More alternatives for Python unit testing

Tuesday 25 October 2005This is over 17 years old. Be careful.

Here are more facilities for helping with unit testing in Python:

  • TestGears is part of the TurboGears web uber-framework. It provides automatic discovery of test functions, simplifies suite development, and makes it easy to run tests zero configuration.
  • TestOOB (Testing Out Of [the] Box) provides for new styles of output (HTML and color terminal), debugger launching, verbose asserts, parallel execution, and command-line utility testing.
  • nose provides an alternate test discovery and execution engine for unittest.

Together with unittest, doctest and py.test which I wrote about a year ago, this brings the total to at least six.

One common thread among the three new entries is that they aim to be as useful as py.test, but based on the standard unittest module. It’s an interesting dynamic, since py.test claims to be more Pythonic than the standard module.

As usual, I find that I barely have time to use any of these modules, much less evaluate all the options.


TestGears and Nose were developed basically in parallel and are very similar in function. Since I have my hands full, I'm planning to deprecate TestGears in favor of Nose... so you can strike one from the list :)
Add one more to the many-wheels-reinvented list: the Quixote folks also have Sancho, a unit testing framework:

I use it primarily because most of my development is on Quixote and related platforms anyway.

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