Charlie Calvert on Elvenware

Writing Code and Prose on Computers


Python Unit Tests

This files covers unit testing in Python. Unit testing has several benefits:

There are other important aspects to unit testing, but the three points outlined above provide a simple, easy to understand starting point for a technology that is really more than a technology, and that can be thought of as a philosophy for architecting and managing projects.

Simple Example

In this section you will see a simple example of how to write a few simple tests. First I will show you a program that does some simply File IO. Then I will show you code that tests these operations to confirm that they work as expected. In particular, the code tests to see if a method that is designed to write and read from a file actually creates a file, and actually writes and reads the expected value from the file. This example is not meant to be an exhaustive test of the sample class, but rather a demonstration of who to use the basic syntax of unit testing.

The file to test:


class SimpleFile(object):
    def __init__(self, fileName):
        self.fileName = fileName
    def write_text(self, textToWrite):
        f = open(self.fileName, 'w')
    def read_text(self):
        f = open(self.fileName, 'r')
        read =
        return read		

The file that tests it contains several important features:

You must have these features in your unit tests. For instance, the way you tell the unit test library that a particular method is a test is to have it begin with the word test.


import unittest
import os
from files.core import SimpleFile

class Test(unittest.TestCase):
    def get_file_name(self):
        fileName = "bar.txt"
        return fileName

    def get_file_text(self):
        textToWrite = "This line"
        return textToWrite

    def test_write_file(self):        
        simple_file = SimpleFile(self.get_file_name())
    def test_read_file(self):
        simple_file = SimpleFile(self.get_file_name())
        read_text = simple_file.read_text()

suite = unittest.TestLoader().loadTestsFromTestCase(Test)

Set Up

 If you have something that you want to do before each test is run, add a setup method to your testcase:

class Test(unittest.TestCase):
    def setUp(self):
        self.chords = SimpleDbChords("Chords")
        self.contentType = self.chords.getHeader()

Just as setUp() runs before each test, a method called tearDown() will be run after each test. It is important to understand that this is very different from a constructor or destructor. The setUp and testDown methods are not called when the object is created or destroyed, but rather before and after each test is run.