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NAME
tcltest - Test harness support code and utilities
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
COMMANDS
test name description ?option value ...?
test name description ?constraints? body result
loadTestedCommands
makeFile contents name ?directory?
removeFile name ?directory?
makeDirectory name ?directory?
removeDirectory name ?directory?
viewFile file ?directory?
cleanupTests
runAllTests
CONFIGURATION COMMANDS
configure
configure option
configure option value ?option value ...?
customMatch mode script
testConstraint constraint ?boolean?
interpreter ?executableName?
outputChannel ?channelID?
errorChannel ?channelID?
SHORTCUT COMMANDS
debug ?level?
errorFile ?filename?
limitConstraints ?boolean?
loadFile ?filename?
loadScript ?script?
match ?patternList?
matchDirectories ?patternList?
matchFiles ?patternList?
outputFile ?filename?
preserveCore ?level?
singleProcess ?boolean?
skip ?patternList?
skipDirectories ?patternList?
skipFiles ?patternList?
temporaryDirectory ?directory?
testsDirectory ?directory?
verbose ?level?
OTHER COMMANDS
test name description optionList
workingDirectory ?directoryName?
normalizeMsg msg
normalizePath pathVar
bytestring string
TESTS
-constraints keywordList|expression
-setup script
-body script
-cleanup script
-match mode
-result expectedValue
-output expectedValue
-errorOutput expectedValue
-returnCodes expectedCodeList
TEST CONSTRAINTS
singleTestInterp
unix
win
nt
95
98
mac
unixOrWin
macOrWin
macOrUnix
tempNotWin
tempNotMac
unixCrash
winCrash
macCrash
emptyTest
knownBug
nonPortable
userInteraction
interactive
nonBlockFiles
asyncPipeClose
unixExecs
hasIsoLocale
root
notRoot
eformat
stdio
RUNNING ALL TESTS
CONFIGURABLE OPTIONS
-singleproc boolean
-debug level
0
1
2
3
-verbose level
body (b)
pass (p)
skip (s)
start (t)
error (e)
line (l)
-preservecore level
0
1
2
-limitconstraints boolean
-constraints list
-tmpdir directory
-testdir directory
-file patternList
-notfile patternList
-relateddir patternList
-asidefromdir patternList
-match patternList
-skip patternList
-load script
-loadfile filename
-outfile filename
-errfile filename
CREATING TEST SUITES WITH TCLTEST
COMPATIBILITY
KNOWN ISSUES
KEYWORDS

NAME

tcltest - Test harness support code and utilities

SYNOPSIS

package require tcltest ?2.3?
tcltest::test name description ?option value ...?
tcltest::test name description ?constraints? body result
tcltest::loadTestedCommands
tcltest::makeDirectory name ?directory?
tcltest::removeDirectory name ?directory?
tcltest::makeFile contents name ?directory?
tcltest::removeFile name ?directory?
tcltest::viewFile name ?directory?
tcltest::cleanupTests ?runningMultipleTests?
tcltest::runAllTests
tcltest::configure
tcltest::configure option
tcltest::configure option value ?option value ...?
tcltest::customMatch mode command
tcltest::testConstraint constraint ?value?
tcltest::outputChannel ?channelID?
tcltest::errorChannel ?channelID?
tcltest::interpreter ?interp?
tcltest::debug ?level?
tcltest::errorFile ?filename?
tcltest::limitConstraints ?boolean?
tcltest::loadFile ?filename?
tcltest::loadScript ?script?
tcltest::match ?patternList?
tcltest::matchDirectories ?patternList?
tcltest::matchFiles ?patternList?
tcltest::outputFile ?filename?
tcltest::preserveCore ?level?
tcltest::singleProcess ?boolean?
tcltest::skip ?patternList?
tcltest::skipDirectories ?patternList?
tcltest::skipFiles ?patternList?
tcltest::temporaryDirectory ?directory?
tcltest::testsDirectory ?directory?
tcltest::verbose ?level?
tcltest::test name description optionList
tcltest::bytestring string
tcltest::normalizeMsg msg
tcltest::normalizePath pathVar
tcltest::workingDirectory ?dir?

