with a bit more complex example, showing how to test some DateTime handling and evaluating the result with logic in a closure. To help make this kind of testing easier, he's created a library (Eris) that extends PHPUnit and provides the methods seen in his examples.

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Three Devs & A Maybe:
Episode 68 - Podcasting, Remote Working and Testing with Adam Wathan
June 17, 2015 @ 08:53:09

The Three Devs & A Maybe podcast has released their latest episode today, Episode #68 - Podcasting, Remote Working and Testing with Adam Wathan.

This week we are very lucky to be joined by fellow podcaster and host of Full Stack Radio - Adam Wathan. We begin discussion with his reasons behind starting a podcast, experience being a solo-host and the secret to great podcast recordings. We then move on to how he got into programming at high school - with reflection on that if he had been using a Windows machine at college, he would most likely be a .NET developer by now. As both Edd and Adam work remotely at this time, the topic of remote pair-programming and Kanban style board implementations then arises. Finally, we discuss his thoughts on Message-passing vs. strict-contracts, Smalltalk and Elixir exploration and how it is hard to give a definitive answer on the best way to begin learning TDD.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3. Be sure to subscribe to their feed if you enjoy the show too!

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Rob Allen:
Testing my ZF1 app on PHP7
June 15, 2015 @ 16:37:57

Rob Allen has a new post to his site showing the results of some testing he did when running a Zend Framework v1 application on PHP 7.

Zend Framework 1 is still actively maintained and we fully intend to ensure that ZF1 works with no problems on PHP 7 when its released. Now that PHP 7.0.0 Alpha 1 has been released, it's time to find out if your Zend Framework 1 app works with it. The easiest way to do this is to use a virtual machine. My preference is Vagrant with Rasmus' PHP7dev box.

He walks through the setup of the virtual machine via a simple Vagrantfile, configuring the latest PHP 7 version, an Nginx server and a basic database. Fortunately, his results turned out quite well with only one issue identified in his application (one with method names the same as class names). You can use this as a a guide to try out your own applications too. Be sure to check the UPGRADING file for a list ot possible breaks to help you track down issues you might be seeing.

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Hafiz Waheeduddin Ahmad:
API Testing Installing and Using Codeception
June 15, 2015 @ 15:45:41

Hafiz Waheeduddin Ahmad has a new post to his site, part three of a series he's posted on API testing, looking at the use of Codeception for testing API output and functionality.

In this post, we will have a look on how we can use Codeception for API testing.

He starts by helping you get Codeception installed through Composer through a "require" command line call. He then walks you through the setup of the project and how to use the "codecept" command line tool. He covers the generated directory structure the bootstrapping created and how to set up a sample configuration for your API. He then gets into writing an example test, showing how to check things like authentication, HTTP header information, response codes and response contents. Finally he shows how to run the tests in both a normal and more verbose way.

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Marc Morera:
Visithor, Testing Your Routes Without Pain
May 05, 2015 @ 09:25:55

In his latest post Marc Morera shares a new tool he's created to help with testing routes for specific HTTP code responses and other attributes of your "HTTP layer" - Visithor.

Many years ago I was thinking about a simple and fast tool to test specific routes, expecting specific HTTP codes and providing an easy environment of ensuring properly your HTTP layer. So... I present you Visithor, a PHP based library that provides you this functionality, with a simple configuration definition and a very easy way of installation.

He starts with a few quick commands to get the library installed (either globally or local to the project) and how to create the first configuration file. This file defines the tests to execute as a set of URLs with allowed HTTP response codes. He also shares a Symfony2 bundle that can be used to integrate it with your current application, allowing for more flexibility in route check configuration and environment settings. He also includes a quick example of integrating it with your Travis-CI build as a "script" command to be executed.

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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Automated Testing of Drupal 8 Modules
May 04, 2015 @ 11:06:08

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted talking about the automated testing of Drupal 8 modules, the components of the popular PHP-based content management system. In it author Daniel Sipos shows how to create a few tests for some functionality created in previous articles.

In this article we are going to look at automated testing in Drupal 8. More specifically, we are going to write a few integration tests for some of the business logic we wrote in the previous Sitepoint articles on Drupal 8 module development. [...] But before doing that, we will talk a bit about what kinds of tests we can write in Drupal 8 and how they actually work.

