App::Prove(3p) Perl Programmers Reference Guide App::Prove(3p)

App::Prove - Implements the "prove" command.

Version 3.44

Test::Harness provides a command, "prove", which runs a TAP based test suite and prints a report. The "prove" command is a minimal wrapper around an instance of this module.

    use App::Prove;
    my $app = App::Prove->new;


Create a new "App::Prove". Optionally a hash ref of attribute initializers may be passed.


Getter/setter for the name of the class used for maintaining state. This class should either subclass from "App::Prove::State" or provide an identical interface.


Getter/setter for the instance of the "state_class".



Called before "process_args" to prepend the contents of an rc file to the options.



Processes the command-line arguments. Attributes will be set appropriately. Any filenames may be found in the "argv" attribute.

Dies on invalid arguments.


Perform whatever actions the command line args specified. The "prove" command line tool consists of the following code:

    use App::Prove;
    my $app = App::Prove->new;
    exit( $app->run ? 0 : 1 );  # if you need the exit code


Load a harness replacement class.

  $prove->require_harness($for => $class_name);


Display the version numbers of the loaded TAP::Harness and the current Perl.

After command line parsing the following attributes reflect the values of the corresponding command line switches. They may be altered before calling "run".


"App::Prove" provides support for 3rd-party plugins. These are currently loaded at run-time, after arguments have been parsed (so you can not change the way arguments are processed, sorry), typically with the "-Pplugin" switch, eg:

  prove -PMyPlugin

This will search for a module named "App::Prove::Plugin::MyPlugin", or failing that, "MyPlugin". If the plugin can't be found, "prove" will complain & exit.

You can pass an argument to your plugin by appending an "=" after the plugin name, eg "-PMyPlugin=foo". You can pass multiple arguments using commas:

  prove -PMyPlugin=foo,bar,baz

These are passed in to your plugin's "load()" class method (if it has one), along with a reference to the "App::Prove" object that is invoking your plugin:

  sub load {
      my ($class, $p) = @_;
      my @args = @{ $p->{args} };
      # @args will contain ( 'foo', 'bar', 'baz' )

Note that the user's arguments are also passed to your plugin's "import()" function as a list, eg:

  sub import {
      my ($class, @args) = @_;
      # @args will contain ( 'foo', 'bar', 'baz' )

This is for backwards compatibility, and may be deprecated in the future.

Here's a sample plugin, for your reference:

  package App::Prove::Plugin::Foo;
  # Sample plugin, try running with:
  # prove -PFoo=bar -r -j3
  # prove -PFoo -Q
  # prove -PFoo=bar,My::Formatter
  use strict;
  use warnings;
  sub load {
      my ($class, $p) = @_;
      my @args = @{ $p->{args} };
      my $app  = $p->{app_prove};
      print "loading plugin: $class, args: ", join(', ', @args ), "\n";
      # turn on verbosity
      $app->verbose( 1 );
      # set the formatter?
      $app->formatter( $args[1] ) if @args > 1;
      # print some of App::Prove's state:
      for my $attr (qw( jobs quiet really_quiet recurse verbose )) {
          my $val = $app->$attr;
          $val    = 'undef' unless defined( $val );
          print "$attr: $val\n";
      return 1;

prove, TAP::Harness

2023-02-15 perl v5.36.3