Grant Proposal: Test2 Manual


The Grants Committee has received one grant proposal for the March round. Before the Committee members vote, we would like to solicit feedback from the Perl community on the proposal.

Review the proposal below and please comment here by April 9th, 2016. The Committee members will start the voting process following that and the conclusion will be announced by April 16th.

Test2 Manual

  • Name:

    Chad 'Exodist' Granum.

  • Amount Requested:

    USD 2,000


I am proposing to write a Test2 manual. The Test2 distribution already has very complete module documentation. The manual will build off the individual module documentation and provide very valuable integration and usage details.

Benefits to the Perl Community

Test tool development has been held back for a very long time now. Test2 should unblock a lot of areas related to testing, but only if people can figure out how to use it. This manual should make current and future test developments accessible to all perl developers.


  • Test2::Manual

    A brief introduction and table of contents.

  • Test2::Manual::Tooling

    This section will cover writing test tools. This would be a root document with several other page links.

    * The name of the manual page, and the manual layout will need to be finalized.

  • Test2::Manual::Maintenance

    This section will cover maintaining Test2 itself. This will be a root document pointing to pages that explain the internals, and how they work together.

    * The name of the manual page, and the manual layout will need to be finalized.

Project Details

Test2 is intended to be the new core of perl testing tools. Test2 itself is now on cpan, and Test::Builder will be updated to use Test2 under the hood (I have an ongoing grant for this that is near-completion). Something this important needs serious documentation.

This manual will explain how all the bits and pieces work together. The manual will target 3 specific audiences:

  • Test Tool Authors

    This section of the manual will cover people who want to write new tools or that use Test2 under the hood. This is probably the most important audience as it will be necessary if tools are going to be compatible with each other.

  • Test2 Maintainers

    This section of the manual will cover people who wish to participate in Test2 development directly. This is important to reduce the bus factor (which is very close to 1 currently).


For test authors:

  • Migrating from Test::Builder

    Conversion notes and examples for people moving from Test::Builder. This will detail how tools might have changed, what is gone, and introduce some new or replacement concepts.

  • Simple OK tool

    This is the most basic tool you can write, and is valuable for explaining the key concepts universal to all Test2 tools.

  • The Test2 API

    This covers Test2::API, and all the functionality it exposes.

  • The 'Context' object

    Explain what the context object is, why it is important, and how to use it effectively.

  • The 'Hub' object and API

    Explanation of the hub objects and how they work.

  • Custom Hubs

    How to write a hub subclass (essential for Subtest like tools).

  • Custom event types

    How to write an event.

  • Custom output formatters

    How to write an output formatter.

  • Writing IPC drivers

    How to write a custom IPC Driver.

For Test2 maintainers:

  • Component map

    Map of all Test2 components.

  • Basic building blocks

    Explanation of low-level infrastructure such as Test2::Util::HashBase.

  • How the 'Context' works

    Detailed overview of the Context object, and implementation details.

  • The hub stack

    What the hub stack is, and why it is important.

  • The IPC system internals

    How IPC works, and more importantly how it can fail.

  • Utilities

    The utilities library, and important implementation details.

  • Performance Notes

    Key information about where changes can severely impact performance.

Project Schedule

I can start as soon as the grant is approved. The work will be done on free evenings and weekends as time allows.

Completeness Criteria

The manual will be included in a Test2 release on cpan. The manual will have all expected sections, with no significant gaps or TODO sections.


My name is Chad Granum. I am known as Exodist on CPAN. I have spent several years writing Perl for work and for fun. For most of my time in Perl I've specialized in unit testing tools. Fennec is a good example of my previous work.

In January of 2014 Michael Schwern transferred the Test-Simple dist and all of its components to me. He felt I was the best person to carry the project forward. Since then I have reached out to the rest of the community to be sure I was carrying the project forward in the best interests of all.


I'm all for this grant. I've been working with Test2 a fair bit recently and I could have used this sort of docs. Chad has been very responsive on IRC, but I suspect long term his time is better spent working on this manual than answering all my questions ;)

Oops,the part that reads 'will target 3 specific audiences' should be 'will target 2 specific audiences'.

I have been using Test2 quite a bit recently, and have found it excellent and extremely useful - a value to Perl!

A manual with more coverage than the current docs on how the various bits and pieces work together would be a need to have in the long term for Perl's testing ecosystem.

As an early adopter of Test::Stream, I know the current docs don't quite fit my expectations, so I support the grant to present the docs differently.

Having written a couple of Test::Stream modules (which I plan on switching to Test2) and played around with Test2, I agree the module documentation is quite good, but the bigger picture provided by a Test2::Manual and friends is missing and would help developers who are just starting out with Test2 a lot.

I have been porting with Lance and James to Test2. It has been smooth sailing but would have been smoother had there been an overview to take in the Test2 ecosystem. It's a big place! More docs would be very useful.

I would love to see this grant happen.

The typical style of module API documentation often makes it hard for readers to understand overarching concepts and doesn't always make it easy to figure out how to apply the APIs to any particular use case.

I've seen ::Manual-style documentation make a big difference on other projects before (Moose, Catalyst, DBIx::Class, etc), and I think the Test2 project would benefit a lot from a real manual as well, especially considering how central to the Perl ecosystem it is (or soon will be), and how many different use cases the project needs to support.

Chad obviously understands Test2 very well, and seems to have a proven track-record of writing high-quality documentation.

I'm looking forward to using Test2 in my day-to-day work, and I think the proposed manual would help me a lot with that.

We at MaxMind would very much welcome this manual.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Makoto Nozaki published on March 29, 2016 10:00 PM.

Maintaining the Perl 5 Core: Report for Month 29 was the previous entry in this blog.

Grant Report : RPerl User Documentation #2 - March 2016 is the next entry in this blog.

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