He makes use of the SimpleTest unit testing tool for PHP (versus something like PHPUnit) as it has become a standard for Drupal's own testing. He talks briefly about what SimpleTest is, how it integrates with Drupal and what kinds of tests already exist. He then gets into testing his own functionality - checking route information, that the page exists, the contents of the resulting page and the addition of a custom block plugin. He shows how to create these simple tests, extending the WebTestBase class, and checking each item on the list. He also includes an example of the resulting output of the successful testing, including time to execute and the detailed results of each test.

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Marc Morera:
Behat and Data-test
April 27, 2015 @ 09:55:08

In a new post Marc Morera makes a suggestion for a testing practice to add to the use of the popular BDD PHP testing framework Behat - a "data-test" option to help with decoupling the tests from implementation.

Tests should be as robust as possible. I think you will agree with me with that phrase. If your tests are too coupled with your implementation, a simple modification of your code will need the modification of your tests, and that's so annoying, right? [...] My question is… should the frontend of your website be aware of the how your Behat tests are built? In my opinion, nope. Your tests should live in a simple layout on top of your application, emulating some cases and ensuring that your users will be able to do what they should be able to.

He points out the main problem with the current testing methods, mainly that the real issue is in the hard-wiring of the test functionality to the name/id/type of the interface elements. He also brings up the aspect of translations and ensuring that your tests take into account that the text may not always be in English. He also mentions Symfony forms and how they define their own structure and naming, not necessarily what you manually generate. He instead proposes a "data-test" property that could be added to elements both indicating that they're used by the testing process and can help in locating the elements during the testing process.

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Phillip Shipley:
Creating a PHP Nexmo API Client using Guzzle Web Service Client - Part 4
April 15, 2015 @ 09:56:21

Phillip Shipley continues his series looking at creating a client for the Nexmo API with his latest post, part four focusing on the testing of the current connections and state of the code.

At this point in this series we have a complete PHP client for the Nexmo APIs. Hopefully I've been able to teach some good practices and designs in the process of developing it, but I know many of you test-driven-development advocates are probably screaming that I've left out the most important part: testing, and testing early. Well, in order to keep these tutorials focused I've saved the testing to the end, and actually when testing API clients I find it easier to write the tests afterwards, but I'll get into that later.

He points out that running tests on code that connects to APIs it a bit tricky as you don't want it to make actual API requests every time you run the tests. Instead he shows how to use Guzzle mock responses and the service (when you do actually need to test that HTTP requests are made). He includes the code examples to create the Guzzle mock response as well as a brief look at how to use Mockable along with your current tests with an "override" on the base URL.

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Pádraic Brady:
Introduction to Humbug A Mutation Testing Framework for PHP
April 08, 2015 @ 09:34:13

While he's mentioned it in other posts to his site, Pádraic Brady has officially posted an Introduction to Humbug to his site today. Humbug is a mutation testing framework that lets you determine the actual effectiveness of your unit tests through "mutation testing" methods.

You may already be familiar with the concept. In Mutation Testing, defects which emulate simple programmer errors are introduced into source code (your canonical code is untouched) and the relevant unit tests are run to see if they notice the defect. The more defects that are noticed, the more effective the test suite is presumed to be. The methodology relies on the theory that a quantity of relatively simple defects, either in isolation or combined, provide as much useful information as would a series of more complex defects.

He talks about the differences between mutation testing and the more traditional code coverage metrics. He points out that code coverage, while a decent high-level metric, should never be used as a quality metric. Using Humbug allows you to determine the real effectiveness and "coverage" of what you're testing. He then gets into how to use the tool, outlining:

  • Installation of the library as a phar
  • Generating a configuration file
  • Execute the command to run your tests (to ensure they're passing) and execute the mutation testing

The execution is broken into several stages: executing your tests for passing, breaking up the source into tokens to determine mutability, replacement of content with mutations in a temporary version of the source and a final execution of the test suite to determine the mutation results. He includes some example output from the tool on a moderately large codebase and how to interpret these results. He ends the post talking about the logs that Humbug generates, the overall performance of the tool and an experimental feature that's in the works called "Incremental Analysis".

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