DESCRIPTION

The tcltest package provides several utility commands useful in the construction of test suites for code instrumented to be run by evaluation of Tcl commands. Notably the built-in commands of the Tcl library itself are tested by a test suite using the tcltest package.

All the commands provided by the tcltest package are defined in and exported from the ::tcltest namespace, as indicated in the SYNOPSIS above. In the following sections, all commands will be described by their simple names, in the interest of brevity.

The central command of tcltest is test that defines and runs a test. Testing with test involves evaluation of a Tcl script and comparing the result to an expected result, as configured and controlled by a number of options. Several other commands provided by tcltest govern the configuration of test and the collection of many test commands into test suites.

See CREATING TEST SUITES WITH TCLTEST below for an extended example of how to use the commands of tcltest to produce test suites for your Tcl-enabled code.

COMMANDS

test name description ?option value ...?
Defines and possibly runs a test with the name name and description description. The name and description of a test are used in messages reported by test during the test, as configured by the options of tcltest. The remaining option value arguments to test define the test, including the scripts to run, the conditions under which to run them, the expected result, and the means by which the expected and actual results should be compared. See TESTS below for a complete description of the valid options and how they define a test. The test command returns an empty string.

test name description ?constraints? body result
This form of test is provided to support test suites written for version 1 of the tcltest package, and also a simpler interface for a common usage. It is the same as “test name description -constraints constraints -body body -result result”. All other options to test take their default values. When constraints is omitted, this form of test can be distinguished from the first because all options begin with “-”.

loadTestedCommands
Evaluates in the caller's context the script specified by configure -load or configure -loadfile. Returns the result of that script evaluation, including any error raised by the script. Use this command and the related configuration options to provide the commands to be tested to the interpreter running the test suite.

makeFile contents name ?directory?
Creates a file named name relative to directory directory and write contents to that file using the encoding encoding system. If contents does not end with a newline, a newline will be appended so that the file named name does end with a newline. Because the system encoding is used, this command is only suitable for making text files. The file will be removed by the next evaluation of cleanupTests, unless it is removed by removeFile first. The default value of directory is the directory configure -tmpdir. Returns the full path of the file created. Use this command to create any text file required by a test with contents as needed.

removeFile name ?directory?
Forces the file referenced by name to be removed. This file name should be relative to directory. The default value of directory is the directory configure -tmpdir. Returns an empty string. Use this command to delete files created by makeFile.

makeDirectory name ?directory?
Creates a directory named name relative to directory directory. The directory will be removed by the next evaluation of cleanupTests, unless it is removed by removeDirectory first. The default value of directory is the directory configure -tmpdir. Returns the full path of the directory created. Use this command to create any directories that are required to exist by a test.

removeDirectory name ?directory?
Forces the directory referenced by name to be removed. This directory should be relative to directory. The default value of directory is the directory configure -tmpdir. Returns an empty string. Use this command to delete any directories created by makeDirectory.

viewFile file ?directory?
Returns the contents of file, except for any final newline, just as read -nonewline would return. This file name should be relative to directory. The default value of directory is the directory configure -tmpdir. Use this command as a convenient way to turn the contents of a file generated by a test into the result of that test for matching against an expected result. The contents of the file are read using the system encoding, so its usefulness is limited to text files.

cleanupTests
Intended to clean up and summarize after several tests have been run. Typically called once per test file, at the end of the file after all tests have been completed. For best effectiveness, be sure that the cleanupTests is evaluated even if an error occurs earlier in the test file evaluation.

Prints statistics about the tests run and removes files that were created by makeDirectory and makeFile since the last cleanupTests. Names of files and directories in the directory configure -tmpdir created since the last cleanupTests, but not created by makeFile or makeDirectory are printed to outputChannel. This command also restores the original shell environment, as described by the ::env array. Returns an empty string.

runAllTests
This is a master command meant to run an entire suite of tests, spanning multiple files and/or directories, as governed by the configurable options of tcltest. See RUNNING ALL TESTS below for a complete description of the many variations possible with runAllTests.

