[Phpmyadmin-devel] Refactoring: Displaying query results

yasitha pandithawatta yasitha4 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 7 17:19:48 CEST 2012

On Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 8:00 PM, Chanaka Dharmarathna <
pe.chanaka.ck at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Dieter,
> > I almost reduce the use of super global variables inside functions of
>> > PMA_DisplayResults class.
>> > Most of the fields are set while executing the getTable() function since
>> > they cannot set while executing the constructor.
>> >
>> > Now I'm move into writing tests.
>> > I am facing to a problem with writing tests.
>> > How can I access or set the private variables, by a test ?
>> > The already existed tests also failing due to this change.
>> > Your suggestions will very helpful.
>> I didn't have a look at the current tests and at PMA_DisplayResults
>> class, so I won't be able to go into specifics about your tests, but I
>> will try to answer your questions, and point you in a direction.
>> Accessing or setting private variables in a class/method is not
>> possible during a unit test.
>> The idea of unit tests is to test the functionality of a class method
>> or global function by testing the output of it, or catching errors.
>> You expect a certain behaviour of the method/function depending on the
>> value of the input parameters (or environmental states, like global
>> variables, database content, or config settings).
>> So basically you think of all different situations that can affect the
>> behaviour of the method/function, define what kind of result this
>> would give and write a test that sets up the situation and test
>> (assert) the output of the function/method.
>> When writing unit tests, you should keep in mind that you are only
>> testing the behaviour of that function/method. Any functions/methods
>> used by a function/method should be tested seperately. By which I mean
>> that you must assume when testing a function/method that the
>> functions/methods that are used in that method, work correctly.
>> To make things easier for you, you can define stubs/mocks [0] that
>> replace the methods/functions used in a function/method you are
>> testing. This way you don't have to set up a complete environment, but
>> can concentrate on what the function/method does.
>> As an example
>> If you have a class that gets values from a database :
>> class DbValues
>> {
>>    private $_values;
>>    __construct()
>>    {
>>        $this->_values = array();
>>    }
>>    public function getValuesFromDb()
>>    {
>>        // functionality making a connection to a database, executing a
>> query and setting the resulting values to $_values.
>>    }
>>    public function getValues()
>>    {
>>        return $this->_values;
>>    }
>>   public function count()
>>   {
>>      return count($this->getValues());
>>   }
>> }
>> And you want to test the behaviour of the count() method. The only way
>> to populate the _values variable in this example would be by setting
>> up a database with different sets of values, for each case you want to
>> test and call the getValuesFromDb() method, OR, you can  define a stub
>> that replaces the getValues() method and let it return an array with
>> the necessary amount of values (depending on what you want to test).
>> This way you avoid having to set up a complicated testing environment,
>> when testing a single class method. (Note : when testing the
>> getValuesFromDb() method you will probably have to set up a database,
>> but that's because that method is all about connecting to a database
>> and getting data from it, but all other methods in this class can
>> assume that the getValuesFromDb works, so there is no need to
>> replicate the complicated test environment every time)
>> I suggest you read up a bit on testing class methods and the use of
>> stubs/mocks. I hope my example didn't confuse you too much.
>> [0]
>> http://www.phpunit.de/manual/current/en/test-doubles.html#test-doubles.stubs
> Thank you very much for spending your time for clarify this with valuable
> and enough information.
> I completely agree with you, on writing unit tests independent/separate
> from another layer/function.
> Mock objects/stubs are helpful in that case.
> At the moment there are around 25 private fields in PMA_DisplayResults
> class.
> What I am thinking of implement getter setter methods for all those and
> use getters and setters where needed.
> In that way I will be able to set those private fields even from the tests.
> What do you think on this ?
> Regards !
> --
> ____________________________________
> Chanaka Indrajith
> Bsc.Computer Engineering Undergraduate
> Faculty of Engineering
> University of Peradeniya
> Sri Lanka
> ____________________________________
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Hi Chanaka,

When writing test cases we might have to test protected/private functions
as well. The method used in PMA is by using php Refection class. They used
setAccessible method to make them public for test class. There is a method
in reflection class called getProperties which can used for access
protected and private attributes. Refer this [1] for more details. But I am
not sure is it a good approach when testing.

[1] - http://php.net/manual/en/reflectionproperty.setaccessible.php

Yasitha Pandithawatta
Computer Science and Engineering Department
University of Moratuwa
Sri Lanka
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