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Chad Granum


Fennec::Lite - Minimalist Fennec, the commonly used bits.


Fennec does a ton, but it may be hard to adopt it all at once. It also is a large project, and has not yet been fully split into component projects. Fennec::Lite takes a minimalist approach to do for Fennec what Mouse does for Moose.

Fennec::Lite is a single module file with no non-core dependencies. It can easily be used by any project, either directly, or by copying it into your project. The file itself is less than 300 lines of code at the time of this writing, that includes whitespace.

This module does not cover any of the more advanced features such as result capturing or SPEC workflows. This module only covers test grouping and group randomization. You can also use the FENNEC_ITEM variable with a group name or line number to run a specific test group only. Test::Builder is used under the hood for TAP output.



    use strict;
    use warnings;

    # Brings in Test::More for us.
    use Fennec::Lite;

    tests good => sub {
        ok( 1, "A good test" );

    # You most call run_tests() after declaring your tests.


    use strict;
    use warnings;

    use Fennec::Lite
        plan => 8,
        random => 1,
        testing => 'My::Class',
        alias => [
        alias_to => {
            TB => 'My::Class::ThingB',

    # Quickly create get/set accessors
    fennec_accessors qw/ construction_string /;

    # Create a constructor for our test class.
    sub new {
        my $class = shift;
        my $string = @_;
        return bless({ construction_string => $string }, $class );

    tests good => sub {
        # Get $self. Created with new()
        my $self = shift;
        $self->isa_ok( __PACKAGE__ );
            "This is the construction string",
            "Constructed properly"
        ok( 1, "A good test" );

    tests "todo group" => (
        todo => "This will fail",
        code => sub { ok( 0, "false value" )},

    tests "skip group" => (
        skip => "This will fail badly",
        sub => sub { die "oops" },

    run_tests( "This is the construction string" );

Pure OO Interface

    use strict;
    use warnings;

    use Fennec::Lite ();
    use Test::More;

    my $fennec = Fennec::Lite->new( test_class => __PACKAGE__ );

    $fennec->add_tests( "test name" => sub {
        ok( ... );




When you use Fennec::Lite, Test::More is automatically imported for you. In addition Test::Warn and Test::Exception will also be loaded, but only if they are installed.


    use Fennec::Lite %ARGS
plan => 'no_plan' || $count

Plan to pass into Test::More.

random => $bool

True by default. When true test groups will be run in random order.

testing => $CLASS_NAME

Declare what class you ore testing. Provides $CLASS and CLASS(), both of which are simply the name of the class being tested.

alias => @PACKAGES

Create alias functions your the given package. An alias is a function that returns the package name. The aliases will be named after the last part of the package name.

alias_to => { $ALIAS => $PACKAGE, ... }

Define aliases, keys are alias names, values are tho package names they should return.


By default test groups will be run in a random order. The random seed is the current date (YYYYMMDD). This is used so that the order does not change on the day you are editing your code. However the ardor will change daily allowing for automated testing to find order dependent failures.

You can manually set the random seed to reproduce a failure. The FENNEC_SEED environment variable will be used as the seed when it is present.

    $ FENNEC_SEED="20100915" prove -I lib -v t/*.t


You can use the FENNEC_ITEM variable with a group name or line number to run a specific test group only.

    $ FENNEC_ITEM="22" prove -I lib -v t/MyTest.t
    $ FENNEC_ITEM="Test Group A" prove -I lib -v t/MyTest.t

This can easily be integrated into an editor such as vim or emacs.


tests $name => $coderef,
tests $name => ( code => $coderef, todo => $reason )
tests $name => ( code => $coderef, skip => $reason )
tests $name => ( sub => $coderef )
tests $name => ( method => $coderef )

Declare a test group. The first argument must always be the test group name. In the 2 part form the second argument must be a coderef. In the multi-part form you may optionally declare the group as todo, or as a skip. A coderef must always be provided, in multi-part form you may use the code, method, or sub params for this purpose, they are all the same.

run_tests( %params )

Instantiate an instance of the test class, passing %params to the constructor. If no constructor is present a default is used. All tests that have been added will be run. All tests will be cleared, you may continue to declare tests and call run_tests again to run the new tests.


Returns the instance of Fennec::Lite created when you imported it. This is the instance that tests() and run_tests() act upon.

fennec_accessors( @NAMES )

Quickly generate get/set accessors for your test class. You could alternatively do it manually or use Moose.


$tests_ref = $fennec->tests()

Get a reference to the array of tests that have been added since the last run.

$classname = $fennec->test_class( $classname )

Get/Set the class name that will be used to create test objects that will act as the invocant on all test methods.

$seed = $fennec->seed( $newseed )

Get/Set the random seed that will be used to re-seed srand() before randomizing tests, as well as before each test.

$bool = $fennec->random( $bool )

Turn random on/off.

$fennec->add_tests( $name => sub { ... })
$fennec->add_tests( $name, %args, method => sub { ... })

Add a test group.

$fennec->run_tests( %test_class_construction_args )

Run the test groups

$bool = $fennec->run_skip_test( \%test )

Run a skip test (really just returns true)

$bool = $fennec->run_todo_group( \%test )

Run a group as TODO

$bool = $fennec->run_test_group( \%test )

Run a test group.

( $bool, $error ) = $fennec->run_test_eval( \%test )

Does the actual test running in an eval to capture errors.

$fennec->test_eval_error( $bool, $error, \%test )

Handle a test eval error.

Extending Fennec::Lite

In the tradition of the Fennec project, Fennec::Lite is designed to be extensible. You can even easily subclass/edit Fennec::Lite to work with alternatives to Test::Builder.



Called by new prior to returning the newly constructed object. In Fennec::Lite this loads Test::Builder and puts a reference to it in the TB() accessor. If you do want to replace Test::Builder in your subclass you may do so by overriding init().

$fennec->run_skip_test( \%test )

Calls Test::Builder->skip( $reason ), then returns true. Override this if you replace Test::Builder in your subclass.

$fennec->run_todo_group( \%test )

Calls run_test_eval() in a TODO environment. Currently uses Test::Builder to start/stop TODO mode around the test. Override this if you wish to replace Test::Builder.

$fennec->test_eval_error( $bool, $error, \%test )

Handle an exception thrown in a test group method. Currently calls Test::Bulder->ok( 0, GROUP_NAME ).

@list = must_load()

Returns a list of modules that MUST be loaded into tho calling class (unless used in OO form). This is currently only Test::More.

@list = may_load()

Returns a list of modules that should be loaded only if they are installed.

$name_to_code_ref = module_loaders()

Returns a hashref containing package => sub { ... }. Use this if you need to load modules in a custom way, currently Test::More has a special loader in here to account for plans.


Called on the instance that was created by import(), runs at the very end of the import process. Currently does nothing.


This module is part of the Fennec project. See Fennec for more details. Fennec is a project to develop an extensible and powerful testing framework. Together the tools that make up the Fennec framework provide a potent testing environment.

The tools provided by Fennec are also useful on their own. Sometimes a tool created for Fennec is useful outside the greater framework. Such tools are turned into their own projects. This is one such project.

Fennec - The core framework

The primary Fennec project that ties them all together.


Chad Granum exodist7@gmail.com


Copyright (C) 2010 Chad Granum

Fennec-Lite is free software; Standard perl license.

Fennec-Lite is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the license for more details.