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Unit Testing Dokuwiki

Very briefly explained, Unit Testing is writing code to test “units” of other code, so that tests can be re-run at any time to determine whether or not code has been “broken” (vs. manually testing applications, which is lengthy and potentially unreliable). The word “unit” is used to mean anything that provides a clearly defined API, such as a PHP class or function.

DokuWiki's unit tests are located in the _test directory of a git checkout. They are not included in the regular releases.

We use the PHPUnit test framework for PHP. This page guides you through preparing your test environment, running tests, and writing your own tests.


Install the needed requirements using composer:

cd dokuwiki/_test
composer install

Running Tests

Running the test suite is simple, here's how.

All Tests

Just change to the _test directory and run phpunit:

cd _test/
composer run test

Single Test Files

You can run a specific test file by giving it as a parameter:

cd _test
composer run test tests/inc/input.test.php

Grouped Tests

You include or exclude tests by their group:

  cd _test
  # run all tests that require an internet connection
  composer run test -- --group internet
  # run all tests that don't require an internet connection  
  composer run test -- --exclude-group internet

Note the -- separator, which composer requires before script arguments starting with double dashes (like --group). 1)


Plugins tests are tagged with a group named plugin_<pluginname>:

cd _test
composer run test -- --group plugin_extension

Note the -- separator, which composer requires before script arguments starting with double dashes (like --group).

Please note that some plugins may require other plugins in order to pass, either as dependencies, or because some integration code is being tested. Check if they have a requirements.txt file in their folder for the needed plugins.

Writing Tests

PHPUnit makes writing new tests as painless as possible. In general it means writing a fairly simple PHP class and placing it in the right directory with the right file name. Once that's done, the test can immediately be executed as explained above.

For a general overview on how to write unit tests refer to the PHPUnit manual and the existing tests, our DokuWiki specific parts are described below.

Naming Conventions

Every new bit of code should follow PSR-12 code style and be in classes that can be auto-loaded according to PSR-4. Classes following these conventions should be accompanied by tests, following the same naming conventions but use the \dokuwiki\test\ namespace which is autoloaded from the _test/tests/ directory.

In accordance ẃith PHPUnit conventions test classes should end in Test while non-test classes (eg. mock objects) omit that postfix.

This means a class \dokuwiki\File\PageResolver should have a test in \dokuwiki\test\File\PageResolverTest located in _test/tests/File/PageResolverTest.php.

Each test class need to inherit from \DokuWikiTest. A test class can have multiple test functions, each prefixed with test. Inside these functions your assertion can be written.

For legacy, functional code no namespace is used. Tests are located in the sub directories inc, lib, conf etc. to reflect the directory structure of the files the tested functions are located in. Legacy testing uses the .test.php extension.


Our testsuite runs a setUpBeforeClass() method on instantiating each test class which will:

  • setup a minimal data directory (copied from _test/data) in the system's TEMP directory
  • create a custom config directory in the system's TEMP directory
    • with default configs
    • some overrides from _test/conf
  • rerun DokuWiki initialization

This setup won't load any plug-ins. If you need to enable a plug-in you can override the DokuWikiTest::$pluginsEnabled array and provide the plugin names to load.

Note: Remember to call parent::setUpBeforeClass() on overwriting the setUpBeforeClass() method

Additionally the test suite runs a setUp() method before every test. It does:

  • reload the DokuWiki config
  • reload the plugin controller and plug-ins
  • reload the event handler
  • ensure the existence of some files (see init_files())
  • ensure DokuWiki paths (see init_path())
  • reload global variables like $_SERVER
Note: Remember to call parent::setUp() on overwriting the setUp() method

Even though there is no real process isolation between all tests, each test class should have a pretty clean DokuWiki environment to work on. This also includes DokuWiki's autoloader mechanism, so there should be no need to require_once any files yourself.

To clean up and reset the remainder of a test, the methods tearDown() and tearDownAfterClass() are available. Remember here also to use the parent methods, parent::tearDown() and parent::tearDownAfterClass() for future robustness.

Integration Tests

Unit tests should test minimal code parts (units) whenever possible. But with a complex application like DokuWiki this isn't always possible. This is why our test suite allows to run simple integration tests as well using a fake request.

Using this mechanism a HTTP request is faked and the resulting HTML output can be inspected. This also allows for testing plugin events.

Running a request

The TestRequest class is used to run a request. A request contains three steps:

  1. Initialization
  2. Prepare request
  3. send request

The initialization is done by:

$request = new TestRequest();

Once it's initialized you can prepare the request. The preparation can be register event hooks or setting request variables.

The request variables are set via setter methods and look like:

Variable Setter method
$_SERVER $request->setServer()
$_SESSION $request->setSession()
$_POST $request->setPost()
$_GET $request->setGet()

Finally you have to execute the request. This can be done by calling the $request->execute('someurl') method. The result of the execute method is a TestResponse object, which let you access headers and the html content rendered by DokuWiki.

$response = $request->execute('/doku.php');

Additionally there are two methods for POST and GET calls. They may be shorter than using the setter methods, as these combine the setter and execute().

// a get request
$response = $request->get(['id' => 'start'], '/doku.php');
// a post request
$response = $request->post(['id' => 'start'], '/doku.php');

The result of a request is a TestResponse object.

Example: Event hooks

As mentioned the requests are not real requests. Every call you make in your test changes the behavior of DokuWiki on the request.

