Convenience functions and macros for testing Common Lisp applications via Prove and Quickcheck

Upstream URL



inaimathi <leo.zovic@gmail>


MIT Expat <http://directory.fsf.org/wiki/License:Expat>

Test Utils

:test-utils provides convenience functions and macros for :prove and :cl-quickcheck. Specifically, its aim is to make it simple to use the two together.

:test-utils is still a work in progress. So, you know, careful. To be fair though, I am using this in some serious projects where testing is going to be important, so it won't be too much of a moving target.

Basic Usage

 (is (+ 1 2) 3 "Addition works")
 (is (+ 3 3 3 6) 15 "Addition works on more than two numbers")
 (is (+ -1 -1 -1) -3 "Addition works on negative numbers")
 (is (+ -1 2) 1 "Addition works on negative and positive numbers together")

 (for-all ((a a-number) (b a-number))
   (is= (+ a b) (+ b a))
   "Addition is commutative"))

This test suite will pass with flying colors.

; SLIME 2015-06-01
CL-USER> (ql:quickload :test-utils)
To load "test-utils":
  Load 1 ASDF system:
; Loading "test-utils"
[package test-utils]
CL-USER> (defpackage :testing (:use :cl :test-utils))
CL-USER> (in-package :testing)
TESTING> (tests
 (is (+ 1 2) 3 "Addition works")
 (is (+ 3 3 3 6) 15 "Addition works on more than two numbers")
 (is (+ -1 -1 -1) -3 "Addition works on negative numbers")
 (is (+ -1 2) 1 "Addition works on negative and positive numbers together")

 (for-all ((a a-number) (b a-number))
   (is= (+ a b) (+ b a))
   "Addition is commutative"))

   Addition works
   Addition works on more than two numbers
   Addition works on negative numbers
   Addition works on negative and positive numbers together
   Addition is commutative

 5 tests completed (3ms)

It combines four prove tests, and one cl-quickcheck test.

Exported Symbols

In addition to the below, test-utils exports all test symbols from prove, and all symbols from cl-quickcheck except for cl-quickcheck:is and cl-quickcheck:isnt. Instead, you should use is= inside of for-all blocks.

Re-exported Generators

test-utils exports cl-quickcheck symbols for all primitive generators. These are

  • a-boolean
  • a-string
  • a-symbol
  • a-char
  • an-integer
  • a-real
  • an-index

They work exactly the same way as the direct cl-quickcheck generators, but are exported in the variable namespace so that you don't have to randomly prefix some of them with #' when composing or calling generate.

The compound generators

  • a-list
  • a-member
  • a-tuple

are also re-exported, but remain in the function namespace for easier composition.

New Generators

Lets get the obvious ones out of the way first. New primitve generators are

  • a-ratio
  • a-number
  • a-keyword
  • an-atom

They generate lisp ratios, arbitrary lisp numerics, symbols in the :keyword package, and arbitrary atomic values respectively.

New compound generators are

  • a-pair
  • a-vector
  • a-hash

a-pair generates cons cells, a-vector generates vectors and a-hash generates hash-tables.

New generators that require some notes are

  • a-value returns an arbitrary value tree. It can return an atom, or any of the compound forms above with atoms in all slots filled with atoms. It comes in handy when testing symbol-manipulation procedures or macros.

  • one-of takes a list of values, and generates one of them. It works sort of like a-member, but for constants. (generate (one-of :a :b :c)) will return one of :a, :b or :c.

  • an-alist is an alias for (a-list (a-pair key-generator value-generator)).

  • a-plist generates property lists; flat lists whose odd elements are treated as keys and even elements are treated as values.

  • an-improper-list generates lists that aren't consed onto NIL. At minimum, this is a cons cell, and there are usually multiple values consed onto it. (generate (an-improper-list an-integer)) will return something that looks like (7 8 -13 0 -7 20 . -6) or (15 . 1). This might be useful in negative test cases.

  • an-array takes a list of dimensions and a generator, and generates n-dimensional arrays with the given dimension list.

    • (generate (an-array '() an-integer)) => #0A0
    • (generate (an-array '(5) an-integer)) ~> #(-11 -3 13 15 -14)
    • (generate (an-array '(5 4) an-integer)) ~> #2A((-17 1 -8 0) (14 -7 -4 -1) (6 14 5 12) (-8 17 -18 1) (13 19 -12 -18))
    • (generate (an-array '(5 4 3) an-integer)) ~> `#3A(((-15 16 -6) (18 -15 -14) (-16 13 -17) (3 -1 17))

    ((18 -7 4) (5 2 -4) (-3 -5 11) (9 0 -2)) ((2 -5 8) (-2 -8 -5) (-20 5 -3) (-2 -5 -11)) ((1 7 2) (-16 8 8) (10 1 -6) (-16 15 19)) ((20 12 -4) (-14 5 12) (13 -7 -4) (12 6 15)))`

    • ... and so forth
  • a-specific-hash/a-specific-alist/a-specific-plist each take a list of keys and corresponding generators. They generate the appropriate map type with the given key constants, with corresponding generated values. For example

    • (generate (a-specific-alist :a an-integer :b a-string :c a-keyword)) ~> ((:A . 6) (:B . "f") (:C . :|FF|))
    • (generate (a-specific-plist :a an-integer :b a-string :c a-keyword)) ~> (:A 16 :B "F-Ya*wj" :C :|y |)
    • (generate (a-specific-hash :a an-integer :b a-string :c a-keyword)) ~> #<HASH-TABLE :TEST EQUALP :COUNT 3 {100D76A2A3}>
      • (and, yes, the contents of the hash-table are exactly what you'd expect)

tests (&rest forms)

A macro that counts off the given tests and calls prove:finalize after all tests. It automates some otherwise manual book-keeping required by prove. It takes any number of prove tests.

qchecks (quickcheck-test &optional message)

Runs a cl-quickcheck test in the context of a prove test suite, with optional message.

quiet-check (&body body)

Runs a cl-quickcheck suite, but squelches initial random seed reporting, and only sends to *standard-output* on failure, rather than unconditionally.

for-all ((&rest bindings) test &optional message)

Shorthand for a single-clause (qchecks (for-all (...) ...)) with optional message. This is a common enough use case for me that went ahead and put in the shortcut.


  • a-value is mildly limited, compared to the general space of all lisp values. Specifically, it assumes that the elements of the generated pairs, lists, vectors, and hashes are themselves atomic values. This is not always a good assumption; consider either re-working a-value so that it can generate compound values with non-atom components, or writing a separate generator named a-wild-value or something which would do the more general thing.
  • Additional predicates/test-forms might be useful for prove. I've already found myself in one situation where I wished I had contains, and might have used it if it existed already.

Dependencies (4)

  • agnostic-lizard
  • alexandria
  • cl-quickcheck
  • prove
  • GitHub
  • Quicklisp