CONFIGURATION COMMANDS

configure
Returns the list of configurable options supported by tcltest. See CONFIGURABLE OPTIONS below for the full list of options, their valid values, and their effect on tcltest operations.

configure option
Returns the current value of the supported configurable option option. Raises an error if option is not a supported configurable option.

configure option value ?option value ...?
Sets the value of each configurable option option to the corresponding value value, in order. Raises an error if an option is not a supported configurable option, or if value is not a valid value for the corresponding option, or if a value is not provided. When an error is raised, the operation of configure is halted, and subsequent option value arguments are not processed.

If the environment variable ::env(TCLTEST_OPTIONS) exists when the tcltest package is loaded (by package require tcltest) then its value is taken as a list of arguments to pass to configure. This allows the default values of the configuration options to be set by the environment.

customMatch mode script
Registers mode as a new legal value of the -match option to test. When the -match mode option is passed to test, the script script will be evaluated to compare the actual result of evaluating the body of the test to the expected result. To perform the match, the script is completed with two additional words, the expected result, and the actual result, and the completed script is evaluated in the global namespace. The completed script is expected to return a boolean value indicating whether or not the results match. The built-in matching modes of test are exact, glob, and regexp.

testConstraint constraint ?boolean?
Sets or returns the boolean value associated with the named constraint. See TEST CONSTRAINTS below for more information.

interpreter ?executableName?
Sets or returns the name of the executable to be execed by runAllTests to run each test file when configure -singleproc is false. The default value for interpreter is the name of the currently running program as returned by info nameofexecutable.

outputChannel ?channelID?
Sets or returns the output channel ID. This defaults to stdout. Any test that prints test related output should send that output to outputChannel rather than letting that output default to stdout.

errorChannel ?channelID?
Sets or returns the error channel ID. This defaults to stderr. Any test that prints error messages should send that output to errorChannel rather than printing directly to stderr.

SHORTCUT COMMANDS

debug ?level?
Same as configure -debug ?level?.

errorFile ?filename?
Same as configure -errfile ?filename?.

limitConstraints ?boolean?
Same as configure -limitconstraints ?boolean?.

loadFile ?filename?
Same as configure -loadfile ?filename?.

loadScript ?script?
Same as configure -load ?script?.

match ?patternList?
Same as configure -match ?patternList?.

matchDirectories ?patternList?
Same as configure -relateddir ?patternList?.

matchFiles ?patternList?
Same as configure -file ?patternList?.

outputFile ?filename?
Same as configure -outfile ?filename?.

preserveCore ?level?
Same as configure -preservecore ?level?.

singleProcess ?boolean?
Same as configure -singleproc ?boolean?.

skip ?patternList?
Same as configure -skip ?patternList?.

skipDirectories ?patternList?
Same as configure -asidefromdir ?patternList?.

skipFiles ?patternList?
Same as configure -notfile ?patternList?.

temporaryDirectory ?directory?
Same as configure -tmpdir ?directory?.

testsDirectory ?directory?
Same as configure -testdir ?directory?.

verbose ?level?
Same as configure -verbose ?level?.

OTHER COMMANDS

The remaining commands provided by tcltest have better alternatives provided by tcltest or Tcl itself. They are retained to support existing test suites, but should be avoided in new code.

test name description optionList
This form of test was provided to enable passing many options spanning several lines to test as a single argument quoted by braces, rather than needing to backslash quote the newlines between arguments to test. The optionList argument is expected to be a list with an even number of elements representing option and value arguments to pass to test. However, these values are not passed directly, as in the alternate forms of switch. Instead, this form makes an unfortunate attempt to overthrow Tcl's substitution rules by performing substitutions on some of the list elements as an attempt to implement a “do what I mean” interpretation of a brace-enclosed “block”. The result is nearly impossible to document clearly, and for that reason this form is not recommended. See the examples in CREATING TEST SUITES WITH TCLTEST below to see that this form is really not necessary to avoid backslash-quoted newlines. If you insist on using this form, examine the source code of tcltest if you want to know the substitution details, or just enclose the third through last argument to test in braces and hope for the best.

workingDirectory ?directoryName?
Sets or returns the current working directory when the test suite is running. The default value for workingDirectory is the directory in which the test suite was launched. The Tcl commands cd and pwd are sufficient replacements.

normalizeMsg msg
Returns the result of removing the “extra” newlines from msg, where “extra” is rather imprecise. Tcl offers plenty of string processing commands to modify strings as you wish, and customMatch allows flexible matching of actual and expected results.

