Skip to content
Permalink
main
Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?
Go to file
 
 
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time

Extending AVA using shared workers

Shared workers are a powerful AVA feature. A program can be loaded in a worker thread in AVA's main process and then communicate with code running in the test workers. This enables your tests to better utilize shared resources during a test run, as well as providing opportunities to set up these resources before tests start (or clean them up after).

When you use watch mode, shared workers remain loaded across runs.

Available plugins

Writing plugins

You can write your own plugins. They can be high-level, like @ava/get-port which is built using @ava/cooperate, or low-level like @ava/cooperate itself.

Here we'll discuss building low-level plugins.

Registering a shared worker

Plugins are registered inside test workers. They'll provide the path for the shared worker, which AVA will load in a worker thread in its main process. For each unique path one worker thread is started.

Plugins communicate with their shared worker using a protocol. Protocols are versioned independently from AVA itself. This allows us to make improvements without breaking existing plugins. Protocols are only removed in major AVA releases.

Plugins can be compatible with multiple protocols. AVA will select the best protocol it supports. If AVA does not support any of the specified protocols it'll throw an error. The selected protocol is available on the returned worker object.

import {registerSharedWorker} from 'ava/plugin';

const shared = registerSharedWorker({
  filename: path.resolve(__dirname, 'worker.js'),
  supportedProtocols: ['ava-4']
});

Within a test process you can only register one worker for each filename. Filenames are compared as-is, without normalization. If you call registerSharedWorker() a second time, the same worker instance is returned.

If for some reason you want to load the same file as multiple different workers, you can append a unique hash to the end of the filename:

import crypto from 'crypto';
import {registerSharedWorker} from 'ava/plugin';

const key = Math.random() > 0.5 ? 'worker-a' : 'worker-b';

const shared = registerSharedWorker<any>({
  filename: new URL(
    `file:${path.resolve(
      __dirname,
      'worker.js'
    )}#${encodeURIComponent(key)}`
  ),
  initialData: {workerKey: key},
  supportedProtocols: ['ava-4']
});

This works because the filename parameter accepts URL objects, meaning you could use a query component for the key instead if you wanted.

You can supply a teardown() function which will be called after all tests have finished. If you call registerSharedWorker() multiple times then the teardown() function will be invoked for each registration, even though you only got one worker instance. The most recently registered teardown() function is called first, and so forth. teardown() functions execute sequentially.

const worker = registerSharedWorker({
  filename: path.resolve(__dirname, 'worker.js'),
  supportedProtocols: ['ava-4'],
  teardown () {
    // Perform any clean-up within the test process itself.
  }
});

You can also provide some data passed to the shared worker when it is loaded. Of course, it is only loaded once, so this is only useful in limited circumstances:

const shared = registerSharedWorker({
  filename: path.resolve(__dirname, 'worker.js'),
  initialData: {hello: 'world'},
  supportedProtocols: ['ava-4']
});

On this shared object, protocol is set to the selected protocol. Since the shared worker is loaded asynchronously, available provides a promise that fulfils when the shared worker first becomes available. currentlyAvailable reflects whether the worker is, well, currently available.

There are two more methods available on the shared object, which we'll get to soon.

Initializing the shared worker

AVA loads the shared worker (as identified through the filename option) in a worker thread. This must be an ES module file with a default export. The filename must be an absolute path using the file: protocol or a URL instance.

The default export must be a factory method. Like when calling registerSharedWorker(), it must negotiate a protocol:

export default ({negotiateProtocol}) => {
  const main = negotiateProtocol(['ava-4']);
}

On this main object, protocol is set to the selected protocol. initialData holds the data provided when the worker was first registered.

When you're done initializing the shared worker you must call main.ready(). This makes the worker available in test workers. You can call main.ready() asynchronously.

Any errors thrown by the factory method will crash the worker thread and make the worker unavailable in test workers. The same goes for unhandled rejections. The factory method may return a promise.

Communicating between test workers and the shared worker

AVA's low-level shared worker infrastructure is primarily about communication. You can send messages from test workers to the shared worker, and the other way around. Higher-level logic can be implemented on top of this message passing infrastructure.

Message data is serialized using the V8 Serialization API. Please read up on some important limitations.

