I just want to drop off some things that might be useful with ScalaTest and ScalaCheck.

I prefer using ScalaTest with PropertyChecks over ScalaCheck Properties, mainly because I can easily use Matchers within a property. Here are a few things I discovered while working with these two toolkits (tbc):


Version compatibility

The latest version of ScalaTest, 2.0 does not work with the latest version of ScalaCheck, 1.11.1. You have to use 1.10.1 of ScalaCheck:

libraryDependencies ++= Seq(
  "org.scalatest"  %% "scalatest"  % "2.0"    % "test",
  "org.scalacheck" %% "scalacheck" % "1.10.1" % "test"
)

No Shrinking

Shrinking is an interesting concept of ScalaCheck, that will try to find the minimal failing test case for a property. However, shrinking ignores restrictions of your generator, e.g. shrinking a Gen.choose(1, 10) might try to falsify the property with values such as 0, and -1. If these values don't lie within your domain, this will definitely lead to an error, but one that shadows the actual implementation error.

Take this example:

val m = Map(
  1 -> 1, // wrong
  2 -> 4, // correct
  3 -> 6  // correct
)

forAll(Gen.chooseNum(1, 3)) {
  n => m(n) should be (n * 2)
}

This should fail with Message: 1 was not equal to 2 ... Occurred when passed generated values (arg0 = 1) But instead it fails with Message: key not found: 0 ... Occurred when passed generated values (arg0 = 0 // 1 shrink)

ScalaCheck has a Prop.forAllNoShrink to disable shrinking, but ScalaTest has no equivalent. Fortunately, Shrinking can be configured as a TypeClass Shrink[T]. The interface is easy enough:

sealed abstract class Shrink[T] {
  def shrink(x: T): Stream[T]
}

object Shrink {
  def apply[T](s: T => Stream[T]): Shrink[T] = new Shrink[T] {
    override def shrink(x: T) = s(x)
  }
}

The created Stream[T] is used to provide all values that should be tried during the shrinking process. To disable shrinking, one just has to return an empty Stream[T]. There is a default Shrink.shrinkAny, which does just that.

We just need to bring that implicitly into scope as a Shrink[Int] and the test should fail with the proper error message:

import org.scalacheck.Shrink
implicit val noShrink: Shrink[Int] = Shrink.shrinkAny

val m = Map(
  1 -> 1, // wrong
  2 -> 4, // correct
  3 -> 6  // correct
)

forAll(Gen.chooseNum(1, 3)) { n =>
  m(n) should be (n * 2)    // Message: 1 was not equal to 2 ... Occurred when passed generated values (arg0 = 1)
}

Cool, this works!

Allegedly, this is fixed with 1.11.0, but this version is not compatible with ScalaTest (as might the fix, I haven't looked into it).


Determinacy

Sometimes, you want to replay a test with the exact same generated values, have it run deterministically with a specific seed value. This can be done per-generator or per property test. The crux is to replace the random generator with a custom one and the only way to do so is with a Gen.parameterized

def deterministicNumberGen: Gen[Int] = {
  val r = new java.util.Random(100L)
  Gen.parameterized { params =>
    // params.copy to use the custom Random Number Generator
    Gen.value(params.copy(rng = r).choose(0, 100)).map(_.toInt)
  }
}

var l1 = List.empty[Int]
var l2 = List.empty[Int]

forAll(deterministicNumberGen) { n => l1 = n :: l1 }
forAll(deterministicNumberGen) { n => l2 = n :: l2 }

l1 shouldBe l2

println(l1 take 10 mkString ", ")   // => 55, 65, 92, 52, 16, 12, 0, 24, 21, 76

This is effectively the same as a Gen.choose(0, 100), only that its seed value is fixed to 100. Using a custom generator like this requires you to basically rewrite all other existing generator, a task you probably don't want to do.

TypeClasses to the rescue! Most (if not all) generator eventually use Gen.choose[T] to generate their values and Gen.choose[T] uses the TypeClass Choose[T] to actually generate the random values. So, one just has to bring a Choose[T] into the implicit scope, that uses a custom RNG.

import org.scalacheck.Choose
implicit val chooseInt: Choose[Int] = new Choose[Int] {
  def choose(low: Int, high: Int) = {
    if (low > high) Gen.fail
    else {
      val r = new java.util.Random(100L)
      Gen.parameterized { params =>
        // params.copy to use the custom Random Number Generator
        Gen.value(params.copy(rng = r).choose(low, high)).map(_.toInt)
      }
    }
  }
}

var l1 = List.empty[Int]
var l2 = List.empty[Int]

forAll(Gen.choose(0, 100)) { n => l1 = n :: l1 }
forAll(Gen.choose(0, 100)) { n => l2 = n :: l2 }

l1 shouldBe l2

println(l1 take 10 mkString ", ")   // => 55, 65, 92, 52, 16, 12, 0, 24, 21, 76

Now, you only have to follow ScalaChecks Choose[T] and implement this for each of the remaining Choose[T]s and you can run deterministic tests with all other generators.

Note: This probably only works with 1.10.x, it seems 1.11.x take a slightly different approach. But then again, I haven't looked into it yet.