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A simple RSpec-like testing framework.

Project Description

ivoire is an RSpec-like testing framework for Python. It aims to bring a few minor constructs over to Python in a way that isn’t overwhelmingly disruptive or counterculture.

In case you’ve never heard of RSpec, it’s a Ruby BDD framework that is fairly widely used, and whose tests have a style unique from xUnit’s.


Ivoire is on PyPi and can be installed via pip install ivoire (or via your preferred installation method).

At this point you should consider Ivoire to be experimental, and there are likely plenty of bugs to address, so please file them as you run into them on the issue tracker.

A Small Example

To write specs using Ivoire, simply import and use ivoire.describe. You can then execute the spec using the included ivoire test runner.

Here’s an example of what a specification looks like.

from ivoire import describe, context

class Calculator(object):
    def add(self, x, y):
        return x + y

    def divide(self, x, y):
        return x / y

with describe(Calculator) as it:
    def before(test):
        test.calc = Calculator()

    with it("adds two numbers") as test:
        test.assertEqual(test.calc.add(2, 4), 6)

    with it("multiplies two numbers") as test:
        test.assertEqual(test.calc.multiply(2, 3), 6)

    with context(Calculator.divide):
        with it("divides two numbers") as test:
            test.assertEqual(test.calc.divide(8, 4), 2)

        with it("doesn't divide by zero") as test:
            with test.assertRaises(ZeroDivisionError):
                test.calc.divide(8, 0)

You can find this example at examples/, alongside a few others.

After installing Ivoire, running the example above with ivoire examples/ should produce:

If you’d like a more verbose output, try passing the -v command line flag.

At some point in the (hopefully very near) future, when I’ve sorted out an import hook, Ivoire will also be able to be run as ivoire transform `which nosetests` --testmatch='(?:^|[\b_\./-])[Ss]pec', which will transform specs automatically into normal unittest.TestCases. Work on this is in progress.

Running the Test Suite

Ivoire’s test suite is currently written mostly in itself, but it still has a small section that is written using the standard unittest test cases.

You can run Ivoire’s test suite by running tox in the root of the repository checkout after installing tox via your package manager or with pip install tox. This will run both parts of the suite.


I’m Julian Berman.

You can find me on Freenode in #python-testing and various other channels (nick: tos9) if you’d like to chat, or if there’s enough interest in such a thing, in ##ivoire.

Ivoire is developed on GitHub.

Feel free to fork and submit patches or feature requests. Your contributions are most welcome!

If you’d like the best chance for them to be merged quickly try to include tests with your pull request, and adhere to general Python coding standards and your own common sense :).

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