normalizePath pathVar
Resolves symlinks in a path, thus creating a path without internal redirection. It is assumed that pathVar is absolute. pathVar is modified in place. The Tcl command file normalize is a sufficient replacement.

bytestring string
Construct a string that consists of the requested sequence of bytes, as opposed to a string of properly formed UTF-8 characters using the value supplied in string. This allows the tester to create denormalized or improperly formed strings to pass to C procedures that are supposed to accept strings with embedded NULL types and confirm that a string result has a certain pattern of bytes. This is exactly equivalent to the Tcl command encoding convertfrom identity.

TESTS

The test command is the heart of the tcltest package. Its essential function is to evaluate a Tcl script and compare the result with an expected result. The options of test define the test script, the environment in which to evaluate it, the expected result, and how the compare the actual result to the expected result. Some configuration options of tcltest also influence how test operates.

The valid options for test are summarized:

test name description
        ?-constraints keywordList|expression?
        ?-setup setupScript?
        ?-body testScript?
        ?-cleanup cleanupScript?
        ?-result expectedAnswer?
        ?-output expectedOutput?
        ?-errorOutput expectedError?
        ?-returnCodes codeList?
        ?-match mode?

The name may be any string. It is conventional to choose a name according to the pattern:

target-majorNum.minorNum

For white-box (regression) tests, the target should be the name of the C function or Tcl procedure being tested. For black-box tests, the target should be the name of the feature being tested. Some conventions call for the names of black-box tests to have the suffix _bb. Related tests should share a major number. As a test suite evolves, it is best to have the same test name continue to correspond to the same test, so that it remains meaningful to say things like “Test foo-1.3 passed in all releases up to 3.4, but began failing in release 3.5.”

During evaluation of test, the name will be compared to the lists of string matching patterns returned by configure -match, and configure -skip. The test will be run only if name matches any of the patterns from configure -match and matches none of the patterns from configure -skip.

The description should be a short textual description of the test. The description is included in output produced by the test, typically test failure messages. Good description values should briefly explain the purpose of the test to users of a test suite. The name of a Tcl or C function being tested should be included in the description for regression tests. If the test case exists to reproduce a bug, include the bug ID in the description.

Valid attributes and associated values are:

-constraints keywordList|expression
The optional -constraints attribute can be list of one or more keywords or an expression. If the -constraints value is a list of keywords, each of these keywords should be the name of a constraint defined by a call to testConstraint. If any of the listed constraints is false or does not exist, the test is skipped. If the -constraints value is an expression, that expression is evaluated. If the expression evaluates to true, then the test is run. Note that the expression form of -constraints may interfere with the operation of configure -constraints and configure -limitconstraints, and is not recommended. Appropriate constraints should be added to any tests that should not always be run. That is, conditional evaluation of a test should be accomplished by the -constraints option, not by conditional evaluation of test. In that way, the same number of tests are always reported by the test suite, though the number skipped may change based on the testing environment. The default value is an empty list. See TEST CONSTRAINTS below for a list of built-in constraints and information on how to add your own constraints.

-setup script
The optional -setup attribute indicates a script that will be run before the script indicated by the -body attribute. If evaluation of script raises an error, the test will fail. The default value is an empty script.

-body script
The -body attribute indicates the script to run to carry out the test. It must return a result that can be checked for correctness. If evaluation of script raises an error, the test will fail. The default value is an empty script.

-cleanup script
The optional -cleanup attribute indicates a script that will be run after the script indicated by the -body attribute. If evaluation of script raises an error, the test will fail. The default value is an empty script.

-match mode
The -match attribute determines how expected answers supplied by -result, -output, and -errorOutput are compared. Valid values for mode are regexp, glob, exact, and any value registered by a prior call to customMatch. The default value is exact.

-result expectedValue
The -result attribute supplies the expectedValue against which the return value from script will be compared. The default value is an empty string.

-output expectedValue
The -output attribute supplies the expectedValue against which any output sent to stdout or outputChannel during evaluation of the script(s) will be compared. Note that only output printed using ::puts is used for comparison. If -output is not specified, output sent to stdout and outputChannel is not processed for comparison.

