[TIP] Mocking the .decode(...) method on a string

Alexander O'Donovan-Jones Alexander at ccpgames.com
Wed Aug 29 07:31:19 PDT 2012

Twofold: first is to get an understanding of mocking complex things such as __builtin__ methods/classes/objects.

Secondly, the example I gave is contrived. The actual use of this code relies upon a return from locale.getpreferredlocale() to determine the desired encoding to use. If I specify 'cp1252' on computer A, with a Russian installation of Windows and it throws the UnicodeDecodeError then the test passes. However if I run it on computer B, with a different character set as default and the UnicodeDecodeError isn't thrown, then my test fails, due to differences in the operating system, outside of my control.

I want to control the execution of the function to ensure that the return after encountering the exception is correct and not leave it to a variable in the operating system to arbitrarily decide whether or not the test should pass.

From: Ned Batchelder [mailto:ned at nedbatchelder.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 29 August, 2012 2:14 PM
To: Alexander O'Donovan-Jones
Cc: testing-in-python at lists.idyll.org
Subject: Re: [TIP] Mocking the .decode(...) method on a string

On 8/29/2012 10:02 AM, Alexander O'Donovan-Jones wrote:
Creating a mock object that raises the exceptions required is exactly the route I'm taking now.
Yes, I can see that, but it's causing you trouble, and you can instead simply use two arguments to the function that will raise the exception, no?  I'm not sure why mocking is the better approach here.

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