Author image Barrie Slaymaker


   tv - Run 'make TEST_VERBOSE=1' on one or more test files


   $ tv t/foo.t         ## make TEST_VERBOSE=1 TEST_FILES=t/foo.t
   $ tv          ## Run all t/*.t test scripts for
   $ tv t/foo.t t/bar.t ## make TEST_VERBOSE=1 "TEST_FILES=t/foo.t t/bar.t"
   $ tv t/*             ## Run all test scripts in t
   $ tv lib             ## Test all modules in lib
   $ tv --ext-utils     ## Don't use make, use ExtUtils::Command::MM directly


Given one or more test scripts, Perl source code files, directories containing them, or Perl package names, tv tries to select and run the appropriate test scripts using "make test TEST_VERBOSE=1 TEST_FILES=..." where the "..." are the selected test scripts.

This is especially useful in an editor when mapped to a key that saves and runs tv on the current file or just as shorthand for a frequent but laborious make incantation.

Test scripts

When a test script is given as a parameter, it is selected, so

    tv t/foo.t


    tv t/*.t

do the obvious things.

When something other than a test script (a file whose name ends in ".t") is specified, source files and test scripts are scanned to figure out what test scripts to run.

Source Files

If a source file name (or directory hierarchy of them) is given, then those files and all test scripts are scanned, and any test scripts pertaining to the named source files and any packages it defines are selected. This allows

    tv lib/Bar/
    cd lib/Bar; tv

to DWIM (see the upcoming description of how tv finds the main project directory to see how that last one DWIMs).


If a package name is given, then all source files and test scripts mentioned are scanned as well as all source files in the main project directory and its lib/ and t/ subdirectories are scanned, then any test scripts pertaining to the named packages are selected. This allows

    tv Foo

to work.

Untestable items

It is a fatal error if a named item cannot be tested. In this case, nothing is tested and tv prints a messages to STDERR and exits with a non-zero exit code.

Finding the main project directory

The main project directory is found by looking for "./t", "../t", "../../t" and so on until a directory containing a "t" directory is found.

Code Scanner Details

In source files, things that look like package statements and some special POD are used to infer what test scripts to run. In test scripts, some other special POD and things that look like use or require statements are used to infer what files and packages are being tested. This is only performed if something other than a test script (or directory hierarchy containing test scripts and no source files) are given.

The special POD to be used in source files is:

    =for test_script foo.t bar.t

and for test scripts is

    =for file lib/


    =for package Foo

The =for paragraphs may span more than one line and define whitespace separated lists of items. The filenames in the =for file directive must be relative to the main project directory and not contain ".." names.

The scanning for use, require, and package statements is quite naive, but usually sufficient. Things like POD documentation and multiline strings can fool the scanners, but this is not usually a problem.


-h, -?, --help

Print out full help text (this page).

-n, --dry-run, --just-print, --recon

Print out the make command but don't run it.


Don't use "make test TEST_VERBOSE=1 ...", use "perl '-MExtUtils::Command::MM' -e 'test_harness(1,\'lib\')' ..." instead. Useful if you don't have a Makefile.PL


Turn on debugging output.

See Test::Verbose for details.


    Copyright 2002, R. Barrie Slaymaker, Jr.  All Rights Reserved.


You may use this under the terms of any of the BSD, Artistic, or GPL licenses.


    Barrie Slaymaker <>