-errorOutput expectedValue
The -errorOutput attribute supplies the expectedValue against which any output sent to stderr or errorChannel during evaluation of the script(s) will be compared. Note that only output printed using ::puts is used for comparison. If -errorOutput is not specified, output sent to stderr and errorChannel is not processed for comparison.

-returnCodes expectedCodeList
The optional -returnCodes attribute supplies expectedCodeList, a list of return codes that may be accepted from evaluation of the -body script. If evaluation of the -body script returns a code not in the expectedCodeList, the test fails. All return codes known to return, in both numeric and symbolic form, including extended return codes, are acceptable elements in the expectedCodeList. Default value is “ok”return.

To pass, a test must successfully evaluate its -setup, -body, and -cleanup scripts. The return code of the -body script and its result must match expected values, and if specified, output and error data from the test must match expected -output and -errorOutput values. If any of these conditions are not met, then the test fails. Note that all scripts are evaluated in the context of the caller of test.

As long as test is called with valid syntax and legal values for all attributes, it will not raise an error. Test failures are instead reported as output written to outputChannel. In default operation, a successful test produces no output. The output messages produced by test are controlled by the configure -verbose option as described in CONFIGURABLE OPTIONS below. Any output produced by the test scripts themselves should be produced using ::puts to outputChannel or errorChannel, so that users of the test suite may easily capture output with the configure -outfile and configure -errfile options, and so that the -output and -errorOutput attributes work properly.

TEST CONSTRAINTS

Constraints are used to determine whether or not a test should be skipped. Each constraint has a name, which may be any string, and a boolean value. Each test has a -constraints value which is a list of constraint names. There are two modes of constraint control. Most frequently, the default mode is used, indicated by a setting of configure -limitconstraints to false. The test will run only if all constraints in the list are true-valued. Thus, the -constraints option of test is a convenient, symbolic way to define any conditions required for the test to be possible or meaningful. For example, a test with -constraints unix will only be run if the constraint unix is true, which indicates the test suite is being run on a Unix platform.

Each test should include whatever -constraints are required to constrain it to run only where appropriate. Several constraints are pre-defined in the tcltest package, listed below. The registration of user-defined constraints is performed by the testConstraint command. User-defined constraints may appear within a test file, or within the script specified by the configure -load or configure -loadfile options.

The following is a list of constraints pre-defined by the tcltest package itself:

singleTestInterp
test can only be run if all test files are sourced into a single interpreter

unix
test can only be run on any Unix platform

win
test can only be run on any Windows platform

nt
test can only be run on any Windows NT platform

95
test can only be run on any Windows 95 platform

98
test can only be run on any Windows 98 platform

mac
test can only be run on any Mac platform

unixOrWin
test can only be run on a Unix or Windows platform

macOrWin
test can only be run on a Mac or Windows platform

macOrUnix
test can only be run on a Mac or Unix platform

tempNotWin
test can not be run on Windows. This flag is used to temporarily disable a test.

tempNotMac
test can not be run on a Mac. This flag is used to temporarily disable a test.

unixCrash
test crashes if it is run on Unix. This flag is used to temporarily disable a test.

winCrash
test crashes if it is run on Windows. This flag is used to temporarily disable a test.

macCrash
test crashes if it is run on a Mac. This flag is used to temporarily disable a test.

emptyTest
test is empty, and so not worth running, but it remains as a place-holder for a test to be written in the future. This constraint has value false to cause tests to be skipped unless the user specifies otherwise.

knownBug
test is known to fail and the bug is not yet fixed. This constraint has value false to cause tests to be skipped unless the user specifies otherwise.

nonPortable
test can only be run in some known development environment. Some tests are inherently non-portable because they depend on things like word length, file system configuration, window manager, etc. This constraint has value false to cause tests to be skipped unless the user specifies otherwise.

userInteraction
test requires interaction from the user. This constraint has value false to causes tests to be skipped unless the user specifies otherwise.

interactive
test can only be run in if the interpreter is in interactive mode (when the global tcl_interactive variable is set to 1).

nonBlockFiles
test can only be run if platform supports setting files into nonblocking mode

asyncPipeClose
test can only be run if platform supports async flush and async close on a pipe

unixExecs
test can only be run if this machine has Unix-style commands cat, echo, sh, wc, rm, sleep, fgrep, ps, chmod, and mkdir available

hasIsoLocale
test can only be run if can switch to an ISO locale

root
test can only run if Unix user is root

notRoot
test can only run if Unix user is not root

eformat
test can only run if app has a working version of sprintf with respect to the “e” format of floating-point numbers.

stdio
test can only be run if interpreter can be opened as a pipe.