In the shared worker you can subscribe to messages from test workers:

export default async ({negotiateProtocol}) => {
  const main = negotiateProtocol(['ava-4']).ready();

  for await (const message of main.subscribe()) {
    // 鈥
  }
}

Messages have IDs that are unique for the main AVA process. Across AVA runs you may see the same ID. Access the ID using the id property.

Access message data using the data property.

You can reply to a received message by calling reply(). This publishes a message to the test process the message originated from. You can then subscribe to replies to that message using replies().

To illustrate this here's a "game" of Marco Polo:

export default ({negotiateProtocol}) => {
  const main = negotiateProtocol(['ava-4']).ready();

  play(main.subscribe());
};

const play = async (messages) => {
  for await (const message of messages) {
    if (message.data === 'Marco') {
      const response = message.reply('Polo');
      play(response.replies());
    }
  }
}

(Of course this sets up many reply listeners which is rather inefficient.)

You can also broadcast messages to all connected test workers:

export default async ({negotiateProtocol}) => {
  const main = negotiateProtocol(['ava-4']).ready();

  for await (const message of main.subscribe()) {
  	if (message.data === 'Bingo!') {
      main.broadcast('Bingo!');
    }
  }
}

Like with reply(), broadcast() returns a published message which can receive replies. Call replies() to get an asynchronous iterator for reply messages.

Each received message has a testWorker property to represent the test worker that the message originated from. All messages from the same test worker have the same value for this property.

These test workers have a unique ID (which, like message IDs, is unique for the main process). Access it using the id property. The path of the test file is available through the file property. Use publish() to send messages directly to the test worker, and subscribe() to receive messages from the test worker. This works the same as main.subscribe().

Of course you don't need to wait for a message from a test worker to access this object. Use main.testWorkers() to get an asynchronous iterator which produces each newly connected test worker:

export default async ({negotiateProtocol}) => {
  const main = negotiateProtocol(['ava-4']).ready();

  for await (const testWorker of main.testWorkers()) {
    main.broadcast(`New test file: ${testWorker.file}`);
  }
}

Within test workers, once the shared worker is available, you can publish messages:

shared.publish('Marco');

Or subscribe to messages:

(async () => {
  for await (const message of shared.subscribe()) {
    if (message.data === 'Polo') {
      message.reply('Marco');
    }
  }
})();

publish() throws when the shared worker is not yet available. publish() and subscribe() throw when the worker has crashed.

Message IDs are available and are unique for the main AVA process.

Messages are always produced in their own turn of the event loop. This means you can use async/await to process a previous message or subscribe to replies and you'll be guaranteed to receive them.

Cleaning up resources

Test workers come and go while the shared worker remains. It's therefore important to clean up resources.

Messages are subscribed to using async iterators. These return when the test worker exits.

You can register teardown functions to be run when the test worker exits:

export default async ({negotiateProtocol}) => {
  const main = negotiateProtocol(['ava-4']).ready();

  for await (const testWorker of main.testWorkers()) {
    testWorker.teardown(() => {
      // Bye bye鈥
    });
  }
}

The most recently registered function is called first, and so forth. Functions execute sequentially.

More interestingly, a wrapped teardown function is returned so that you can call it manually. AVA still ensures the function only runs once.

export default ({negotiateProtocol}) => {
  const main = negotiateProtocol(['ava-4']).ready();

  for await (const worker of testWorkers) {
    counters.set(worker, 0);
    const teardown = worker.teardown(() => {
      counters.delete(worker);
    });

    waitForTen(worker.subscribe(), teardown);
  }
}

const counters = new WeakMap();

const waitForTen = async (messages, teardown) => {
  for await (const {testWorker} of messages) {
    const count = counters.get(testWorker) + 1;
    if (count === 10) {
      teardown();
    } else {
      counters.set(testWorker, count);
    }
  }
};

Now it's your turn

We're pretty excited about this feature! But we need more real-world experience in building AVA plugins before we can make it generally available. Please give feedback and build plugins. We'd be more than happy to promote them.

Not sure what to build? Previously folks have expressed a desire for mutexes, managing Puppeteer instances, starting (database) servers and so forth.

We could also extend the shared worker implementation in AVA itself. Perhaps so you can run code before a new test run, even with watch mode. Or so you can initialize a shared worker based on the AVA configuration, not when a test file runs.

Please comment here with ideas, questions and feedback.