22. Unittest

  • You may have noticed that our simple assert tests are becoming more difficult to write as our programs grow in complexity

  • For example, consider the Circle, Point3D, and Sphere classes

    • There is some setup required for tests (e.g. creating an instance of a class)

    • The assert tests get jumbled together

    • It is not easy to know what the test is testing just by doing a quick look

    • There are many similar tests with redundant test code

  • Fortunately, Python provides tools for helping us test our code — unittest

  • unittest provides a lot of functionality

    • Special assert methods

    • Automated testing

    • Sharing setup/shutdown methods

    • Subtests

    • Nicer test result reporting

  • We will only scratch the surface here, but there is a lot one can do with unittest

  • Fortunately, the basic idea of testing is the same with unittest as it is with our simple assert tests

22.1. Starting a Unit Test Class

  • The first thing we need to do to start writing our unit tests with unittest is to import it

  • Then we need to start defining a class

    • Our tests are actually going to be written within a class

1import unittest
2
3class SphereTest(unittest.TestCase):
4    # Tests go here
  • In the above example, you will see the import and the start of the class

    • Although it is not needed on Colab, depending on how we have our tests setup, we may need to import the class being tested

  • As a convention, we call our test classes SomeClassTest, where SomeClass is the name of the class we are testing

    • Since the tests will be fore the Sphere class, we call it SphereTest

  • You will also notice the unittest.TestCase within parentheses next to the class name

    • The nuance of what this means is outside the scope of this course, but in short, we need it in order to make use of the unittest framework

22.2. Writing Unit Tests

 1import unittest
 2
 3class SphereTest(unittest.TestCase):
 4
 5    def test_sphere_centre_point_returns_correct_point3D(self):
 6        sphere = Sphere(Point3D(0, 0, 0), 1)
 7        self.assertEqual(Point3D(0, 0, 0), sphere.centre_point)
 8
 9    def test_sphere_radius_returns_correct_radius(self):
10        sphere = Sphere(Point3D(0, 0, 0), 1)
11        self.assertEqual(1, sphere.radius)
  • Above are two tests confirming the correctness of the constructor and the assigning of the Sphere class’ attributes

  • Key things to note here are

    • The tests are methods that belong to the class

    • Each method’s parameter list is just self

    • Each method starts with the name test_

      • The method names are descriptive so it’s easy to know what it tests

      • The test_ prefix is required, but after test_, the name does not matter

    • We make use of assertEqual, which is a method referenced by the self reference variable

      • Although we did not write this method, we inherit it from unittest.TestCase

      • We used assertEqual here, but there are many other methods for various types of tests, some of which will be covered here

    • The method provides a simple mechanism for setup code to be grouped with the test itself

      • Create a Sphere object

      • Test something about the object

    • Each test should test one thing

      • This makes it easier to isolate what exactly went wrong

  • Other than those points, so far there is not much more to point out here since we have been writing tests for a while

  • The basic idea of how we write the tests is the same

  • The only difference is the syntax of writing the tests with unittest

 1import unittest
 2
 3class SphereTest(unittest.TestCase):
 4
 5    # Other test methods not shown for brevity
 6
 7    def test_equals_on_equal_spheres_returns_true(self):
 8        sphere_a = Sphere(Point3D(1, 2, 3), 1)
 9        sphere_b = Sphere(Point3D(1, 2, 3), 1)
10        self.assertEqual(sphere_a, sphere_b)
11
12    def test_equals_on_not_equal_spheres_returns_false(self):
13        sphere_a = Sphere(Point3D(1, 2, 3), 1)
14        sphere_b = Sphere(Point3D(1, 2, 3), 2)
15        self.assertNotEqual(sphere_a, sphere_b)
16
17    def test_equal_on_sphere_and_string_returns_false(self):
18        sphere = Sphere(Point3D(1, 2, 3), 4)
19        self.assertNotEqual("Sphere(Point3D(1, 2, 3), 4)", sphere)
20
21    def test_repr_arbitrary_sphere_returns_correct_string(self):
22        sphere = Sphere(Point3D(1, 2, 3), 4)
23        self.assertEqual("Sphere(Point3D(1, 2, 3), 4)", str(sphere))
  • Above are additional tests for the magic methods __eq__ and __repr__

