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Author image Erik Huelsmann
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Test::BDD::Cucumber::StepContext - Data made available to step definitions


version 0.79


The coderefs in Step Definitions have a single argument passed to them, a Test::BDD::Cucumber::StepContext object. This is an attribute-only class, populated by Test::BDD::Cucumber::Executor.

When steps are run normally, C() is set directly before execution to return the context; this allows you to do:

  sub { return C->columns }

instead of:

  sub { my $c = shift; return $c->columns; }



If the step-specific data supplied is a table, the this attribute will contain the column names in the order they appeared.


Step-specific data. Will either be a text string in the case of a """ string, or an arrayref of hashrefs if the step had an associated table.

See the data method below.


A hash of hashes, containing two keys, feature, scenario. The stash allows you to persist data across features or scenarios.

The scenario-level stash is also available to steps by calling S(), making the following two lines of code equivalent:

 sub { my $context = shift; my $stash = $context->stash->{'scenario'}; $stash->{'count'} = 1 }
 sub { S->{'count'} = 1 }




Links to the Test::BDD::Cucumber::Model::Feature, Test::BDD::Cucumber::Model::Scenario, and Test::BDD::Cucumber::Model::Step objects respectively.


The lower-cased verb a Step Definition was called with.


The text of the step, minus the verb. Placeholders will have already been multiplied out at this point.


The Test::BDD::Cucumber::Harness harness being used by the executor.


Weak reference to the Test::BDD::Cucumber::Executor being used - this allows for step redispatch.


Any matches caught by the Step Definition's regex. These are also available as $1, $2 etc as appropriate.


The harness processing the output can decide whether to shop information for this step which is actually an internal hook, i.e. a Before or After step


If a step redispatches to another step, the child step will have a link back to its parent step here; otherwise undef. See "Redispatching".



Boolean for "is this step being run as part of the background section?". Currently implemented by asking the linked Scenario object...


See the _data attribute above.

Calling this method will return either the """ string, or a possibly Transform-ed set of table data.


See the _matches attribute above.

Call this method will return the possibly Transform-ed matches .


Used internally to transform data and placeholders, but it can also be called from within your Given/When/Then code.


Sometimes you want to call one step from another step. You can do this via the StepContext, using the dispatch() method. For example:

  Given qr/I have entered (\d+)/, sub {
        C->dispatch( 'Given', "I have pressed $1");
        C->dispatch( 'Given', "I have pressed enter", { some => 'data' } );

You redispatch step will have its own, new step context with almost everything copied from the parent step context. However, specifically not copied are: columns, data, the step object, and of course the verb and the text.

If you want to pass data to your child step, you should IDEALLY do it via the text of the step itself, or failing that, through the scenario-level stash. Otherwise it'd make more sense just to be calling some subroutine... But you can pass in a third argument - a hashref which will be used as data.

If the step you dispatch to doesn't pass for any reason (can't be found, dies, fails, whatever), it'll throw an exception. This will get caught by the parent step, which will then fail, and show debugging output.

You must use the English names for the step verb, because we have no access to the parser. Also, remember to quote them as if you're in a step file, there may be a subroutine defined with the same name.


    C->dispatch( 'Then', "the page has loaded successfully");

See the paragraphs immediately above this


Peter Sergeant pete@clueball.com


  Copyright 2019-2021, Erik Huelsmann
  Copyright 2011-2019, Peter Sergeant; Licensed under the same terms as Perl