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Expecting Exceptions

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Sometimes your code will throw an exception... it's just how things are. Actually, sometimes it's super important that the right exception is thrown at the exact right time. Let's see an example - and then, see how to describe that behavior in a spec class.

If you downloaded the course code, you should have a tutorial/ directory. Find the Exception/ directory inside of that and copy that whole darn thing into src/. This holds two exception classes, and the first one that we're going to look at is, the very important, NotABuffetException. You see, we've had this problem where sometimes we accidentally put a veggiesaurus inside an Enclosure with a carnivorous dinosaur. And, well, the results have been... messy.

... lines 1 - 4
class NotABuffetException extends \Exception
protected $message = 'Please do not mix the carnivorous and non-carnivorous dinosaurs. It will be a massacre!';

To make sure we stop doing that, we need to throw this exception if we try to mix carnivorous and non-carnivorous dinosaurs into the same Enclosure. And this is such an important thing, we need to make sure there is a test to ensure the carnage stops.

Example for an Exception

Open up EnclousreSpec: because we want the exception to be thrown when the addDinosaur() method is called. Let's say: function it_should_not_allow_to_add_carnivorous_dinosaurs_to_non_carnivorous_enclosure().

... lines 1 - 10
class EnclosureSpec extends ObjectBehavior
... lines 13 - 30
function it_should_not_allow_to_add_carnivorous_dinosaurs_to_non_carnivorous_enclosure()
... lines 33 - 37

Wow! That's a long name - but... ok! It's a great description for this example.

Here's the plan: we're going to add one dinosaur that's a veggie dinosaur and then add a another dinosaur that's carnivorous. And that should trigger the exception. Start with $this->addDinosaur(new Dinosaur()) and make this a veggie eater by passing false as the second argument.

... lines 1 - 30
function it_should_not_allow_to_add_carnivorous_dinosaurs_to_non_carnivorous_enclosure()
$this->addDinosaur(new Dinosaur('veggie-eater', false));
... lines 34 - 37
... lines 39 - 40

Now, here is the important part: before we call addDinosaur(), again, we need to tell phpspec to expect that there should be an exception. And it's probably no surprise that the language to do this is really natural: $this->shouldThrow() NotABuffetException::class, ->during(), and then we tell phpspec exactly what method should trigger this: addDinosaur with an array of the arguments, and we only have one: new Dinosaur(), Velociraptor and true for the carnivorous argument.

... lines 1 - 30
function it_should_not_allow_to_add_carnivorous_dinosaurs_to_non_carnivorous_enclosure()
... lines 33 - 34
->during('addDinosaur', [new Dinosaur('Velociraptor', true)]);
... lines 39 - 40

That's it! Let's try it out:

./vendor/bin/phpspec run

Cool! Failure because no exception was thrown.

Implementing the Code

Time for us to get to work! In addDinosaur(), we need to determine whether or not we're allowed to add this Dinosaur. Let's call a new function: if (!$this->canAddDinosaur()) - we'll create that method in a minute - then throw new NotABuffetException().

... lines 1 - 16
public function addDinosaur(Dinosaur $dinosaur)
if (!$this->canAddDinosaur($dinosaur)) {
throw new NotABuffetException();
... lines 22 - 23
... lines 25 - 32

Now I can click back on canAddDinosaur, press Alt + Enter and click "Add Method" to create a new private method at the bottom. Oh, and I'm just creating this as a private method for code organization: I could have written the logic right up in the addDinosaur() function. But, it is nice to have a method called canAddDinosaur() - it's really clear. I'm not making it public because, at least so far, we don't have any need to use it outside of this class. That also means that we won't write an example for this function: examples are only for public methods.

Anyways, let's add a return type and then say return count($this->dinosaurs) === 0 - because if there are no dinosaurs in this enclosure, than we can definitely add one - or we can check if the first dinosaur, index 0, has the same "diet" as the dinosaur being added, it should be allowed. So... hmm, maybe we'll call ->isCarnivorus().

But, wait... that method does not exist in the Dinosaur class. And actually, the real problem is that the isCarnivorous information is not available publicly in any way, except as part of the description.

This is cool! We just discovered that we need to enhance the Dinosaur class to get the new feature working. Before we do that, let's finish the canAddDinosaur() method: you should be able to add the dinosaur if the first dinosaur ->isCarnivorous() value equals $dinosaur->isCarnivorous(). If they are compatible, this dinosaur can be added to the enclosure... without being eaten... hopefully.

... lines 1 - 25
private function canAddDinosaur(Dinosaur $dinosaur): bool
return count($this->dinosaurs) === 0 ||
($this->dinosaurs[0]->isCarnivorous() === $dinosaur->isCarnivorous());
... lines 31 - 32

We know we're not done yet, but in the spirit of "doing as little work as possible and letting phpspec tell us what to do next", let's run it now:

./vendor/bin/phpspec run


Call to undefined method Dinosaur::isCarnivorous().

We could now go directly into the Dinosaur class and just... implement that! It's a super-easy method. But... don't we need to write an example first before we add the code? Maybe. So far, we've been testing a lot of simple getter and setter methods. You can test simple methods like this, but at some point a method is so simple that... in my opinion, testing them is overkill. Focus on testing what scares you.

But, for our great learning adventure, we will add some examples for this method. Why? Because it will introduce us to a really cool matcher for boolean methods. Let's check it out next.

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