  • For two of the __eq__ methods, you will see the setup is a little more involved as we need two Sphere objects for the test

  • You will also notice the use of assertNotEqual, which is just another type of test

  • Although all test methods must start with test_, as a convention for consistency and readability, method names will follow a pattern

    • test_method_condition_expected

  • One of the above examples is test_equals_on_equal_spheres_returns_true

    • equals is the method being tested

    • on_equal_spheres is the condition

    • returns_true is what is expected

22.2.1. Subtests

  • Often we have functionality we would like to test on various cases

  • But it feels rather silly writing a whole new test for each case

  • Consider the diameter method

  • What cases should be tested?

  • We want to check our edge cases and general cases

    • Test a Sphere at the origin that has zero radius

    • Test a Sphere at the origin with non-zero radius

  • But we may want to confirm that the centre_point has no impact on the diameter of the Sphere

    • Test a Sphere that exists in an arbitrary location with zero radius

    • Test a Sphere that exists in an arbitrary location with non-zero radius

  • To test all four example cases the same way as the above tests, we would need four separate tests that are nearly identical

 1import unittest
 2
 3class SphereTest(unittest.TestCase):
 4
 5    # Other test methods not shown for brevity
 6
 7    def test_diameter_radius_zero_origin_returns_zero(self):
 8        sphere = Sphere(Point3D(0, 0, 0), 0)
 9        self.assertEqual(0, sphere.diameter())
10
11    def test_diameter_radius_one_origin_returns_two(self):
12        sphere = Sphere(Point3D(0, 0, 0), 1)
13        self.assertEqual(2, sphere.diameter())
14
15    def test_diameter_radius_zero_arbitrary_centre_returns_zero(self):
16        sphere = Sphere(Point3D(1, 1, 1), 0)
17        self.assertEqual(0, sphere.diameter())
18
19    def test_diameter_radius_ten_arbitrary_centre_returns_twenty(self):
20        sphere = Sphere(Point3D(10, 11, 12), 10)
21        self.assertEqual(20, sphere.diameter())
  • Although there is nothing wrong with the above tests, we can instead, we can make use of subTest in this scenario

 1import unittest
 2
 3class SphereTest(unittest.TestCase):
 4
 5    # Other test methods not shown for brevity
 6
 7    def test_diameter_various_spheres_returns_correct_diameter(self):
 8        cases = [
 9            Sphere(Point3D(0, 0, 0), 0),
10            Sphere(Point3D(0, 0, 0), 1),
11            Sphere(Point3D(1, 1, 1), 0),
12            Sphere(Point3D(10, 11, 12), 10.1),
13        ]
14        expecteds = [0, 2, 0, 20.2]
15        for (case, expect) in zip(cases, expecteds):
16            with self.subTest():
17                self.assertAlmostEqual(expect, case.diameter(), 5)
  • In the above example, each test input and expected output were stored in lists

    • I used two separate lists, but there is nothing stopping you from using one list of tuples

    • The variable names for the lists, cases and expecteds, were arbitrary and by no means required

  • Notice the loop — there is nothing particularly important for the subTest here, but the zip function has not been seen yet

    • This just provides an easy way to loop over data within two lists at the same time

    • This whole portion could be re-written as follows

      1cases = [...]
      2expecteds = [...]
      3for i in range(len(cases)):
      4    with self.subTest():
      5        self.assertAlmostEqual(cases[i], expecteds[i].diameter(), 5)
      
  • It is possible to do multiple tests within a single test by just using a loop without the use of subTest

  • However, without subTest, if one of the tests fail, execution of the rest of the tests would stop and I would not know which subtest failed