Here this is used to hook an event followed by an execute() with the default uri.

public function testHookTriggering()
    global $EVENT_HANDLER;
    $request = new TestRequest(); // initialize the request
    $hookTriggered = false; // initialize a test variable
    // register a hook
    $EVENT_HANDLER->register_hook('TPL_CONTENT_DISPLAY', 'AFTER', null,
        function() use (&$hookTriggered) {
            $hookTriggered = true;
    // do the request
    // check the result of our variable
    $this->assertTrue($hookTriggered, 'Hook was not triggered as expected!');

Example: Using php-dom-wrapper after a request

Sometimes you want to inspect the resulting html of a request. To provide a little comfort we use the php-dom-wrapper library.

With this you can operate in a jQuery like style on the returned HTML.

Two simple examples are:

public function testSimpleRun()
    // make a request
    $request = new TestRequest();
    $response = $request->execute();
    // get the generator name from the meta tag.
    $generator = $response->queryHTML('meta[name="generator"]')
    // check the result
    $this->assertEquals('DokuWiki', $generator);
public function testPageContent()
    // make a request
    $request = new TestRequest();
    $response = $request->get(['id' => 'wiki:dokuwiki']);
    // search your html
    $links = $response->queryHTML('p')->find('a');
    $countLinks = $links->count();
    // check the result
    $this->assertEquals(12, $countLinks);

Plugin and Template Tests

Sometime you need unit tests in your extensions2). Here you can use the same classes and methods as used in the DokuWiki core. The plugin wizard has an option to add an example test in your plugin skeleton. Alternatively you can use the dev Plugin to add tests.

Just put your tests under the <extension dir>/_test/ folder. The tests must conform to the naming convention., eg. your test cases must extend the DokuWikiTest class and the file name must end with Test.php. You should use the namespace \dokuwiki\plugin\<yourplugin>\test\.

To work, your plugin needs to be enabled during the test. This is done by putting it and all plugins it depends on in the $pluginsEnabled member.

Plugin tests should declare a group for all their tests named plugin_<pluginname> to make it easy to run them separately.

If your plugin needs additional files during testing, you can copy them to the test directory in a setUpBeforeClass() method. Be sure to call the parent first.

Here's a small example:

 * @group plugin_data
 * @group plugins
class helper_plugin_data_test extends DokuWikiTest
    protected $pluginsEnabled = ['data', 'sqlite'];
    public static function setUpBeforeClass(){
        // copy our own config files to the test directory
        TestUtils::rcopy(dirname(DOKU_CONF), dirname(__FILE__) . '/conf');
    public function testExample() {
        $this->assertTrue(true, 'if this fails your computer is broken');

A plugin's config can simply be changed by writing to the $conf array. The changes can e.g. be done in the test functions themselves or in the function setUp(). Config changes in function setUpBeforeClass() will have no effect. Have a look at this example:

    public function setUp()
        global $conf;
        $conf['plugin']['creole']['precedence'] = 'Creole';
        $conf['plugin']['creole']['linebreak'] = 'Whitespace';

So the correct indexing for plugins is $conf ['plugin']['plugin name']['option name'].

Continous Integration with Github Actions

Plugin authors are encouraged to have their tests run automatically on Github Actions.The Plugin Wizard and the dev plugin add an appropriate yaml configuration to your plugin when you select the Unit Test option.


FIXME update

If your tests require additional plugins to be installed, provide a requirements.txt file in your plugin's root directory. See for the details the README in the dokuwiki-travis repository.

Javascript + Frontend-tests

FIXME This section needs to be rewritten for Github Actions since Travis is no longer recommended.

It is possible to integrate javascript-tests written in qunit to the automated testing. The basis for this is npm, grunt and phantomjs3).

language: php
  - "5.5"
  - "5.4"
  - "5.3"
  - DOKUWIKI=master
  - DOKUWIKI=stable
  - DOKUWIKI=old-stable
  - wget
  - npm install
install: sh
  - cd _test && phpunit --stderr --group plugin_yourplugin
  - cd ../lib/plugins/yourplugin && grunt

npm needs a package.json to install the dependencies:

  "name": "yourplugin",
  "devDependencies": {
    "grunt": "^0.4.5",
    "grunt-contrib-qunit": "^0.7.0",
    "jquery": "^2.1.4",
    "qunitjs": "^1.18.0"

grunt needs a Gruntfile.js to define the tasks:

module.exports = function(grunt) {
    pkg: grunt.file.readJSON('package.json'), // the package file to use
    qunit: {
      all: ['_jstest/*.html']
grunt.registerTask('default', ['qunit']);

Finally the qunit html-files have to be adjusted to be able to work with node_modules for automated testing and with online-libraries for browser-testing:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>tests for your plugin</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="//">
    <script src="../node_modules/jquery/dist/jquery.js"></script>
    <script>window.jQuery || document.write('<script src="//"><\/script>')</script>
<div id="qunit"></div>
<div id="qunit-fixture"></div>
<script src="../node_modules/qunitjs/qunit/qunit.js"></script>
<script>window.QUnit || document.write('<script src="//"><\/script>')</script>
<script src="../script/myscript.js"></script>
<script src="mytest.tests.js"></script>

See the edittable plugin for an implementation of this approach.

See also

devel/unittesting.txt · Last modified: 2024-04-06 11:40 by saggi

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