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This is about Goldilocks 1.0, which was shipped as part of PawLIB 1.0. We're mainly keeping it around for archival purposes.


Goldilocks is a complete testing and runtime-benchmark framework, based on the Live-In Testing Standard [LIT]. Goldilocks can be used to implement LIT, unit testing (which differs from LIT), or both; it can also be used in conjunction with other testing and benchmarking tools.



Every Goldilocks test is derived from the Test abstract class, which has five functions that may be overloaded.


This is an optional function that sets up the test to be run. In cases where a test is run multiple consecutive times, it is only called once. Thus, it must be possible to call pre() once, and then successfully call run() any number of times.

The function must return true if setup was successful, and false otherwise, to make sure the appropriate actions are taken.


This is an optional function that tears down the test after a failed call to pre(). It is the only function to be called in that situation, and it will not be called under any other circumstances. It has no fail handler itself, so prefail() must succeed in any reasonable circumstance.

The function should return a boolean indicating whether the tear-down was successful or not.

NOTE: Goldilocks currently ignores prefail()'s return.


This is the only required function for any test. It contains all the code for the test run itself. After pre() is called once (optionally), run() must be able to handle any number of consecutive calls to itself.

There must always be a version of run() that accepts no arguments. However, it is not uncommon to overload run() to accept a scenario string (part of the LIT Standard) for generating a particular scenario, or prompting a random one to be generated.

The function should return true if the test succeeded, and false if it failed.

IMPORTANT: run() (with no arguments) should be consistent in its success. Assuming pre() was successful, if the first consecutive call to run() is successful, all subsequent calls to run() must also be successful. This is vital to the benchmarker functions, as they can call a single test up to 10,000 times. One consideration, then, is that run() should only use one scenario in a single lifetime, unless explicitly instructed by its function arguments to do otherwise.


This is called after each repeat of run() during benchmarking and comparative benchmarking. It is designed to perform cleanup in between run() calls, but not to perform first time setup (pre()) or end of testing (post()) cleanup. It returns a boolean indicating success.


This is an optional function which is called at the end of a test's normal lifetime. It is the primary teardown function, generally responsible for cleaning up whatever was created in pre() and run(). It is normally only if run() returns true, although it will be called at the end of benchmarking regardless of`run()`'s success.

This function should return a boolean indicating success. It has no fail handler itself, so post() should succeed in all reasonable circumstances.

NOTE: Goldilocks currently ignores post()'s return.


This is an optional teardown function which is usually called if a test fails (run() returns false). It is responsible for cleaning up whatever was created in pre() and run(), much like post() is, but again only for those scenarios where run() fails.

This function should return a boolean indicating success. It has no fail handler itself, so postmortem() should succeed in all reasonable circumstances.

NOTE: Goldilocks currently ignores post()'s return.

Call Sequence

Successful Test

Test Setup Fails

Test Fails

pre()run()run() (in repeats)janitor() (in repeats)post()

Creating a Test

Creating a test is as simple as creating a class that inherits from pawlib::Test (from goldilocks.hpp), which is a pure virtual base class.

IMPORTANT: The constructor and destructor must obviously be defined, however, it is not recommended that they actually do anything - all setup and teardown tasks must be handled by the other functions in order to ensure proper functionality - a test instance is defined once when Goldilocks is set up, but it is highly likely to have multiple lifetimes.

Only bool run() must be defined in a test class. The rest of the functions are already defined (they do nothing other than return true), so you only need to define them if you require them to do something.

The following example exhibits a properly-defined, though overly simplistic, test. In reality, we could have skipped pre(), prefail(), postmortem(), and post(), but they are defined to demonstrate their behavior.

Example Test

#include <iochannel.hpp>
#include <goldilocks.hpp>

using namespace pawlib::ioformat;
using namespace pawlib;

class TestFoo : public Test
        bool pre()
            ioc << cat_testing << "Do Pre Stuff" << io_end;
            return true;
        bool prefail()
            ioc << cat_testing << "Do Prefail Stuff" << io_end;
            return true;
        bool run()
            ioc << cat_testing << "Do Test Stuff" << io_end;
            char str[5000] = {'\0'};
            for(int a=0;a<5000;a++)
                str[a] = 'A';
            return true;
        bool postmortem()
            ioc << cat_testing << "Do Postmortem Stuff" << io_end;
            return true;
        bool post()
            ioc << cat_testing << "Do Post Stuff" << io_end;
            return true;

Registering a Test

Registering a test with Goldilocks is a trivial task, thanks to its register_test() function. Once a test class has been defined, as above, simply register it via...

//Assuming testmanager is our instance of the Goldilocks test manager.
testmanager.register_test("TestFoo", new TestFoo);

Goldilocks will now actually own the instance of TestFoo, and automatically handle its deletion at the proper time.

WARNING: Goldilocks actually requires exclusive ownership of each test object registered to it - thus, you should always pass the new declaration as the second argument. If you create the object first, and then pass the pointer, you run a high risk of a segfault or other undefined behavior.

The test can now be called by name using Goldilocks' various functions. (See below.)

Running a Test

Once a test is registered with Goldilocks, running it is quite easy.

//Run the test once.
//Benchmark TestFoo on 100 repetitions.
testmanager.run_benchmark("TestFoo", 100);
//Compare TestFoo and TestBar on 100 repetitions.
testmanager.run_compare("TestFoo", "TestBar", 100);
Last Author
Last Edited
Jun 30 2020, 7:34 PM

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jcmcdonald moved this document from Goldilocks.