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Test reporter documentation

This page...

SimpleTest pretty much follows the MVC pattern (Model-View-Controller). The reporter classes are the view and the model is your test cases and their hiearchy. The controller is mostly hidden from the user of SimpleTest unless you want to change how the test cases are actually run, in which case it is possible to override the runner objects from within the test case. As usual with MVC, the controller is mostly undefined and there are other places to control the test run.

Reporting results in HTML

The default test display is minimal in the extreme. It reports success and failure with the conventional red and green bars and shows a breadcrumb trail of test groups for every failed assertion. Here's a fail...

File test

Fail: createnewfile->True assertion failed.
1/1 test cases complete. 0 passes, 1 fails and 0 exceptions.
And here all tests passed...

File test

1/1 test cases complete. 1 passes, 0 fails and 0 exceptions.
The good news is that there are several points in the display hiearchy for subclassing.

For web page based displays there is the HtmlReporter class with the following signature...

class HtmlReporter extends SimpleReporter {
    public HtmlReporter($encoding) { ... }
    public makeDry(boolean $is_dry) { ... }
    public void paintHeader(string $test_name) { ... }
    public void sendNoCacheHeaders() { ... }
    public void paintFooter(string $test_name) { ... }
    public void paintGroupStart(string $test_name, integer $size) { ... }
    public void paintGroupEnd(string $test_name) { ... }
    public void paintCaseStart(string $test_name) { ... }
    public void paintCaseEnd(string $test_name) { ... }
    public void paintMethodStart(string $test_name) { ... }
    public void paintMethodEnd(string $test_name) { ... }
    public void paintFail(string $message) { ... }
    public void paintPass(string $message) { ... }
    public void paintError(string $message) { ... }
    public void paintException(string $message) { ... }
    public void paintMessage(string $message) { ... }
    public void paintFormattedMessage(string $message) { ... }
    protected string _getCss() { ... }
    public array getTestList() { ... }
    public integer getPassCount() { ... }
    public integer getFailCount() { ... }
    public integer getExceptionCount() { ... }
    public integer getTestCaseCount() { ... }
    public integer getTestCaseProgress() { ... }
}
Here is what some of these methods mean. First the display methods that you will probably want to override... There are also some accessors to get information on the current state of the test suite. Use these to enrich the display... One simple modification is to get the HtmlReporter to display the passes as well as the failures and errors...
class ShowPasses extends HtmlReporter {
    
    function paintPass($message) {
        parent::paintPass($message);
        print "&<span class=\"pass\">Pass</span>: ";
        $breadcrumb = $this->getTestList();
        array_shift($breadcrumb);
        print implode("-&gt;", $breadcrumb);
        print "-&gt;$message<br />\n";
    }
    
    function _getCss() {
        return parent::_getCss() . ' .pass { color: green; }';
    }
}

One method that was glossed over was the makeDry() method. If you run this method, with no parameters, on the reporter before the test suite is run no actual test methods will be called. You will still get the events of entering and leaving the test methods and test cases, but no passes or failures etc, because the test code will not actually be executed.

The reason for this is to allow for more sophistcated GUI displays that allow the selection of individual test cases. In order to build a list of possible tests they need a report on the test structure for drawing, say a tree view of the test suite. With a reporter set to dry run that just sends drawing events this is easily accomplished.

Extending the reporter

Rather than simply modifying the existing display, you might want to produce a whole new HTML look, or even generate text or XML. Rather than override every method in HtmlReporter we can take one step up the class hiearchy to SimpleReporter in the simple_test.php source file.

A do nothing display, a blank canvas for your own creation, would be...

require_once('simpletest/simple_test.php');

class MyDisplay extends SimpleReporter {
    
    function paintHeader($test_name) {
    }
    
    function paintFooter($test_name) {
    }
    
    function paintStart($test_name, $size) {
        parent::paintStart($test_name, $size);
    }
    
    function paintEnd($test_name, $size) {
        parent::paintEnd($test_name, $size);
    }
    
    function paintPass($message) {
        parent::paintPass($message);
    }
    
    function paintFail($message) {
        parent::paintFail($message);
    }
}
No output would come from this class until you add it.

