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Does that sound like Doing The Right Thing, or is there some nifty trick out there that I'm missing?

Pretty much the right thing. Code that is hard to test is often the better for a bit of refactoring. I think that you're right in your diagnosis. The problem you're having is due to having the presentation and logic too closely coupled. Separating it out into separate subroutines will help. Depending on the project it might be even more sensible to separate it out into a different class.

You might find writing your code test first helps. It seems weird at first but, in my experience, improves code quality a great deal.

As for testing show_template the technique you're after is mock objects. You make an object that pretends to be a template object, and then check that it was called with the appropriate parameters. Check out Automated software testing: emulation of interfaces using Test::MockObject and Micro Mocking: using local to help test subs for more info.

You may also find Unit Testing Generated HTML, WWW::Mechanize, HTTP::WebTest, Test::HTML::Content and Test::HTML::Lint of interest.


In reply to Re: Unit Testing CGI Programs by adrianh
in thread Unit Testing CGI Programs by Wally Hartshorn

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    [haukex]: I figured that POD tests make sense, but only as author tests
    [choroba]: I mean, the slides are, but not the makefile with scripts to create them
    [Corion]: haukex: I've only now arrived at that revelation ;)
    [Corion]: choroba: I use spod5, which also has that support, and also implements its own kinda-make stuff
    [haukex]: But that module I just linked to assumes that most verbatim blocks are runnable code, I have other modules where that's not the case, so there I just copy-and-paste the synopsis into the author tests...
    [haukex]: not the most efficient, but then again, I don't have that many modules on CPAN :-)
    [Corion]: haukex: Yes, but if it's only supposed to run on my machine, I can be far more liberal with how I extract the code etc.
    [Corion]: haukex: Yes - I see the benefit of using Dist::Zilla for people with 150+ modules on CPAN, but I don't see it for myself, and I'm always put off from contributing to such modules because they require a lot of toolchain setup that I don't want to ...
    [Corion]: ... spend time on if I only want to provide a short patch
    [haukex]: Corion: Yes exactly, in the author tests I don't worry about portability as much, I also don't list the author tests' dependencies in Makefile.PL

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