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  • Start Date: 2017-06-13
  • RFC PR: emberjs/rfcs#232
  • Ember Issue: (leave this empty)

Summary

In order to embrace newer features being added by QUnit (our chosen default testing framework), we need to reduce the brittle coupling between ember-qunit and QUnit itself.

This RFC proposes a new testing syntax, that will expose QUnit API directly while also making tests much easier to understand.

Motivation

QUnit feature development has been accelerating since the ramp up to QUnit 2.0. A number of new features have been added that make testing our applications much easier, but the current structure of ember-qunit impedes our ability to take advantage of some of these features.

Developers are often confused by our moduleFor* APIs, questions like these are very common:

  • What "magic" is ember-qunit doing?
  • Where are the lines between QUnit and ember-qunit?
  • How can I use QUnit for plain JS objects?

The way that ember-qunit wraps QUnit functionality makes the division of responsiblity much harder to understand, and leads folks to believe that there is much more going on in ember-qunit than there is. It should be much clearer what ember-qunit is responsible for and what we rely on QUnit for.

This RFC also aims to remove a number of custom testing only APIs that exist today (largely because the container/registry system was completely private when the current tools were authored). Instead of things like this.subject, this.register, this.inject, or this.lookup we can rely on the standard way of performing these functions in Ember via the owner API.

When this RFC has been implemented and rolled out, these questions should all be addressed and our testing system will both: embrace QUnit much more and be much more framework agnostic, all the while dropping custom testing only APIs in favor of public APIs that work across tests and app code.

Sounds like a neat trick, huh?

Detailed design

The primary change being proposed in this RFC is to migrate to using the QUnit nested module syntax, and update our custom setup/teardown into a more functional API.

Lets look at a basic example:

// **** before ****

import { moduleForComponent, test } from 'ember-qunit';
import hbs from 'htmlbars-inline-precompile';

moduleForComponent('x-foo', {
  integration: true
});

test('renders', function(assert) {
  assert.expect(1);

  this.render(hbs`{{pretty-color name="red"}}`);

  assert.equal(this.$('.color-name').text(), 'red');
});

// **** after ****

import { module, test } from 'qunit';
import { setupRenderingTest } from 'ember-qunit';
import hbs from 'htmlbars-inline-precompile';

module('x-foo', function(hooks) {
  setupRenderingTest(hooks);

  test('renders', async function(assert) {
    assert.expect(1);

    await this.render(hbs`{{pretty-color name="red"}}`);

    assert.equal(this.$('.color-name').text(), 'red');
  });
});

As you can see, this proposal leverages QUnit's nested module API in a way that makes it much clearer what is going on. It is quite obvious what QUnit is doing (acting like a general testing framework) and what ember-qunit is doing (setting up rendering functionality).

This API was heavily influenced by the work that Tobias Bieniek did in emberjs/ember-mocha#84.

QUnit Nested Modules API

Even though it is not a proposal of this RFC, the QUnit nested module syntax may seem foreign to some folks so lets briefly review.

With nested modules, a normal 1.x QUnit module setup changes from:

QUnit.module('some description', {
  before() {},
  beforeEach() {},
  afterEach() {},
  after() {}
});

QUnit.test('it blends', function(assert) {
  assert.ok(true, 'of course!');
});

Into:

QUnit.module('some description', function(hooks) {

  hooks.before(() => {});
  hooks.beforeEach(() => {});
  hooks.afterEach(() => {});
  hooks.after(() => {});

  QUnit.test('it blends', function(assert) {
    assert.ok(true, 'of course!');
  });
});

This makes it much simpler to support multiple before, beforeEach, afterEach, and after callbacks, and it also allows for arbitrary nesting of modules.

You can read more about QUnit nested modules here. The new APIs proposed in this RFC expect to be leveraging nested modules.

New APIs

The following new methods will be exposed from ember-qunit:

interface QUnitModuleHooks {
  before(callback: Function): void;
  beforeEach(callback: Function): void;
  afterEach(callback: Function): void;
  after(callback: Function): void;
}

declare module 'ember-qunit' {
  // ...snip... 
  export function setupTest(hooks: QUnitModuleHooks): void;
  export function setupRenderingTest(hooks: QUnitModuleHooks): void;
}

setupTest

This function will:

  • invoke ember-test-helpers setContext with the tests context
  • create an owner object and set it on the test context (e.g. this.owner)
  • setup this.set, this.setProperties, this.get, and this.getProperties to the test context
  • setup this.pauseTest and this.resumeTest methods to allow easy pausing/resuming of tests

setupRenderingTest

This function will:

  • run the setupTest implementation
  • setup this.$ method to run jQuery selectors rooted to the testing container
  • setup a getter for this.element which returns the DOM element representing the element that was rendered via this.render
  • setup Ember's renderer and create a this.render method which accepts a compiled template to render and returns a promise which resolves once rendering is completed
  • setup this.clearRender method which clears any previously rendered DOM ( also used during cleanup)

When invoked, this.render will render the provided template and return a promise that resolves when rendering is completed.

