Building a BDD framework with PHP

Do you know Jasmine, the BDD framework for JavaScript? This holidays I was looking for something like that in PHP and I didn’t found anything similar (please let me know if I’m wrong) (now I know a few of them thanks to Dave’s comment) . Because of that, and as an exercise, I hack a little bit building something similar for PHP.

I want to write as less code as I can (it’s only a proof of concept), so I will reuse the assertion framework or PHPUnit. As I’ve seen when studying Behat, we can use the assertion part as standalone functions. We only need to include vendor/phpunit/phpunit/PHPUnit/Framework/Assert/Functions.php file

Here you can see one example.

class StringCalculator
    public function add($string)
        return (int)array_sum(explode(",", $string));

$stringCalculator = new StringCalculator;

describe("add mull returns zero", function () use ($stringCalculator) {
        assertEquals(null, $stringCalculator->add(""));

describe("1,1 should return 2", function () use ($stringCalculator) {
        assertEquals(2, $stringCalculator->add("1,1"));

We also can use something similar than DataProvider in PHPUnit:

describe("add number returns number", function ($expected, $actual, $message) use ($stringCalculator) {
        assertEquals($expected, $stringCalculator->add($actual), $message);
    }, [
        ['expected' => 1, 'actual' => "1", 'message' => 'add 1'],
        ['expected' => 2, 'actual' => "2", 'message' => 'add 1'],
        ['expected' => 10, 'actual' => "10", 'message' => 'add 10'],

And if we need mocks we can use Mockery, for example:

class Temperature

    public function __construct($service)
        $this->_service = $service;

    public function average()
        $total = 0;
        for ($i=0;$i<3;$i++) {
            $total += $this->_service->readTemp();
        return $total/3;

$service = m::mock('service');

describe("testing mocks with mockery", function() use ($service) {
        $service->shouldReceive('readTemp')->andReturn(11, 12, 13);
        $temperature = new Temperature($service);
        assertEquals(12, $temperature->average(), "dummy message");

I’ve created an small console application to run the test suites using symfony/console and symfony/finder components. We can run it with:

php ./bin/console.php texter:run ./tests

Beware because this library is a proof of concept. There’re a lot of remaining things. What do you think?

Source code at github


11 thoughts on “Building a BDD framework with PHP

    1. phpspec wasn’t the thing that I had in mind. I was thinking about something like describe(‘name of the test with spaces’, function())
      (the idea behind Jasmine) phpspec is something different (is a bdd toolkit, but different) such as behat.

      (I also must admit that I wanted to play with closures 🙂 )

  1. Hi, I started my own implementation too 🙂 To not do all the stuff ( and probably you don’t want to implement JUnit reporting, HTML reporting, events, filters, groups, etc) I made this as very tiny addon on top of PHPUnit. I was inspired by minitest, in which you can use both syntax modes: BDD and classical TDD.

    also assertions

    I think the only way to get it done with all features, is using PHPUnit on top.

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