The alternative mode of constraint control is enabled by setting configure -limitconstraints to true. With that configuration setting, all existing constraints other than those in the constraint list returned by configure -constraints are set to false. When the value of configure -constraints is set, all those constraints are set to true. The effect is that when both options configure -constraints and configure -limitconstraints are in use, only those tests including only constraints from the configure -constraints list are run; all others are skipped. For example, one might set up a configuration with

configure -constraints knownBug \
          -limitconstraints true \
          -verbose pass

to run exactly those tests that exercise known bugs, and discover whether any of them pass, indicating the bug had been fixed.

RUNNING ALL TESTS

The single command runAllTests is evaluated to run an entire test suite, spanning many files and directories. The configuration options of tcltest control the precise operations. The runAllTests command begins by printing a summary of its configuration to outputChannel.

Test files to be evaluated are sought in the directory configure -testdir. The list of files in that directory that match any of the patterns in configure -file and match none of the patterns in configure -notfile is generated and sorted. Then each file will be evaluated in turn. If configure -singleproc is true, then each file will be sourced in the caller's context. If it is false, then a copy of interpreter will be exec'd to evaluate each file. The multi-process operation is useful when testing can cause errors so severe that a process terminates. Although such an error may terminate a child process evaluating one file, the master process can continue with the rest of the test suite. In multi-process operation, the configuration of tcltest in the master process is passed to the child processes as command line arguments, with the exception of configure -outfile. The runAllTests command in the master process collects all output from the child processes and collates their results into one master report. Any reports of individual test failures, or messages requested by a configure -verbose setting are passed directly on to outputChannel by the master process.

After evaluating all selected test files, a summary of the results is printed to outputChannel. The summary includes the total number of tests evaluated, broken down into those skipped, those passed, and those failed. The summary also notes the number of files evaluated, and the names of any files with failing tests or errors. A list of the constraints that caused tests to be skipped, and the number of tests skipped for each is also printed. Also, messages are printed if it appears that evaluation of a test file has caused any temporary files to be left behind in configure -tmpdir.

Having completed and summarized all selected test files, runAllTests then recursively acts on subdirectories of configure -testdir. All subdirectories that match any of the patterns in configure -relateddir and do not match any of the patterns in configure -asidefromdir are examined. If a file named all.tcl is found in such a directory, it will be sourced in the caller's context. Whether or not an examined directory contains an all.tcl file, its subdirectories are also scanned against the configure -relateddir and configure -asidefromdir patterns. In this way, many directories in a directory tree can have all their test files evaluated by a single runAllTests command.

CONFIGURABLE OPTIONS

The configure command is used to set and query the configurable options of tcltest. The valid options are:

-singleproc boolean
Controls whether or not runAllTests spawns a child process for each test file. No spawning when boolean is true. Default value is false.

-debug level
Sets the debug level to level, an integer value indicating how much debugging information should be printed to stdout. Note that debug messages always go to stdout, independent of the value of configure -outfile. Default value is 0. Levels are defined as:

0
Do not display any debug information.

1
Display information regarding whether a test is skipped because it does not match any of the tests that were specified using by configure -match (userSpecifiedNonMatch) or matches any of the tests specified by configure -skip (userSpecifiedSkip). Also print warnings about possible lack of cleanup or balance in test files. Also print warnings about any re-use of test names.

2
Display the flag array parsed by the command line processor, the contents of the ::env array, and all user-defined variables that exist in the current namespace as they are used.

3
Display information regarding what individual procs in the test harness are doing.

-verbose level
Sets the type of output verbosity desired to level, a list of zero or more of the elements body, pass, skip, start, error and line. Default value is {body error}. Levels are defined as:

body (b)
Display the body of failed tests

pass (p)
Print output when a test passes

skip (s)
Print output when a test is skipped

start (t)
Print output whenever a test starts

error (e)
Print errorInfo and errorCode, if they exist, when a test return code does not match its expected return code

line (l)
Print source file line information of failed tests

The single letter abbreviations noted above are also recognized so that “configure -verbose pt” is the same as “configure -verbose {pass start}”.

