A mocha/rspec inspired testing framework for php.

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Language: PHP

v0.2.1 2014-11-29 00:59 UTC


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An RSpec / Mocha inspired testing tool for php. Requires 5.3+.


  1. composer require "jacobstr/matura ~0.2"


  • Esperance expectation library: expect($result)->to->have->length(2).
  • A succinct DSL for defining tests.

        describe('Matura', function ($ctx){
            it('should make writing tests fun', function ($ctx) {
  • Heirarchical blocks to drill down from basic to complex assertions.

        describe('User', function ($ctx) {
            describe('Authorization', function ($ctx){
                describe('OAuth', function ($ctx) {});
  • before, before_all, after, after_all, hooks with a well-defined ordering.

        describe('User Database', function ($ctx) {
            foreach(range(1,5) as $repetition) {
                it('should insert a user', function ($ctx){
                    $user = $ctx->db->findOne(array(
                        'username' => $ctx->username;
                it('should not accumulate users', function ($ctx){
                    $users = $ctx->db->find();
            // Executed once for each describe block.
            before_all(function ($ctx){
                $ctx->test_id = uniqid();
                $ctx->test_db = 'DB_'.$ctx->test_id;
                $ctx->db = new Database('localhost', $ctx->test_db);
            // Executed prior to each test (including descendants).
            before(function ($ctx){
                $ctx->username = 'test_user'.$ctx->test_id.uniqid();
                $ctx->db->insert(array('username' => $ctx->username)); 
            // Executed after each test (including descendants);
            after(function ($ctx) {
                $ctx->db->delete(array('username' => $ctx->username));
            // Executed once at the very end of this describe block.
            after_all(function ($ctx) {


As mentioned above, Matura uses Esperance as it's assertion library. Here are the core examples that you can use:

    // Deep Equal(===)
    // Approximately Equal(==)
    // Not Equal/Be/A
    // Type Checking
    // Truthy
    // Invokability
    // Range Checking
    expect($number)->to->be->within($start, $finish);
    // Above
    // Below
    // Empty
    // Grep
    // Exception/Error Throwing
    expect($function)->to->throw($klass, $expected_msg);
    // Length
    // Complex Assertions


If you run, bin/mat test test/examples:

Matura Shell Output

And the documentation for the standard test command:

test [-g|--grep="..."] [-i|--include="..."] [-x|--exclude="..."] [-d|--trace_depth="..."] path

 path                  The path to the file or directory to test.

 --grep (-g)           Filter individual test cases by a description regexp.
 --include (-i)        Include test files by a basename(filename) regexp.
 --exclude (-x)        Exclude test files by a basename(filename) regexp.
 --trace_depth (-d)    Set the depth of printed stack traces.
 --help (-h)           Display this help message.
 --quiet (-q)          Do not output any message.
 --verbose (-v|vv|vvv) Increase the verbosity of messages: 1 for normal output, 2 for more verbose output and 3 for debug
 --version (-V)        Display this application version.
 --ansi                Force ANSI output.
 --no-ansi             Disable ANSI output.
 --no-interaction (-n) Do not ask any interactive question.


If you wish to filter specific tests within a suite/file, use --grep. Matura will be clever enough to run the requisite before/after hooks.

Test Result Association

When running before/after hooks Matura will associate any test failures with the currently running test, rather than treating it as a file-level failure. This is particularly useful with Mockery's close method, which triggers additional assertions: was a method called, was it called with the right parameters, and so on.

For before_all / after_all hooks, the failure is associate with the surrounding describe block.

Test Organization

By default, Matura filters on the file's basename for anything beginning with test_.

I'm using the structure below. I might formalize this some time:

├── test // Actual test cases.
│   ├── functional // Functional tests.
│   │   ├── test_context.php
│   │   ├── test_model.php
│   │   └── test_ordering.php
│   ├── integration // More end-to-end flavored tests.
│   │   └── test_test_runner.php
│   └── performance // Tests that serve to benchmark your code.
│       └── test_stress.php

I keep my fixtures in a top-level support folder. I've seen these placed in the test folder but I chose to keep them tucked away to avoid iterating over them and making the default filter complex.

Authoring Tests

The one key piece is you want to place your tests in the Matura\Tests namespace if you're not using PHP 5.6. If you're using 5.6 you can import the functions in Matura\Tests into your namespace.

Further Documentation

I swear it's not a cop out! Examine the tests folder.


  • There's currently nothing like PHPUnit's backupGlobals. Maybe there shouldn't be - I feel a better way to find inadvertent coupling / dependencies on global variables may be to add functionality that randomizes test ordering.
  • Backtraces annoyingly include calls internal to the framework.
  • I'm a fan of contract tests. Class-based tests seem better suited to them, however, so I'm in need of inspiration wrt to the callback-driven dsl that matura uses. Maybe an invocable class...


  • Ben Zittlau - PHPUsable which brings similar syntax to PHPUnit. Helped me realize this was a worthwhile diversion.