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Pytest plugin with advanced doctest features.

Project description

This package contains a plugin for the pytest framework that provides advanced doctest support and enables the testing of reStructuredText (“.rst”) files. It was originally part of the astropy core package, but has been moved to a separate package in order to be of more general use.


This plugin provides advanced features for testing example Python code that is included in Python docstrings and in standalone documentation files.

Good documentation for developers contains example code. This is true of both standalone documentation and of documentation that is integrated with the code itself. Python provides a mechanism for testing code snippets that are provided in Python docstrings. The unit test framework pytest provides a mechanism for running doctests against both docstrings in source code and in standalone documentation files.

This plugin augments the functionality provided by Python and pytest by providing the following features:


The pytest-doctestplus plugin can be installed using pip:

$ pip install pytest-doctestplus

It is also possible to install the latest development version from the source repository:

$ git clone
$ cd pytest-doctestplus
$ python ./ install

In either case, the plugin will automatically be registered for use with pytest.


Setup and Configuration

This plugin provides two command line options: --doctest-plus for enabling the advanced features mentioned above, and --doctest-rst for including *.rst files in doctest collection.

This plugin can also be enabled by default by adding doctest_plus = enabled to the [tool:pytest] section of the package’s setup.cfg file.

The plugin is applied to all directories and files that pytest collects. This means that configuring testpaths and norecursedirs in setup.cfg also affects the files that will be discovered by pytest-doctestplus. In addition, this plugin provides a doctest_norecursedirs configuration variable that indicates directories that should be ignored by pytest-doctestplus but do not need to be ignored by other pytest features.

Using pytest’s built-in --doctest-modules option will override the behavior of this plugin, even if doctest_plus = enabled in setup.cfg, and will cause the default doctest plugin to be used. However, if for some reason both --doctest-modules and --doctest-plus are given, the pytest-doctestplus plugin will be used, regardless of the contents of setup.cfg.

Doctest Directives

The pytest-doctestplus plugin defines doctest directives that are used to control the behavior of particular features. For general information on directives and how they are used, consult the documentation. The specifics of the directives that this plugin defines are described in the sections below.

Floating Point Comparison

Some doctests may produce output that contains string representations of floating point values. Floating point representations are often not exact and contain roundoffs in their least significant digits. Depending on the platform the tests are being run on (different Python versions, different OS, etc.) the exact number of digits shown can differ. Because doctests work by comparing strings this can cause such tests to fail.

To address this issue, the pytest-doctestplus plugin provides support for a FLOAT_CMP flag that can be used with doctests. For example:

>>> 1.0 / 3.0  # doctest: +FLOAT_CMP

When this flag is used, the expected and actual outputs are both parsed to find any floating point values in the strings. Those are then converted to actual Python float objects and compared numerically. This means that small differences in representation of roundoff digits will be ignored by the doctest. The values are otherwise compared exactly, so more significant (albeit possibly small) differences will still be caught by these tests.

Skipping Tests

Doctest provides the +SKIP directive for skipping statements that should not be executed when testing documentation. However, it is often useful to be able to skip docstrings associated with particular functions, methods, classes, or even entire files.

Skip Unconditionally

The pytest-doctestplus plugin provides a way to indicate that certain docstrings should be skipped altogether. This is configured by defining the variable __doctest_skip__ in each module where tests should be skipped. The value of __doctest_skip__ should be a list of wildcard patterns for all functions/classes whose doctests should be skipped. For example:

__doctest_skip__ = ['myfunction', 'MyClass', 'MyClass.*']

skips the doctests in a function called myfunction, the doctest for a class called MyClass, and all methods of MyClass.

Module docstrings may contain doctests as well. To skip the module-level doctests:

__doctest_skip__  = ['.', 'myfunction', 'MyClass']

To skip all doctests in a module:

__doctest_skip__ = ['*']

Doctest Dependencies

It is also possible to skip certain doctests depending on whether particular dependencies are available. This is configured by defining the variable __doctest_requires__ at the module level. The value of this variable is a dictionary that indicates the modules that are required to run the doctests associated with particular functions, classes, and methods.

The keys in the dictionary are wildcard patterns like those described above, or tuples of wildcard patterns, indicating which docstrings should be skipped. The values in the dictionary are lists of module names that are required in order for the given doctests to be executed.

Consider the following example:

__doctest_requires__ = {('func1', 'func2'): ['scipy']}

Having this module-level variable will require scipy to be importable in order to run the doctests for functions func1 and func2 in that module.

Remote Data

The pytest-doctestplus plugin can be used in conjunction with the pytest-remotedata plugin in order to control doctest code that requires access to data from the internet. In order to make use of these features, the pytest-remotedata plugin must be installed, and remote data access must be enabled using the --remote-data command line option to pytest. See the pytest-remotedata plugin documentation for more details.

The following example illustrates how a doctest that uses remote data should be marked:

.. code-block:: python

    >>> from urlib.request import urlopen
    >>> url = urlopen('') # doctest: +REMOTE_DATA

The +REMOTE_DATA directive indicates that the marked statement should only be executed if the --remote-data option is given. By default, all statements marked with --remote-data will be skipped.

Development Status

Travis CI Status Appveyor Status

Questions, bug reports, and feature requests can be submitted on github.


This plugin is licensed under a 3-clause BSD style license - see the LICENSE.rst file.

Project details

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