-preservecore level
Sets the core preservation level to level. This level determines how stringent checks for core files are. Default value is 0. Levels are defined as:

0
No checking — do not check for core files at the end of each test command, but do check for them in runAllTests after all test files have been evaluated.

1
Also check for core files at the end of each test command.

2
Check for core files at all times described above, and save a copy of each core file produced in configure -tmpdir.

-limitconstraints boolean
Sets the mode by which test honors constraints as described in TESTS above. Default value is false.

-constraints list
Sets all the constraints in list to true. Also used in combination with configure -limitconstraints true to control an alternative constraint mode as described in TESTS above. Default value is an empty list.

-tmpdir directory
Sets the temporary directory to be used by makeFile, makeDirectory, viewFile, removeFile, and removeDirectory as the default directory where temporary files and directories created by test files should be created. Default value is workingDirectory.

-testdir directory
Sets the directory searched by runAllTests for test files and subdirectories. Default value is workingDirectory.

-file patternList
Sets the list of patterns used by runAllTests to determine what test files to evaluate. Default value is “*.test”.

-notfile patternList
Sets the list of patterns used by runAllTests to determine what test files to skip. Default value is “l.*.test”, so that any SCCS lock files are skipped.

-relateddir patternList
Sets the list of patterns used by runAllTests to determine what subdirectories to search for an all.tcl file. Default value is “*”.

-asidefromdir patternList
Sets the list of patterns used by runAllTests to determine what subdirectories to skip when searching for an all.tcl file. Default value is an empty list.

-match patternList
Set the list of patterns used by test to determine whether a test should be run. Default value is “*”.

-skip patternList
Set the list of patterns used by test to determine whether a test should be skipped. Default value is an empty list.

-load script
Sets a script to be evaluated by loadTestedCommands. Default value is an empty script.

-loadfile filename
Sets the filename from which to read a script to be evaluated by loadTestedCommands. This is an alternative to -load. They cannot be used together.

-outfile filename
Sets the file to which all output produced by tcltest should be written. A file named filename will be opened for writing, and the resulting channel will be set as the value of outputChannel.

-errfile filename
Sets the file to which all error output produced by tcltest should be written. A file named filename will be opened for writing, and the resulting channel will be set as the value of errorChannel.

CREATING TEST SUITES WITH TCLTEST

The fundamental element of a test suite is the individual test command. We begin with several examples.

[1]
Test of a script that returns normally.

test example-1.0 {normal return} {
    format %s value
} value

[2]
Test of a script that requires context setup and cleanup. Note the bracing and indenting style that avoids any need for line continuation.

test example-1.1 {test file existence} -setup {
    set file [makeFile {} test]
} -body {
    file exists $file
} -cleanup {
    removeFile test
} -result 1

[3]
Test of a script that raises an error.

test example-1.2 {error return} -body {
    error message
} -returnCodes error -result message

[4]
Test with a constraint.

test example-1.3 {user owns created files} -constraints {
    unix
} -setup {
    set file [makeFile {} test]
} -body {
    file attributes $file -owner
} -cleanup {
    removeFile test
} -result $::tcl_platform(user)

At the next higher layer of organization, several test commands are gathered together into a single test file. Test files should have names with the .test extension, because that is the default pattern used by runAllTests to find test files. It is a good rule of thumb to have one test file for each source code file of your project. It is good practice to edit the test file and the source code file together, keeping tests synchronized with code changes.

Most of the code in the test file should be the test commands. Use constraints to skip tests, rather than conditional evaluation of test.

[5]
Recommended system for writing conditional tests, using constraints to guard:

testConstraint X [expr $myRequirement]
test goodConditionalTest {} X {
    # body
} result

[6]
Discouraged system for writing conditional tests, using if to guard:

if $myRequirement {
    test badConditionalTest {} {
        #body
    } result
}

Use the -setup and -cleanup options to establish and release all context requirements of the test body. Do not make tests depend on prior tests in the file. Those prior tests might be skipped. If several consecutive tests require the same context, the appropriate setup and cleanup scripts may be stored in variable for passing to each tests -setup and -cleanup options. This is a better solution than performing setup outside of test commands, because the setup will only be done if necessary, and any errors during setup will be reported, and not cause the test file to abort.

