Response HandlersΒΆ

Response handlers determine how an HTTP response will be processed and checked against an expected result. For each entry starting with response_, an associated class is invoked with corresponding values. For example if the following lines are in a test:

    - "lorem ipsum"
    - "dolor sit amet"

these lines create an instance of StringResponseHandler, passing the value ["lorem ipsum", "dolor sit amet"]. The response handler implementation interprets the response and the expected values, determining whether the test passes or fails.

While the default handlers (as described in Test Format) are sufficient for most cases, it is possible to register additional custom handlers by passing a subclass of ResponseHandler to build_tests():

driver.build_tests(test_dir, loader, host=None,

With gabbi-run, custom handlers can be loaded via the --response-handler option – see load_response_handlers() for details.

A subclass needs to define at least three things:

  • test_key_suffix: This, along with the prefix response_, forms the key used in the test structure. It is a class level string.
  • test_key_value: The key’s default value, either an empty list ([]) or empty dict ({}). It is a class level value.
  • action: An instance method which tests the expected values against the HTTP response - it is invoked for each entry, with the parameters depending on the default value. The arguments to action are (in order):
    • self: The current instance.
    • test: The currently active HTTPTestCase
    • item: The current entry if test_key_value is a list, otherwise the key half of the key/value pair at this entry.
    • value: None if test_key_value is a list, otherwise the value half of the key/value pair at this entry.

Optionally a subclass may also define a preprocess method which is called once before the loop that calls action is run. preprocess is passed the current test instance which may be modified in place if required. One possible reason to do this would be to process the test.output into another form (e.g. a parsed DOM) only once rather than per test assertion. Since ResponseHandler classes will run in an unpredictable order it is best to add new attributes on the test instance instead of changing the value of existing attributes.