Programmatically replacing an API for another module

Tom Plunket tomas at fancy.org
Mon Nov 20 23:47:17 CET 2006


I've got a bunch of code that runs under a bunch of unit tests.  It'd
be really handy if when testing I could supply replacement
functionality to verify that the right things get called without those
things actually getting called, since frequently those calls take a
long time to execute and do things that, well, I don't really want to
do.

E.g. imagine you've got a routine which takes a filespec, generates a
list of files, and copies those files from one location to another. (I
realize that this example could be multiple functions that should be
tested independently, but please bear with me.)  You don't actually
want to do the file copy, but you want to make sure that the file copy
API is appropriately called.

Using win32com, I might then use win32file.CopyFile, but from testing
code I'd like to replace that with a different call, a test function
that I supply.  Ideally I could replace the whole module, after
importing the module under test, I could do something like 'win32com =
__dict__', and assuming I had a CopyFile function defined in the test
module, it'd hook right in.  However, I'm suspicious that this
wouldn't actually override the win32com seen by the other module that
will actually do the execution (and I don't yet understand Python's
execution model sufficiently).

At present, ModuleTest.py does 'from Module import *' and then makes
calls on Module without the "Module." decoration.  Since typically a
file named SomeClass.py will only define the SomeClass class, this is
more of a convenience than anything.  If this is a barrier to
replacing APIs, though, well, I can change it.

Any insight is helpful, thanks.


-tom!



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