Tests, Assertions & Coding

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So... we don't really have much code to test yet! That might feel weird: when I started testing, I wanted to write the code first, and then test that it worked.

But actually, you can do it in the opposite order! There's a hipster methodology called Test Driven Development - or TDD - that says you should write the tests first and then your code. We'll talk more about TDD in a few minutes.

Imagining Your Future Code

But yea! That's what we're going to do. We need to use our imagination. Let's imagine that in the Entity directory, we're going to need a Dinosaur class. And each Dinosaur will have a length property, along with getLength() and setLength() methods. So, in DinosaurTest, we might want to test that those methods work correctly.

Actually, testing getter and setter methods is not something I usually do in my code... because they're so simple. But, it's a great place to get started.

Test Directory Structure

Oh, and now it might be a bit more obvious why we called this class DinosaurTest and put it in an AppBundle/Entity directory. As a best-practice, we usually make our tests/ directory match the structure of src/, with one test class per source class. But not all classes will need a test... and there will be some exceptions when we talk about integration and functional tests!

Testing getLength & setLength

Ok, let's test! Create a new public function testSettingLength(). The method needs to start with test, but after that, give it a clever description that will help you recognize what the method is supposed to do.

... lines 1 - 6
class DinosaurTest extends TestCase
{
public function testSettingLength()
{
... line 11
... lines 13 - 17
}
}

Now, even though we don't have a Dinosaur class, we're going to pretend like we do. Ok... $dinosaur = new Dinosaur(). Then, $this->assertSame() that zero is $dinosaur->getLength().

... lines 1 - 6
class DinosaurTest extends TestCase
{
public function testSettingLength()
{
$dinosaur = new Dinosaur();
$this->assertSame(0, $dinosaur->getLength());
... lines 14 - 17
}
}

We <3 Assertions

This tests that - if we don't set a length - it defaults to 0. PHPUnit has a ton of these assert functions. Google for "PHPUnit Assertions" to find an appendix that talks all about them. I'd say there is a plethora of them and you'll learn them as you go, so no need to memorize all of these. There will not be a pop quiz at the end.

For assertSame(), the first argument is the expected value and the second is the actual value. assertSame() is almost the.... same as the most popular assert function: assertEquals(). The only difference is that assertSame() also makes sure the types match.

And honestly, you could just use $this->assertTrue() for everything: 0 === $dinosaur->getLength().

But, using specific assert methods will give you better error messages when things fail.

Coding & Testing

Set the length: $dinosaur->setLength(9). And then assert that it equals 9.

... lines 1 - 6
class DinosaurTest extends TestCase
{
public function testSettingLength()
{
... line 11
... lines 13 - 14
$dinosaur->setLength(9);
... line 16
$this->assertSame(9, $dinosaur->getLength());
}
}

Perfect! Our test is done! I know... kinda strange, right? By writing the test first, it forces us to think about how we want our Dinosaur class to look and act... instead of just diving in and hacking it together.

We know the test will fail, but let's try it anyways! Run:

./vendor/bin/phpunit

Yay!

Adding the Dinosaur Entity

Time to make that test pass! If you downloaded the course code, then you should have a tutorial/ directory with a Dinosaur class inside. Copy that and paste it into the real Entity directory.

... lines 1 - 2
namespace AppBundle\Entity;
... line 4
use Doctrine\ORM\Mapping as ORM;
... line 6
/**
* @ORM\Entity
* @ORM\Table(name="dinosaurs")
*/
class Dinosaur
{
/**
* @ORM\Column(type="integer")
*/
private $length = 0;
... lines 17 - 26
}

This is just a simple class with a length property. It does have Doctrine annotations, but that's not important! Sure, we will eventually be able to save dinosaurs to the database, but our test doesn't care about that: it just checks to make sure setting and getting the length works.

Let's add those methods: public function getLength() that returns an int. And public function setLength() with an int argument. Set the length property.

... lines 1 - 10
class Dinosaur
{
... lines 13 - 17
public function getLength(): int
{
return $this->length;
}
public function setLength(int $length)
{
$this->length = $length;
}
}

Back in DinosaurTest, add the use statement. Ah, PhpStorm is as happy as a raptor in a kitchen!

... lines 1 - 2
namespace Tests\AppBundle\Entity;
... line 4
use AppBundle\Entity\Dinosaur;
... lines 6 - 7
class DinosaurTest extends TestCase
... lines 9 - 20

Ok, find your terminal and... test!

./vendor/bin/phpunit

Yes! Celebration time! This is our very first - of many passing tests!

Testing for Bugs

Let's add one more quickly: imagine that a bug has been reported! Gasp! People are saying that if they create a Dinosaur of length 15, by the time it is born and grows up, it's smaller than 15! The dinos are shrinking! Probably a good thing.

Let's add a test for this: public function testDinosaurHasNotShrunk. Start the same as before: $dinosaur = new Dinosaur(), and $dinosaur->setLength(15).

... lines 1 - 7
class DinosaurTest extends TestCase
{
... lines 10 - 20
public function testDinosaurHasNotShrunk()
{
$dinosaur = new Dinosaur();
... line 24
$dinosaur->setLength(15);
... lines 26 - 27
}
}

And just to make things more interesting, imagine that it's OK if the dinosaur shrinks a little bit... it just can't shrink too much. The guests want a thrill! In other words, $this->assertGreatherThan(12, $dinosaur->getLength()).

... lines 1 - 7
class DinosaurTest extends TestCase
{
... lines 10 - 20
public function testDinosaurHasNotShrunk()
{
... lines 23 - 26
$this->assertGreaterThan(12, $dinosaur->getLength(), 'Did you put it in the washing machine?');
}
}

You can also add an optional message as the last argument to any assert function. This will display when the test fails... which can sometimes make debugging easier.

Ok, try the test!

./vendor/bin/phpunit

Because our code is actually perfect, it passes! But if you make it fail temporarily and run the test again... there's our message, along with the normal failed assertion text.

Hey! In just a few minutes, we wrote our first test and even used test-driven development! It's time to learn more about that... and all the different types of tests you can write.

Leave a comment!

While the fundamentals of PHPUnit haven't changed, this tutorial *is* built on an older version of Symfony and PHPUnit.

What PHP libraries does this tutorial use?

// composer.json
{
    "require": {
        "php": "^7.0, <7.4",
        "composer/package-versions-deprecated": "^1.11", // 1.11.99
        "doctrine/doctrine-bundle": "^1.6", // 1.10.3
        "doctrine/orm": "^2.5", // v2.7.2
        "incenteev/composer-parameter-handler": "^2.0", // v2.1.2
        "sensio/distribution-bundle": "^5.0.19", // v5.0.21
        "sensio/framework-extra-bundle": "^3.0.2", // v3.0.28
        "symfony/monolog-bundle": "^3.1.0", // v3.1.2
        "symfony/polyfill-apcu": "^1.0", // v1.6.0
        "symfony/swiftmailer-bundle": "^2.3.10", // v2.6.7
        "symfony/symfony": "3.3.*", // v3.3.13
        "twig/twig": "^1.0||^2.0" // v2.4.4
    },
    "require-dev": {
        "doctrine/data-fixtures": "^1.3", // 1.3.3
        "doctrine/doctrine-fixtures-bundle": "^2.3", // v2.4.1
        "liip/functional-test-bundle": "^1.8", // 1.8.0
        "phpunit/phpunit": "^6.3", // 6.5.2
        "sensio/generator-bundle": "^3.0", // v3.1.6
        "symfony/phpunit-bridge": "^3.0" // v3.4.30
    }
}