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Andy Wardley


Template::Test - module for automating test scripts


    use Template::Test;
    $Template::Test::DEBUG = 0;   # set this true to see each test running
    pre_ok($truth);               # a pre-check test

    extra_tests($n);              # some extra tests follow test_expect()...

    test_expect($input, \%tproc_config, \%vars)

    ok($truth)                    # for 1..$n extra tests


The Template::Test module defines the test_expect() sub-routine which automates the testing of template input against expected output. It splits an input document into a number of separate tests, processes each one using the Template Toolkit and then compares the generated output against an expected output, also specified in the input document. It generates the familiar "ok/not ok" output compatible with Test::Harness.

An input filename or handle, or reference to a text string (i.e. anything that the Template module accepts as a valid input) should be provided which contains a number of tests defined in the following format:

    -- test --
    -- expect --
    expected output

    -- test --
    input for next test
    -- expect --
    expected output for next test
    -- error --
    expected errors (optional)

The first test in the file does not require a '-- test --' line. Blank lines between test sections are generally ignored. The '-- error --' section may be used to specify any error messages that the template fragment is expected to produce.

The second and third parameters to test_expect() are optional. The second may be either a reference to a Template object which should be used to process the template fragments, or a reference to a hash array containing configuration values which should be used to instantiate a new Template object. The third parameter may be used to reference a hash array of template parameters which should be defined when processing the tests.

    test_expect(\*DATA, { POST_CHOMP => 1 }, { a = 'alpha' });

The test_expect() sub counts the number of tests, and then calls ntests() to generate the familiar "1..$ntests\n" test harness line. Each test defined generates three test numbers. The first indicates that the input was processed without error. The second that the output matches that expected. The third does the same for any error text expected.

Additional test may also be run before test_expect() by calling the pre_ok() sub-routine, passing in a true/false value. These test results are cached until test_expect() is called. They are added to the total number of tests and their output generated before the main template tests.


Any additional tests that you wish to run after calling test_expect() may be declared to the Template::Test module using the extra_tests($n) sub-routine. Call this before calling test_expect() so that the total number of tests reported when test_expect() is called can be adjusted accordingly. When it comes to performing these tests, simply call ok() passing a true or false value to generate the "ok/not ok" output.


If you don't want to call test_expect() at all then you can call ntests($n) to declare the number of tests and generate the test header line. After that, simply call ok() for each test passing a true or false values to indicate that the test passed or failed.


Lines in tests that start with a '#' are ignored. Lines that look '-- likethis --' may also confuse the test splitter.

You can identify only a specific part of the input file for testing using the '-- start --' and '-- stop --' markers. Anything before the first '-- start --' is ignored, along with anything after the next '-- stop --' marker.

    -- test --
    this is test 1 (not performed)
    -- expect --
    this is test 1 (not performed)

    -- start --

    -- test --
    this is test 2
    -- expect --
    this is test 2
    -- stop --


For historical reasons and general utility, the module also defines a 'callsign' sub-routine which returns a hash containing the a..z of radio callsigns (e.g. a => 'alpha', b => 'bravo'). This is used by many of the test scripts as a "known source" of variable values.


This module is butt-ugly but it works.

It imports all methods by default. This is generally a Bad Thing, but this module is really only used in test scripts (i.e. at build time) and it made it more compatible with the previous t/texpect.pl script.


Andy Wardley <abw@cre.canon.co.uk>


$Revision: 1.4 $


This module started life as the t/texpect.pl script.


Copyright (C) 1996-1999 Andy Wardley. All Rights Reserved. Copyright (C) 1998-1999 Canon Research Centre Europe Ltd.

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


The test scripts in the 't' sub-directory, Template.