For those that may not have caught my first post on the subject, Phake is a mock framework that I announced a couple of days ago in Introducing Phake Mocking Framework. It was recommended in the comments that I get it on a pear channel somewhere, which is something I have wanted to do but hadn’t had a reason to do until this week. Well, now there is an official Digital Sandwich Pear Channel that is hosting Phake. So if you want to play around with Phake you can install it like this:
pear channel-discover pear.digitalsandwich.com
pear install channel://pear.digitalsandwich.com/Phake-1.0.0alpha
Also, a couiple quick little side notes, the only reason I am still considering this an alpha is the lack of exhaustive, centralized documentation. The Phake Wiki has some good details as does my previous post but I would like to get more official documentation up soon at which put it into a full beta. The api right now should be considered stable however. It will not be changing short of huge issues. We have been using it in production testing at my company for a little while no with great success. So, if the label of ‘alpha’ makes you nervous, don’t worry. It’ll be okay.
Lastly, this library is compatible with PHP 5.2. I never really mentioned that in my last post either. It is not currently utilizing any php 5.3 functionality and I have no plans to break this backwards compatibility any time soon.
I have used PHPUnit heavily now for the last 4 years. As anyone that is heavily involved in writing Unit Tests knows, test doubles (commonly referred to as mock objects) are a necessary part of your toolbox. The mocking options that we used to have for PHP unit testing have traditionally been fairly limited and most all of them in some form or another were ports of JMock. The way PHP operates as well as some decisions made to more closely emulate how JMock does things lead to functionality in the existing mock library for PHPUnit that for some are a hassle. This ranges from PHPUnit implicitly calling the “mockee’s” constructor (you have to explicitly specify that you do not want to call the constructor) to the pain of trying to stub or verify multiple invocations of the same method with different parameters.
Over the last three years, my experience as well as the musing of some of my colleagues has led me to believe that a lot of what I don’t like about mocking in php is the result of the fundamental notions of combining stubbing with verification and setting expectations ahead of method calls instead of verifying that what you expected to happen has indeed happened. This was essentially proven to me over the last year and a half as I have been heavily working with Java code and as a result have been using the Mockito mocking library for Java. The result of this work is the Phake Mocking Framework.
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