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Cody Kennedy-Darby:
Testing Your Current Code Against PHP7 Or HHVM
April 01, 2015 @ 08:49:11

On Cory Kennedy-Darby has a quick post showing you how you can test your current code against the latest versions of PHP 7 with the help of DUnit.

DUnit (dee-unit) makes your life easier by allowing you to run your unit tests on different versions of PHP or HHVM. Different versions are possible by using Docker containers. Thanks to @danbruce each of the Docker containers are only, ~35 MB in size. [...] PHP7 isn't that far away. In fact, it is scheduled for release in ~8 months in November. Now is the perfect time to start testing your code against PHP7 nightly.

He starts with a few reasons you might want to test your code and things you can do to start "thinking forward" to when it is released. He then shows you how to install DUnit (more detail here) and use it to test on both PHP 7 and HHVM builds.

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Rob Allen:
Building and testing the upcoming PHP7
March 30, 2015 @ 10:14:08

Rob Allen has posted a guide to building and testing PHP 7, the next upcoming major build of the PHP language (released sometime later this year).

The GoPHP7-ext project aims to ensure that all the known PHP extensions out there work with the upcoming PHP 7. This is non-trivial as some significant changes have occurred in the core PHP engine (related to performance) that mean that extensions need to be updated. In order to help out (and prepare my own PHP code for PHP 7!), I needed the latest version of PHP7 working in a vagrant VM. Fortunately Rasmus has created a such a VM called php7dev, so let's start there.

He walks you through the process of grabbing the latest version of the virtual machine and set it up as a Vagrant VM instance. He talks about the different PHP versions contained in the VM and how to update PHP 7 to the latest pre-release version. Finally he talks about building an extension on the VM (he uses the apfd extension) and how to configure the VM to be able to test your own code too.

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Freek Lijten:
Testing PHP extensions - what makes a good test
March 23, 2015 @ 09:52:58

Freek Lijten has a new post today continuing his look at the world of PHP extensions and focusing in on testing this time. He hopes to answer the question of what makes a good, effective set of tests to help increase the stability and quality of the extensions you write.

In my previous blog I took you through the process of getting PHP and extensions compiled, generating code coverage and running tests. What I did not talk about was what makes a good test. I hope to correct on this by adding this post and going into more detail on the actual writing of tests itself.

Using the same extension as before (enchant) he goes through the addition of a test for the enchant_dict_add_to_session function. He start by showing how much the function is currently tested (hint: none) and code coverage. He points out that 100% coverage is just one metric in a set that should be considered and not the final goal. He shares a simple test for the function that checks to see if a certain word exists in a dictionary. The coverage report shows all lines being executed, but there's a lot not tested, at least conceptually. He shows how to test "the spirit" of the function with additional tests for non-existent words, spell checking and if a word is not in the dictionary at all. PHP example code shows these tests kinds of tests to illustrate the steps he's talking about.

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Stephan Hochdörfer:
Running PHPUnit via Phing on HHVM
February 26, 2015 @ 09:16:58

Stephan Hochdörfer has a quick post showing how he has PHPunit up and working on an HHVM instance. His problem was that the tests were actually executing using the "php" binary, not the HHVM one.

For quite some time we run the unit tests for our libs and tools against PHP and HHVM, at least that is what I thought up to now. As it turns out I missed a minor detail. [...] What happens now is that Phing is executed via HHVM but PHPUnit will still be executed via the PHP binary because the PHPUnit shell script will look for the php binary in the PATH configuration. Since we run HHVM side-by-side with PHP on our Jenkins build nodes I was not able to point /usr/bin/php to /usr/bin/hhvm - which would be the easiest and cleanest solution. I

He shares the workaround he created, creating a symbolic link between the hhvm and php binaries and then executing the Phing task to run the tests. This is being run via Jenkins and uses it's "WORKSPACE" as a container so the main "php" binary isn't overwritten.

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Dave Marshall:
Probing Test Suite Quality with Mutation Testing
January 08, 2015 @ 12:09:42

In this recent post to his site Dave Marshall looks at a method for evaluating the overall quality of your suite of unit tests with help from mutation testing.

100% code coverage should never really be a goal. [...] I feel pursuing 100% coverage in a PHP project is a particularly poor idea as our tooling generally only provides Line Coverage. [...] There are more reasonable coverage metrics to use to measure the quality of a test suite. Sebastian Bergmann and Derick Rethans are working hard on bringing some of these options to us, but for now we're limited to line coverage.

