MediaWiki Wikibase extension
9) Refactor hooks for testability

Date: 2020-03-04




Currently, the RepoHooks class remains largely untested due to a combination of two factors:

  1. The methods in this class are static, and we do not own the contract under which they should be called, as they are defined as hooks in extension.json or as global variables in the entrypoints e.g. extensions/Wikibase/repo/Wikibase.php:1020, which means we cannot easily refactor the methods to increase testability
  2. Methods rely heavily on the WikibaseRepo singleton and it's store, which make it harder to test, as there is no way to to inject a mock of WikibaseRepo without dependency injection.

A RFC for enabling dependency injection in hooks is currently under way. However, an interim solution is needed in order to mitigate the amount of untested logic that exists in that file and other places in the codebase.

While reviewing this issue, two initial solutions were considered:

However, after a discussion, it was decided to implement a middle ground, that would enable us to gradually refactor hooks, rather than a one time big change.


It was decided to adopt an existing pattern in Wikibase repo where each hook handler gets its own singleton class and provides at least four methods:

  • A constructor to make dependency injection easier.
  • A public static method to bootstrap an instance from global settings. For consistency, this would typically be named newFromGlobalSettings.
  • (optional) A public static method to get a cached instance of the handler object (rather than instantiate it each time): This is useful for hooks handlers which are called several times.
  • A public static method to wire up functionality into the hooks system and should contain little to no logic (as it is hard to test without complete integration or e2e tests).
  • A public method to perform the actual handler logic in a testable way.

This class should be placed under the includes/Hooks directory. An example of this pattern can be seen in:


  • Increase in the ability to test code for hooks, as well as general test coverage.
  • Deciding on a single source of truth regarding hooks will encourage common understanding and help newcomers to the code refactor and write their own hooks.
  • Decoupling the tests from the actual store might make tests run faster, as no connections to the Database / reads or writes will be made.
  • Adopting a pattern regarding testing hooks, can help guide us in refactoring and writing new pieces of code which are considered "hard to test".
  • This doesn't provide a pattern for end-to-end testing of hooks, i.e. running of the public static method for hook wiring isn't covered by this pattern.