A test file should be able to be combined with other test files and not interfere with them, even when configure -singleproc 1 causes all files to be evaluated in a common interpreter. A simple way to achieve this is to have your tests define all their commands and variables in a namespace that is deleted when the test file evaluation is complete. A good namespace to use is a child namespace test of the namespace of the module you are testing.

A test file should also be able to be evaluated directly as a script, not depending on being called by a master runAllTests. This means that each test file should process command line arguments to give the tester all the configuration control that tcltest provides.

After all tests in a test file, the command cleanupTests should be called.

[7]
Here is a sketch of a sample test file illustrating those points:

package require tcltest 2.2
eval ::tcltest::configure $argv
package require example
namespace eval ::example::test {
    namespace import ::tcltest::*
    testConstraint X [expr {...}]
    variable SETUP {#common setup code}
    variable CLEANUP {#common cleanup code}
    test example-1 {} -setup $SETUP -body {
        # First test
    } -cleanup $CLEANUP -result {...}
    test example-2 {} -constraints X -setup $SETUP -body {
        # Second test; constrained
    } -cleanup $CLEANUP -result {...}
    test example-3 {} {
        # Third test; no context required
    } {...}
    cleanupTests
}
namespace delete ::example::test

The next level of organization is a full test suite, made up of several test files. One script is used to control the entire suite. The basic function of this script is to call runAllTests after doing any necessary setup. This script is usually named all.tcl because that is the default name used by runAllTests when combining multiple test suites into one testing run.

[8]
Here is a sketch of a sample test suite master script:

package require Tcl 8.4
package require tcltest 2.2
package require example
::tcltest::configure -testdir \
        [file dirname [file normalize [info script]]]
eval ::tcltest::configure $argv
::tcltest::runAllTests

COMPATIBILITY

A number of commands and variables in the ::tcltest namespace provided by earlier releases of tcltest have not been documented here. They are no longer part of the supported public interface of tcltest and should not be used in new test suites. However, to continue to support existing test suites written to the older interface specifications, many of those deprecated commands and variables still work as before. For example, in many circumstances, configure will be automatically called shortly after package require tcltest 2.1 succeeds with arguments from the variable ::argv. This is to support test suites that depend on the old behavior that tcltest was automatically configured from command line arguments. New test files should not depend on this, but should explicitly include

eval ::tcltest::configure $::argv

to establish a configuration from command line arguments.

KNOWN ISSUES

There are two known issues related to nested evaluations of test. The first issue relates to the stack level in which test scripts are executed. Tests nested within other tests may be executed at the same stack level as the outermost test. For example, in the following code:

test level-1.1 {level 1} {
    -body {
        test level-2.1 {level 2} {
        }
    }
}

any script executed in level-2.1 may be executed at the same stack level as the script defined for level-1.1.

In addition, while two tests have been run, results will only be reported by cleanupTests for tests at the same level as test level-1.1. However, test results for all tests run prior to level-1.1 will be available when test level-2.1 runs. What this means is that if you try to access the test results for test level-2.1, it will may say that “m” tests have run, “n” tests have been skipped, “o” tests have passed and “p” tests have failed, where “m”, “n”, “o”, and “p” refer to tests that were run at the same test level as test level-1.1.

Implementation of output and error comparison in the test command depends on usage of ::puts in your application code. Output is intercepted by redefining the ::puts command while the defined test script is being run. Errors thrown by C procedures or printed directly from C applications will not be caught by the test command. Therefore, usage of the -output and -errorOutput options to test is useful only for pure Tcl applications that use ::puts to produce output.

KEYWORDS

test, test harness, test suite
Copyright © 1995-1997 Roger E. Critchlow Jr. Copyright © 1990-1994 The Regents of the University of California Copyright © 1994-1997 Sun Microsystems, Inc. Copyright © 1998-1999 Scriptics Corporation Copyright © 2000 Ajuba Solutions