Argument Validation

The arguments passed to the with() declaration when setting up an expectation determine the criteria for matching method calls to expectations. Thus, you can setup up many expectations for a single method, each differentiated by the expected arguments. Such argument matching is done on a “best fit” basis. This ensures explicit matches take precedence over generalised matches.

An explicit match is merely where the expected argument and the actual argument are easily equated (i.e. using === or ==). More generalised matches are possible using regular expressions, class hinting and the available generic matchers. The purpose of generalised matchers is to allow arguments be defined in non-explicit terms, e.g. Mockery::any() passed to with() will match any argument in that position.

Mockery’s generic matchers do not cover all possibilities but offers optional support for the Hamcrest library of matchers. Hamcrest is a PHP port of the similarly named Java library (which has been ported also to Python, Erlang, etc). I strongly recommend using Hamcrest since Mockery simply does not need to duplicate Hamcrest’s already impressive utility which itself promotes a natural English DSL.

The example below show Mockery matchers and their Hamcrest equivalent. Hamcrest uses functions (no namespacing).

Here’s a sample of the possibilities.


Matches the integer 1. This passes the === test (identical). It does facilitate a less strict == check (equals) where the string '1' would also match the argument.

with(\Mockery::any()) OR with(anything())

Matches any argument. Basically, anything and everything passed in this argument slot is passed unconstrained.

with(\Mockery::type('resource')) OR with(resourceValue()) OR with(typeOf('resource'))

Matches any resource, i.e. returns true from an is_resource() call. The Type matcher accepts any string which can be attached to is_ to form a valid type check. For example, \Mockery::type('float') or Hamcrest’s floatValue() and typeOf('float') checks using is_float(), and \Mockery::type('callable') or Hamcrest’s callable() uses is_callable().

The Type matcher also accepts a class or interface name to be used in an instanceof evaluation of the actual argument (similarly Hamcrest uses anInstanceOf()).

You may find a full list of the available type checkers at or browse Hamcrest’s function list in the Hamcrest code.


The On matcher accepts a closure (anonymous function) to which the actual argument will be passed. If the closure evaluates to (i.e. returns) boolean true then the argument is assumed to have matched the expectation. This is invaluable where your argument expectation is a bit too complex for or simply not implemented in the current default matchers.

There is no Hamcrest version of this functionality.


You can also perform argument validation by passing a closure to withArgs() method. The closure will receive all arguments passed in the call to the expected method and if it evaluates (i.e. returns) to boolean true, then the list of arguments is assumed to have matched the expectation. The closure can also handle optional parameters, so if an optional parameter is missing in the call to the expected method, it doesn’t necessary means that the list of arguments doesn’t match the expectation.

$closure = function ($odd, $even, $sum = null) {
    $result = ($odd % 2 != 0) && ($even % 2 == 0);
    if (!is_null($sum)) {
        return $result && ($odd + $even == $sum);
    return $result;

$this->mock->foo(1, 2); // It matches the expectation: the optional argument is not needed
$this->mock->foo(1, 2, 3); // It also matches the expectation: the optional argument pass the validation
$this->mock->foo(1, 2, 4); // It doesn't match the expectation: the optional doesn't pass the validation
with('/^foo/') OR with(matchesPattern('/^foo/'))

The argument declarator also assumes any given string may be a regular expression to be used against actual arguments when matching. The regex option is only used when a) there is no === or == match and b) when the regex is verified to be a valid regex (i.e. does not return false from preg_match()). If the regex detection doesn’t suit your tastes, Hamcrest offers the more explicit matchesPattern() function.

with(\Mockery::ducktype('foo', 'bar'))

The Ducktype matcher is an alternative to matching by class type. It simply matches any argument which is an object containing the provided list of methods to call.

There is no Hamcrest version of this functionality.

with(\Mockery::mustBe(2)) OR with(identicalTo(2))

The MustBe matcher is more strict than the default argument matcher. The default matcher allows for PHP type casting, but the MustBe matcher also verifies that the argument must be of the same type as the expected value. Thus by default, the argument ‘2’ matches the actual argument 2 (integer) but the MustBe matcher would fail in the same situation since the expected argument was a string and instead we got an integer.

Note: Objects are not subject to an identical comparison using this matcher since PHP would fail the comparison if both objects were not the exact same instance. This is a hindrance when objects are generated prior to being returned, since an identical match just would never be possible.

with(\Mockery::not(2)) OR with(not(2))

The Not matcher matches any argument which is not equal or identical to the matcher’s parameter.

with(\Mockery::anyOf(1, 2)) OR with(anyOf(1,2))

Matches any argument which equals any one of the given parameters.

with(\Mockery::notAnyOf(1, 2))

Matches any argument which is not equal or identical to any of the given parameters.

There is no Hamcrest version of this functionality.

with(\Mockery::subset(array(0 => 'foo')))

Matches any argument which is any array containing the given array subset. This enforces both key naming and values, i.e. both the key and value of each actual element is compared.

There is no Hamcrest version of this functionality, though Hamcrest can check a single entry using hasEntry() or hasKeyValuePair().

with(\Mockery::contains(value1, value2))

Matches any argument which is an array containing the listed values. The naming of keys is ignored.


Matches any argument which is an array containing the given key name.


Matches any argument which is an array containing the given value.