Saturday 8 May 2010

She's Putting Me Through Changes...

...they're even likely to turn out to be good ones.

As you may recall, I've been using and recommending the Kohana PHP application framework for some time. Kohana now offer two versions of their framework:

  • the 2.x series is an MVC framework, with the upcoming 2.4 release to be the last in that series; and

  • the 3.0 series, which is an HMVC framework.

Until quite recently, the difference between the two has been positioned as largely structural/philosophical; if you wished to develop with the 'traditional' model-view-controller architecture, then 2.x (currently 2.3.4) is what you're after; with great documentation and tutorials, any reasonably decent PHP developer should be able to get Real Work™ done quickly and efficiently. Oh the other hand, the 3.0 (now offering is a hierarchical MVC framework. While HMVC via 3.0 offers some tantalising capabilities, especially in large-scale or extended sequential development, there remains an enthusiastic, solid community built around the 2.3 releases.

One of the long-time problems with 2.3 has been how to do unit testing? Although vestigial support for both a home-grown testing system and the standard PHPUnit framework exists in the 2.3 code, neither is officially documented or supported. What this leads to is a separation between non-UI classes, which are mocked appropriately and tested from the 'traditional' PHPUnit command line, and UI testing using tools like FitNesse. This encourages the developer to create as thin a UI layer as practical over the standalone (and more readily testable) PHP classes which that UI layer makes use of. While this is (generally) a desirable development pattern, encouraging and enabling wider reuse of the underlying components, it's quite a chore to get an automated testing/CI rig built around this.

But when I came across a couple of pages like this one on LinkedIn (free membership required). This thread started out asking how to integrate PHPUnit with Kohana 2.3.4, and then described moving to 3.0 as

I grabbed Kohana 3, plugged in PHPUnit, tested it, works a treat! So we're biting the bullet and moving to K3! :)

I've done a half-dozen sites in Kohana 2.3, as I'd alluded to earlier. I've just downloaded KO3 and started poking at it, with the expectation to move my own site over shortly and, in all probability, moving 3.0 to the top of my "recommended tools" list for PHP.

Like the original poster, Mark Rowntree, I would be interested to know if and how anybody got PHPUnit working properly in 2.3.4.

Thanks for reading.

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