Test::Stream::Workflow - Interface for writing 'workflow' tools such as RSPEC implementations that all play nicely together.


This distribution is deprecated in favor of Test2, Test2::Suite, and Test2::Workflow.

See Test::Stream::Manual::ToTest2 for a conversion guide.


This module is still EXPERIMENTAL. Test-Stream is now stable, but this particular module is still experimental. You are still free to use this module, but you have been warned that it may change in backwords incompatible ways. This message will be removed from this modules POD once it is considered stable.


This module intends to do for 'workflow' test tools what Test::Builder and Test::Stream do for general test tools. The problem with workflow tools is that most do not play well together. This module is a very generic/abstract look at workflows that allows tools to be built that accomplish their workflows, but in a way that plays well with others.


    package My::Workflow::Tool;
    use Test::Stream::Workflow qw/gen_unit_builder/;

    use Test::Stream::Exporter;

    # Create a wrapping tool
    export my_wrapper => gen_unit_builder('simple' => qw/buildup teardown/);

    no Test::Stream::Exporter;

To use it:

    use My::Workflow::Tool qw/my_wrapper/;

    my_wrapper foo => sub {
        my $inner = shift;


A workflow is a way of defining tests with scaffolding. Essentially you are seperating your assertions and your setup/teardown/management code. This results in a separation of concerns that can produce more maintainable tests. In addition each component of a workflow can be re-usable and/or inheritable.


Units are the small composable parts of a workflow. You can think of a unit as a named function that does some work. What separates a unit from a regular function is that it can have other units attashed to it in various ways. A unit can also be a 'group' unit, which means it contains other units as its primary work.

See Test::Stream::Workflow::Unit.


The package unit is the root 'group' unit for your test package. All other test units get put into the main package unit.

See Test::Stream::Workflow::Meta where the primary unit is stored.


Units are generally defined using a DSL (Domain Specific Language). In this DSL you declare a unit, which gets added as the current build, then run code which modifies that build to turn it into the unit you need.


Builds can be defined within one another, as such the 'current' build is whatever build is on top of the build stack, which is a private array. There are low level functions exposed to give you control over the stack if you need it, but in general you should use a higher level tool.


A task is a composition of units to be run. The runner will compile you units into task form, then run the compiled tasks.


There is a var stash. The var stash is a stack of hashes. Every time a task is run a new hash is pushed onto the stack. When a task is complete the hash is popped and cleared. Workflow tools may use this hash to store/define variables that will go away when the current task is complete.


All exports are optional, you must request the ones you want.


$unit = workflow_build()

Get the unit at the top of the build stack, if any.

$unit = workflow_current()

Get the unit at the top of the build stack, if there is none then return the root unit for the package the function is called from.


Push a unit onto the build stack.


Pop a unit from the build stack. You must provide the $unit you expect to pop, and it must match the one at the top of the stack.


$val = workflow_var($name)
$val = workflow_var($name, $val)
$val = workflow_var($name, \&default)

This function will get/set a variable in the var stash. If only a name is provided then it will return the current value, or undef. If you provide a value as the second argument then the value will be set.

A coderef can be passed in as the second argument. If a coderef is used it will be considered a default generator. If the variable name already has a value then that value will be kept and returned. If the variable has not been set then the coderef will be run and the value it returns will be stored and returned.

$hr = push_workflow_vars()

You can manually push a new hashref to the top of the vars stack. If you do this you need to be sure to pop it before anything else tries to pop any hash below yours in the stack. You can provide a hashref to push, or it will create a new one for you.


This will let you manually pop the workflow vars stack. You must provide a reference to the item you think is at the top of the stack (the one you want to pop). If something else is on top of the stack then an exception will be thrown.

$bool = has_workflow_vars()

Check if there is a workflow vars hash on the stack. This will return false if there is nothing on the stack. Currently this returns the number of items in the stack, but that may change so do not depend on that behavior.


$meta = workflow_meta()

Get the Test::Stream::Workflow::Meta object associated with the current package.


Set the runner to use. The runner can be a package name, or a blessed object. Whichever you provide, it must have a 'run' method. The run method will be called directly on what you provide, that is if you provide a package name then it will call $package->run() new() will not be called for you.


Arguments that should be passed to the run() method of your runner.


Run the workflow now.


$unit = group_builder($name, \%params, sub { ... })
$unit = group_builder($name, sub { ... })
group_builder($name, \%params, sub { ... })
group_builder($name, sub { ... })

The group builder will create a new unit with the given name and parameters. The new unit will be placed onto the build stack, and the code reference you provide will be run. Once the code reference returns the unit will be removed from the build stack. If called in void context the unit will be added to the next unit on the build stack, or to the package root unit. If called in any other context the unit will be returned.

$sub = gen_unit_builder($callback, @stashes)

This will return a coderef that accepts the typical $name, optional \%params, and \&code arguments. The code returned will construct your unit for you, and then insert it into the specified stashes of the current build whenever it is called. Typically you will only specify one stash, but you may combine buildup and teardown if the builder you are creating is supposed to wrap other units.



A primary action.


Something to modify the primary actions.


Something to run before the primary actions.


Something to run after the primary actions.

($unit, $code, $caller) = new_proto_unit(\%params)
level => 1
caller => [caller($level)]
args => [$name, \%params, \&code]
args => [$name, \&code]
set_primary => $bool
unit => \%attributes

This is used under the hood by gen_unit_builder(). This will parse the 2 or 3 typical input arguments, verify them, and return a new Test::Stream::Workflow::Unit, the coderef that was passed in, and a caller arrayref.

If you use this it is your job to put the unit where it should be. Normally gen_unit_builder and group_builder are all you should need.



Test::Stream::Plugin::Spec is an implementation of RSPEC using this library.


The source code repository for Test::Stream can be found at


Chad Granum <>


Chad Granum <>


Copyright 2015 Chad Granum <>.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.