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wsgi_intercept 0.5.1

installs a WSGI application in place of a real URI for testing.

Latest Version: 1.6.0


Testing a WSGI application normally involves starting a server at a local host and port, then pointing your test code to that address. Instead, this library lets you intercept calls to any specific host/port combination and redirect them into a WSGI application importable by your test program. Thus, you can avoid spawning multiple processes or threads to test your Web app.

How Does It Work?

wsgi_intercept works by replacing httplib.HTTPConnection with a subclass, wsgi_intercept.WSGI_HTTPConnection. This class then redirects specific server/port combinations into a WSGI application by emulating a socket. If no intercept is registered for the host and port requested, those requests are passed on to the standard handler.

The functions add_wsgi_intercept(host, port, app_create_fn, script_name='') and remove_wsgi_intercept(host,port) specify which URLs should be redirect into what applications. Note especially that app_create_fn is a function object returning a WSGI application; script_name becomes SCRIPT_NAME in the WSGI app’s environment, if set.


easy_install wsgi_intercept

(The easy_install command is bundled with the setuptools module)

To use a development version of wsgi_intercept, run:


Packages Intercepted

Unfortunately each of the Web testing frameworks uses its own specific mechanism for making HTTP call-outs, so individual implementations are needed. Below are the packages supported and how to create an intercept.


urllib2 is a standard Python module, and urllib2.urlopen is a pretty normal way to open URLs.

The following code will install the WSGI intercept stuff as a default urllib2 handler:

>>> from wsgi_intercept.urllib2_intercept import install_opener
>>> install_opener() #doctest: +ELLIPSIS
<urllib2.OpenerDirector instance at ...>
>>> import wsgi_intercept
>>> from wsgi_intercept.test_wsgi_app import create_fn
>>> wsgi_intercept.add_wsgi_intercept('some_host', 80, create_fn)
>>> import urllib2
>>> urllib2.urlopen('http://some_host:80/').read()
'WSGI intercept successful!\n'

The only tricky bit in there is that different handler classes need to be constructed for Python 2.3 and Python 2.4, because the httplib interface changed between those versions.


httplib2 is a 3rd party extension of the built-in httplib. To intercept requests, it is similar to urllib2:

>>> from wsgi_intercept.httplib2_intercept import install
>>> install()
>>> import wsgi_intercept
>>> from wsgi_intercept.test_wsgi_app import create_fn
>>> wsgi_intercept.add_wsgi_intercept('some_host', 80, create_fn)
>>> import httplib2
>>> resp, content = httplib2.Http().request('http://some_host:80/', 'GET')
>>> content
'WSGI intercept successful!\n'

(Contributed by David “Whit” Morris.)


webtest is an extension to unittest that has some nice functions for testing Web sites.

To install the WSGI intercept handler, do

>>> import wsgi_intercept.webtest_intercept
>>> class WSGI_Test(wsgi_intercept.webtest_intercept.WebCase):
...     HTTP_CONN = wsgi_intercept.WSGI_HTTPConnection
...     HOST='localhost'
...     PORT=80
...     def setUp(self):
...         wsgi_intercept.add_wsgi_intercept(self.HOST, self.PORT, create_fn)


webunit is another unittest-like framework that contains nice functions for Web testing. (funkload uses webunit, too.)

webunit needed to be patched to support different scheme handlers. The patched package is in webunit/wsgi_webunit/, and the only file that was changed was; the original is in

To install the WSGI intercept handler, do

>>> from httplib import HTTP
>>> import wsgi_intercept.webunit_intercept
>>> class WSGI_HTTP(HTTP):
...     _connection_class = wsgi_intercept.WSGI_HTTPConnection
>>> class WSGI_WebTestCase(wsgi_intercept.webunit_intercept.WebTestCase):
...     scheme_handlers = dict(http=WSGI_HTTP)
...     def setUp(self):
...         wsgi_intercept.add_wsgi_intercept('', 80, create_fn)


mechanize is John J. Lee’s port of Perl’s WWW::Mechanize to Python. It mimics a browser. (It’s also what’s behind twill.)

>>> import wsgi_intercept.mechanize_intercept
>>> from wsgi_intercept.test_wsgi_app import create_fn
>>> wsgi_intercept.add_wsgi_intercept('some_host', 80, create_fn)
>>> b = wsgi_intercept.mechanize_intercept.Browser()
>>> response ='http://some_host:80')
'WSGI intercept successful!\n'


zope.testbrowser is a prettified interface to mechanize that is used primarily for testing Zope applications.

zope.testbrowser is also pretty easy

>>> import wsgi_intercept.zope_testbrowser
>>> from wsgi_intercept.test_wsgi_app import create_fn
>>> wsgi_intercept.add_wsgi_intercept('some_host', 80, create_fn)
>>> b = wsgi_intercept.zope_testbrowser.WSGI_Browser('http://some_host:80/')
>>> b.contents
'WSGI intercept successful!\n'


Pursuant to Ian Bicking’s “best Web testing framework” post, Titus Brown put together an in-process HTTP-to-WSGI interception mechanism for his own Web testing system, twill. Because the mechanism is pretty generic – it works at the httplib level – Titus decided to try adding it into all of the other Python Web testing frameworks.

This is the result.

Mocking your HTTP Server

Marc Hedlund has gone one further, and written a full-blown mock HTTP server for wsgi_intercept. Combined with wsgi_intercept itself, this lets you entirely replace client calls to a server with a mock setup that hits neither the network nor server code. You can see his work in the file Run to see a test.

Project Home

If you aren’t already there, this project lives on Google Code. Please submit all bugs, patches, failing tests, et cetera using the Issue Tracker

File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size
wsgi_intercept-0.5.1.tar.gz (md5) Source 2011-11-15 39KB