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From Joshua Cohen <jco...@twopensource.com>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Deprecate use of mock.patch?
Date Thu, 20 Nov 2014 01:12:38 GMT
That's a fairly contrived example though, as most Java classes don't expose
a mechanism for injecting mocks.

I think points #3 and #4 make the strongest case for why we'd want to avoid
this (though I don't believe we currently run tests in parallel so #4 is
more of a nice-to-have). If it's generally limited to additional method
args (and the review pointed at here is an outlier due to the way
@app.command works) I'm on board.

On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 4:59 PM, Kevin Sweeney <ksweeney@twitter.com.invalid
> wrote:

> I don't think this a dynamic vs static language thing - if this were Java
> we could just as easily do
>
> public class MyTest {
>   private PrintStream oldSystemOut;
>
>   @Before
>   public void setUp() {
>     oldSystemOut = System.out;
>     System.setOut(mockPrintStream);
>   }
>
>   @After
>   public void tearDown() {
>     System.setOut(oldSystemOut);
>   }
> }
>
> in our tests but that's mutable global state and makes our code brittle for
> exactly the same 4 reasons as above.
>
> I don't think there's anything about Python that makes mutable global state
> an inherently better idea.
>
> On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 4:33 PM, Joshua Cohen <jcohen@twopensource.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I'm actually waffling on my stance. I tried to frame it mentally in the
> > context of how I'd handle the same use case in javascript (a language I'm
> > much more comfortable with than Python), and I'd have a hard time arguing
> > in favor of a similar mechanism there (e.g. in node.js patching require
> to
> > globally inject a mock, ugh). I think my objection in the case of this
> > review is more due @app.command forcing us to delegate the injection to
> an
> > extracted method.
> >
> > I tried to get a feel for what was more "pythonic" by searching for uses
> of
> > @mock.patch versus an injected mock from create_autospec on GitHub. The
> > former was definitely more common, but there's plenty of cases of the
> > latter, and they looked cleaned enough to me. I'm leaning towards lifting
> > my objection, though I'd love to hear thoughts from folks who have more
> > python experience (e.g. Brian, Joe) as well.
> >
> > On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 4:20 PM, Maxim Khutornenko <maxim@apache.org>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I am with Joshua on this. The increased complexity and indirection is
> > > not the tradeoff I would fight for. The lack of coverage is a bigger
> > > problem in my opinion. Requiring patch-less unit tests may just
> > > encourage a proliferation of un-pythonic patterns and more obstacles
> > > on the way to improving our python code coverage.
> > >
> > > On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 4:02 PM, Joshua Cohen <jcohen@twopensource.com
> >
> > > wrote:
> > > > As I mentioned in that review, I'm not sold on the idea. I feel that
> it
> > > > leads to a fair amount of extra code that exists solely to support
> > > testing.
> > > > One of the nice things about dynamic languages is they allow you to
> > avoid
> > > > this sort of boilerplate. The main problem in that review is just
> that
> > > the
> > > > wrong thing was being patched (instead of patching build_properties
> > > > directly we should have patched from_pex). That being said, I can't
> > > > actually argue against your points, they're all valid, I'm just not
> > > > convinced that they're worth the tradeoff ;).
> > > >
> > > > On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 3:38 PM, Kevin Sweeney <kevints@apache.org>
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Hi folks,
> > > >>
> > > >> I wanted to have a discussion about the usage of mock.patch in our
> > unit
> > > >> tests. In my opinion its use is a code smell versus writing
> production
> > > code
> > > >> to have explicit injection points for test dependencies.
> > > >>
> > > >> The review at https://reviews.apache.org/r/28250/ is a good example
> > of
> > > why
> > > >> I think the patch approach is brittle: in this case the test code
> > > patched
> > > >> out
> > > >>
> > > >>   @patch('twitter.common.python.pex.PexInfo.build_properties',
> > > >> new_callable=PropertyMock)
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> but the production code didn't actually call
> PexInfo.build_properties
> > -
> > > >> rather it called PexInfo.from_pex, which usually returns a PexInfo
> > > >> instance, which has a build_properties property. So this test only
> > > worked
> > > >> when PexInfo.from_pex(sys.argv[0]) actually returned a valid
> PexInfo,
> > > but
> > > >> due to the way patching works there's no way to ensure that the
> > > >> function-under-test was the one calling the mocked method.
> > > >>
> > > >> In my opinion an explicit injection approach is preferable, via the
> > use
> > > of
> > > >> defaulted private method parameters like:
> > > >>
> > > >> def production_function(arg1, arg2, ..., _print=print,
> > > >> _from_pex=PexInfo.from_pex):
> > > >>    # use _print, _from_pex
> > > >>
> > > >> or
> > > >>
> > > >> class ProductionClass(object):
> > > >>   def __init__(self, arg1, arg2, ..., _print=print,
> > > >> _from_pex=PexInfo.from_pex):
> > > >>     self._print = _print
> > > >>     self._from_pex = _from_pex
> > > >>
> > > >>   def method(self):
> > > >>     # Use self._print, self._from_pex, etc
> > > >>
> > > >> Then tests can explicitly replace the dependencies of the
> > > unit-under-test
> > > >> with mocks:
> > > >>
> > > >> def test_production_function():
> > > >>   mock_print = create_autospec(print, spec_set=True)
> > > >>   mock_pex_info = create_autospec(PexInfo, instance=True,
> > spec_set=True)
> > > >>   mock_from_pex = create_autospec(PexInfo.from_pex, spec_set=True,
> > > >> return_value=mock_pex_info)
> > > >>   mock_pex_info.build_properties = {}
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >>   production_function(arg1, arg2, ..., _print=mock_print,
> > > >> _from_pex=mock_from_pex)
> > > >>   # or
> > > >>   prod = ProductionClass(arg1, arg2, ..., _print=mock_print,
> > > >> _from_pex=mock_from_pex)
> > > >>   prod.method()
> > > >>
> > > >>   mock_print.assert_called_once_with("Some string")
> > > >>   # other assertions about what the class-under-test did with the
> > mocked
> > > >> deps
> > > >>
> > > >> There are a good number of properties that this allows:
> > > >>
> > > >> 1. No unused dependencies - if a parameter is unused the linter will
> > > still
> > > >> complain
> > > >> 2. Can't mock out something the unit-under-test isn't actually
> using -
> > > if
> > > >> you give a kwarg parameter that isn't defined the test will raise
a
> > > >> TypeError
> > > >> 3. No action-at-a-distance - you can't mock the
> > > dependency-of-a-dependency
> > > >> (in this case PexInfo.build_properties instead of PexInfo.from_pex)
> > > >> 4. Thread-safety - patch is not thread-safe as it's temporarily
> > > replacing
> > > >> global state for the duration of the test.
> > > >>
> > > >> I'd like to propose that we consider use of mock.patch in our tests
> to
> > > be a
> > > >> code smell that should be refactored to use explicit injection at
> our
> > > >> earliest convenience
> > > >>
> > >
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Kevin Sweeney
> @kts
>

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