He talks about the difference between line, branch and condition coverage types (with code examples) and which allows for more effective and quality tests to be written. He then talks about the results of an experiment to achieve 100% coverage on the Router component in the Aura project. He found the problem using mutation testing - changing values in the production code to make sure the tests break. He also links over to a new mutation testing tool that's been released to help with this kind of thing, humbug, and some of the results it can report.

Mutation testing is a great thing to have a grasp of in theory, but it's not particularly easy to practice. The tools are very hard to write and then their output is often hard to understand or interpret effectively. I wouldn't recommend practicing with mutation testing on a regular basis, but it's certainly worth considering on the odd occasion.
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Matthieu Napoli:
Test against the lowest Composer dependencies on Travis
December 18, 2014 @ 10:53:58

Recently the "prefer-lowest" option of Composer was mentioned in relation to testing for Symfony-based applications. In this new post to his site Matthieu Napoli shows how you can do it on any project that uses the Travis-CI continuous integration service.

Composer just got a new awesome addition thanks to Nicolas Grekas: prefer the lowest versions of your dependencies. [...] This amazing option will install the lowest versions possible for all your dependencies. What for? Tests of course!

He includes all the instructions you'll need to get your Travis build using this command line option, starting with testing it on your own system first. He shows a basic ".travis.yml" file with the configuration you'll need to provide it use the "prefer-lowest" (check out line 17). He does point out that you'll need to run a "composer self-update" first though, as Travis hasn't quite caught up with the latest Composer that includes this option.

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Imagine Easy Solutions Blog:
Testing Logging in Silex
November 12, 2014 @ 11:34:50

On the Imagine Easy Solutions blog Yitzchak Schaffer talks some about logging in Silex by making use of a MonologServiceProvider. You can find the end result of his setup in this GitHub repository.

Silex is a PHP microframework from the same family as Symfony. My shop, Imagine Easy Solutions, uses Silex for some of our most important applications. Modular setup is at the core of Silex's game, by means of Service Providers. The MonologServiceProvider makes it easy to add highly configurable logging to your application. But how to test your logging? It turns out that this Service Provider includes a DebugHandler which you can use to make log entries available in array form.

He walks you through the integration of the service provider via a "debug handler" and configuring it in the setup method. He also includes an "assertLogEntry" method to evaluate the current logs and check to ensure an entry was made. Finally, he puts it to use via a "notOk" method.

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Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Testing Code That Emits Output
August 25, 2014 @ 09:45:08

In this latest post to his site Matthew Weier O'Phinney gives his suggestion on how to test (unit test) code that provides some kind of direct output. In his case, his script is outputting header information directly, not as a part of a response string.

Here's the scenario: you have code that will emit headers and content, for instance, a front controller. How do you test this? The answer is remarkably simple, but non-obvious: namespaces.

He talks some about the use of namespaces in PHP classes (and methods, and constants...) and how things can be importing using them. He gives an example of an object that outputs some header and body information (an "Output" abstract class). He shows how to use the class in a simple test, calling "reset" in the setup and teardown methods and asserting the contents of the headers and body for expected content.

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PHP 5.6.0RC4 is available
August 15, 2014 @ 10:58:13

The PHP development group has announced the release of the latest Release Candidate in the PHP 5.6.x series - PHP 5.6.0RC4. This is a not-for-production release of 5.6 prior to the stable version being released.

The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of the fourth and hopefully lates release candidate of PHP 5.6.0. As we entered the feature freeze with beta1, this is a bugfix-only release. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system.

This latest release candidate includes changes related to the Fileinfo handling, GD functionality, an OpenSSL socket issue and many more. You can download this latest release from the QA downloads page (or here for Windows users).

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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Stress-test your PHP App with ApacheBench
June 27, 2014 @ 12:55:58

In this recent post to the SitePoint PHP blog Bruno Skvorc looks at using a popular tool from the Apache project, Apache Bench (or just "ab") to stress-test your application.

There's no telling when your app might attract a throng of visitors at once. [...] Regardless of the reason, massive influxes of visitors are a double-edged sword: they get you what you always wanted - a chance to prove your worth to a large chunk of the internet's population - but also often bring with them what you always feared: absolute downtime. [Some] platforms usually offer plugins that can optimize your application while it's up, so you can fine tune it as you go along, but why not try and predict issues while still developing locally and save yourself time, money and effort in the long run?

He bases the testing off of a Laravel Homestead virtual machine instance and tests a simple "hello world" PHP page to minimize any overhead from other processing. He includes the commands to make a simple ab request and mentions the kinds of request it provides on completion. He moves on from there to something a bit more complex - an actual Laravel-based application using the default "HomeController" and "showWelcome" action/view combination.

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