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Visualizing PHPUnit runs

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 30 April 2011.
Planet PHP

LESS, a project I'm currently hacking on @work, has has a unit test suite that was a pain to use because the ~80 tests took 45 seconds to run. The problem with that test suite is that you just don't run it often enought during development because it's just too long.

Running the specific test cases for the part of the application you're working on is easy and fast, but that does not tell you when changes in part A of the app break part B - which happened several times, and all just because I didn't want to wait 45 seconds again and again.

So a solution was badly needed; tests should be as fast as possible; preferably which of the 80 tests were slow.

Finding timing information

Now when you're using a CI system like CruiseControl or Jenkins, you do of course have nice reports that tell you which tests get executed, where it fails and what time they took to run. The normal PHPUnit output does not show any timing information, and manually grepping the output of the --log-junit file - which contains timing information - wasn't something that I want to do if I can get pretty reports.

I don't have CI for LESS yet, so I needed some tool that generated pretty reports with timing details instantly on the command line.

Reporting tools

All web searches for "phpunit reporting" led to pages that talk about coverage reports, but not a single one told me how to visualize normal phpunit test runs without coverage.

Since PHPUnit support JUnit log file output, I thought that I also could use some JUnit reporting system. It turned out that there are some commercial ones that generate pretty PDFs, but I didn't need anything too fancy (and closed source, and I didn't want to buy anything). Only relatively late I stumbled across the ant junitreport task which promised to do what I wanted.


So I generated the junit log file using

$ phpunit --log-junit log.junit.xml

and wrote an ant build file that used that XML file as input:

Unfortunately, ant told me

$ ant gen-report: [junitreport] the file log.junit.xml is not a valid testsuite XML document ... BUILD SUCCESSFUL

So we know now that PHPUnit's junit-compatible XML files are not junit compatible.

The reson for this error, as I found out later, is that PHPUnit's XML file contains multiple testsuite results, while JUnit's XML only contains one single test suite in one XML file.


Disappointed by junitreport, I remembered our good old PHP build tool: phing. And indeed, phing ships a phpunitreport task!

Naturally, it works with PHPUnit style junit xml files. The phing task is easy to setup:

An error

Running phing to generate the report, I got - again - an error:

$ phing testreport gen-report: [PHP Error] XSLTProcessor::importStylesheet(): error [line 135 of phing/tasks/ext/phpunit/PHPUnitReportTask.php] [PHP Error] XSLTProcessor::importStylesheet(): Local file read for phing/etc/str.replace.function.xsl refused [line 135 of phing/tasks/ext/phpunit/PHPUnitReportTask.php] [PHP Error] XSLTProcessor::importStylesheet(): error [line 135 of phing/tasks/ext/phpunit/PHPUnitReportTask.php] [PHP Error] XSLTProcessor::importStylesheet(): xsltLoadStyleDocument: read rights for phing/etc/str.replace.function.xsl denied [line 135 of phing/tasks/ext/phpunit/PHPUnitReportTask.php]

Reason for it was that I had the redland PHP extension enabled; it adds res

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