  • Also notice the use of self.assertAlmostEqual

  • Almost equal is a nice way to manage floating point precision issues, and in the above example we specified the precision we care about — 5

22.3. Running Unit Tests

  • Depending on your programming environment, the unittest tests may run automatically or may need to be run with a few clicks

  • In our case, on Colab, we will need to run the tests with a line of code

    • unittest.main(argv=[''], verbosity=2, exit=False)

  • That’s it — if you wrote all your unittest tests on Colab, and you then run that line of code, it will run all your tests

  • For now, ignore the arguments provided to the unittest.main call — they’re just needed to make it work

  • After running your tests, if everything ran correctly, you will likely see something like this as output

 1test_diameter_various_spheres_returns_correct_diameter (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 2test_distance_between_centres_various_spheres_returns_correct_distance (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 3test_distance_between_edges_various_spheres_returns_correct_distance (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 4test_equal_on_sphere_and_string_returns_false (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 5test_equals_on_equal_spheres_returns_true (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 6test_equals_on_not_equal_spheres_returns_false (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 7test_overlaps_various_spheres_returns_correct_boolean (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 8test_repr_arbitrary_sphere_returns_correct_string (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 9test_sphere_centre_point_returns_correct_point3D (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
10test_sphere_radius_returns_correct_radius (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
11test_surface_area_various_spheres_returns_correct_surface_area (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
12test_volume_various_spheres_returns_correct_volume (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
13
14----------------------------------------------------------------------
15Ran 12 tests in 0.026s
16
17OK
18<unittest.main.TestProgram at 0x7f2810a68c90>
  • In the above example output, every test passed

  • However, if a test failed, we would see something like the below example

 1test_diameter_various_spheres_returns_correct_diameter (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 2test_distance_between_centres_various_spheres_returns_correct_distance (__main__.SphereTest) ...
 3test_distance_between_edges_various_spheres_returns_correct_distance (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 4test_equal_on_sphere_and_string_returns_false (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 5test_equals_on_equal_spheres_returns_true (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 6test_equals_on_not_equal_spheres_returns_false (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 7test_overlaps_various_spheres_returns_correct_boolean (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 8test_repr_arbitrary_sphere_returns_correct_string (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
 9test_sphere_centre_point_returns_correct_point3D (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
10test_sphere_radius_returns_correct_radius (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
11test_surface_area_various_spheres_returns_correct_surface_area (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
12test_volume_various_spheres_returns_correct_volume (__main__.SphereTest) ... ok
13
14======================================================================
15FAIL: test_distance_between_centres_various_spheres_returns_correct_distance (__main__.SphereTest) (case=(Sphere(Point3D(0, 0, 0), 1), Sphere(Point3D(1, 1, 0), 1)), expect=1.732051)
16----------------------------------------------------------------------
17Traceback (most recent call last):
18  File "<ipython-input-17-defcdea75152>", line 60, in test_distance_between_centres_various_spheres_returns_correct_distance
19    self.assertAlmostEqual(expect, case[0].distance_between_centres(case[1]), 5)
20AssertionError: 1.732051 != 1.4142135623730951 within 5 places (0.31783743762690486 difference)
21
22----------------------------------------------------------------------
23Ran 12 tests in 0.030s
24
25FAILED (failures=1)
26<unittest.main.TestProgram at 0x7f2810a882d0>
  • To generate the error for demonstration purposes, I changed the test_distance_between_centres_various_spheres_returns_correct_distance test to be wrong

  • You will see that the output from the test is a lot more helpful than the simple assert tests we used to write

    • It is telling us which test failed

    • It is telling us which subtest failed

    • It tells us what was expected

    • It tells us what we actually got

    • Just because a test failed, all other tests still ran

  • Writing and running these tests may feel like a lot of work

  • But writing code is only part of your job when programming

  • Demonstrating that your code is correct, to yourself or anyone else that may use your code, is another big part of writing code

22.4. For Next Class