The command line reporter

SimpleTest also ships with a minimal command line reporter. The interface mimics JUnit to some extent, but paints the failure messages as they arrive. To use the command line reporter simply substitute it for the HTML version...

<?php
require_once('simpletest/unit_tester.php');
require_once('simpletest/reporter.php');

$test = &new TestSuite('File test');
$test->addTestFile('tests/file_test.php');
$test->run(new TextReporter());
?>
Then invoke the test suite from the command line...
php file_test.php
You will need the command line version of PHP installed of course. A passing test suite looks like this...
File test
OK
Test cases run: 1/1, Failures: 0, Exceptions: 0
A failure triggers a display like this...
File test
1) True assertion failed.
    in createnewfile
FAILURES!!!
Test cases run: 1/1, Failures: 1, Exceptions: 0

One of the main reasons for using a command line driven test suite is of using the tester as part of some automated process. To function properly in shell scripts the test script should return a non-zero exit code on failure. If a test suite fails the value false is returned from the SimpleTest::run() method. We can use that result to exit the script with the desired return code...

<?php
require_once('simpletest/unit_tester.php');
require_once('simpletest/reporter.php');

$test = &new TestSuite('File test');
$test->addTestFile('tests/file_test.php');
exit ($test->run(new TextReporter()) ? 0 : 1);
?>
Of course we don't really want to create two test scripts, a command line one and a web browser one, for each test suite. The command line reporter includes a method to sniff out the run time environment...
<?php
require_once('simpletest/unit_tester.php');
require_once('simpletest/reporter.php');

$test = &new TestSuite('File test');
$test->addTestFile('tests/file_test.php');
if (TextReporter::inCli()) {
    exit ($test->run(new TextReporter()) ? 0 : 1);
}
$test->run(new HtmlReporter());
?>
This is the form used within SimpleTest itself.

Remote testing

SimpleTest ships with an XmlReporter class used for internal communication. When run the output looks like...

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<run>
  <group size="4">
    <name>Remote tests</name>
    <group size="4">
      <name>Visual test with 48 passes, 48 fails and 4 exceptions</name>
      <case>
        <name>testofunittestcaseoutput</name>
        <test>
          <name>testofresults</name>
          <pass>This assertion passed</pass>
          <fail>This assertion failed</fail>
        </test>
        <test>
          ...
        </test>
      </case>
    </group>
  </group>
</run>
You can make use of this format with the parser supplied as part of SimpleTest itself. This is called SimpleTestXmlParser and resides in xml.php within the SimpleTest package...
<?php
require_once('simpletest/xml.php');
    
...
$parser = &new SimpleTestXmlParser(new HtmlReporter());
$parser->parse($test_output);
?>
The $test_output should be the XML format from the XML reporter, and could come from say a command line run of a test case. The parser sends events to the reporter just like any other test run. There are some odd occasions where this is actually useful.

A problem with large test suites is thet they can exhaust the default 8Mb memory limit on a PHP process. By having the test groups output in XML and run in separate processes, the output can be reparsed to aggregate the results into a much smaller footprint top level test.

Because the XML output can come from anywhere, this opens up the possibility of aggregating test runs from remote servers. A test case already exists to do this within the SimpleTest framework, but it is currently experimental...

<?php
require_once('../remote.php');
require_once('../reporter.php');
    
$test_url = ...;
$dry_url = ...;
    
$test = &new TestSuite('Remote tests');
$test->addTestCase(new RemoteTestCase($test_url, $dry_url));
$test->run(new HtmlReporter());
?>
The RemoteTestCase takes the actual location of the test runner, basically a web page in XML format. It also takes the URL of a reporter set to do a dry run. This is so that progress can be reported upward correctly. The RemoteTestCase can be added to test suites just like any other group test.

References and related information...