Changes from Current System

Here is a brief list of the more important but possibly understated changes being proposed here:

  • the various setup methods no longer need to know the name of the object under test
  • this.subject is removed in favor of using the standard public API for looking up and creating instances (this.owner.lookup and this.owner.factoryFor)
  • this.inject is removed in favor of using this.owner.lookup directly
  • this.register is removed in favor of using this.owner.register directly
  • this.render will begin being asynchronous to allow for further iteration in the underlying rendering engines ability to speed up render times (by yielding back to the browser and not blocking the main thread)
  • this.pauseTest and this.resumeTest are being added
  • this.element is being introduced as a public API for DOM assertions in a jQuery-less environment
  • QUnit nested modules are required

These changes generally do not affect our ability to write a codemod to aide in the migration.

Migration Examples

The migration can likely be largely automated (following the excellent codemod that Tobias Bieniek wrote for a similar ember-mocha the transition), but it is still useful to review concrete scenarios of tests before and after this RFC is implemented.

Component / Helper Integration Test

// **** before ****

import { moduleForComponent, test } from 'ember-qunit';
import hbs from 'htmlbars-inline-precompile';

moduleForComponent('x-foo', {
  integration: true
});

test('renders', function(assert) {
  assert.expect(1);

  this.render(hbs`{{pretty-color name="red"}}`);

  assert.equal(this.$('.color-name').text(), 'red');
});

// **** after ****

import { module, test } from 'qunit';
import { setupRenderingTest } from 'ember-qunit';
import hbs from 'htmlbars-inline-precompile';

module('x-foo', function(hooks) {
  setupRenderingTest(hooks);

  test('renders', async function(assert) {
    assert.expect(1);

    await this.render(hbs`{{pretty-color name="red"}}`);

    assert.equal(this.$('.color-name').text(), 'red');
  });
});

Component Unit Test

// **** before ****

import { moduleForComponent, test } from 'ember-qunit';

moduleForComponent('x-foo', {
  unit: true
});

test('computes properly', function(assert) {
  assert.expect(1);

  let subject = this.subject({
    name: 'something'
  });

  let result = subject.get('someCP');
  assert.equal(result, 'expected value');
});

// **** after ****

import { module, test } from 'qunit';
import { setupTest } from 'ember-qunit';

module('x-foo', function(hooks) {
  setupTest(hooks);

  test('computed properly', function(assert) {
    assert.expect(1);

    let Factory = this.owner.factoryFor('component:x-foo');
    let subject = Factory.create({
      name: 'something'
    });

    let result = subject.get('someCP');
    assert.equal(result, 'expected value');
  });
});

Service/Route/Controller Test

// **** before ****

import { moduleFor, test } from 'ember-qunit';

moduleFor('service:flash', 'Unit | Service | Flash', {
  unit: true
});

test('should allow messages to be queued', function (assert) {
  assert.expect(4);
  
  let subject = this.subject();
  
  subject.show('some message here');
  
  let messages = subject.messages;
  
  assert.deepEqual(messages, [
    'some message here'
  ]);
});

// **** after ****

import { module, test } from 'qunit';
import { setupTest } from 'ember-qunit';

module('Unit | Service | Flash', function(hooks) {
  setupTest(hooks);
  
  test('should allow messages to be queued', function (assert) {
    assert.expect(4);
  
    let subject = this.owner.lookup('service:flash');
  
    subject.show('some message here');
  
    let messages = subject.messages;
  
    assert.deepEqual(messages, [
      'some message here'
    ]);
  });
});

Ecosystem Updates

The blueprints in all official projects (and any provided by popular addons) will need to be updated to detect ember-qunit version and emit the correct output.

This includes:

  • ember-source
  • ember-data
  • ember-cli-legacy-blueprints
  • others?

This exact process was done for ember-mocha's migration, making this a well trodden path.

Update Guides

The guides includes a section for testing, this section needs to be reviewed and revamped to match the proposal here.

Deprecate older APIs

Once this RFC is implemented, the older APIs will be deprecated and retained for a full LTS cycle (assuming speedy landing, this would mean the older APIs would be deprecated around Ember 2.20). After that timeframe, the older APIs will be removed from ember-qunit and ember-test-helpers and they will release with SemVer major version bumps.

Note that while the older moduleFor and moduleForComponent APIs will be deprecated, they will still be possible to use since the host application can pin to a version of ember-qunit / ember-test-helpers that support its own usage. This is a large benefit of migrating these testing features away from Ember's internals, and into the addon space.

Relationship to "Grand Testing Unification"

This RFC is a small stepping stone towards the future where all types of tests share a similar API. The API proposed here is much easier to extend to provide the functionality that is required for emberjs/rfcs#119.

How We Teach This

This change requires updates to the API documentation of ember-qunit and the main Ember guides' testing section. The changes are largely intended to reduce confusion, making it easier to teach and understand testing in Ember.

Drawbacks

Churn

As mentioned in emberjs/rfcs#229, test related churn is quite painful and annoying. In order to maintain the general goodwill of folks, we must ensure that we avoid needless churn.

This RFC should be implemented in conjunction with emberjs/rfcs#229 so that we can avoid multiple back to back changes in the blueprints.

qunitjs/qunit#977

Until very recently, the QUnit nested module API was only able to allow a single callback for each of the hooks per-nesting level. This means that the proposal in this RFC (which requires the hooks to be setup by ember-qunit) would disallow user-land beforeEach/afterEach hooks to be setup.

The work around is "simple" (if somewhat annoying), which is to "just nest another level". The good news is that Trent Willis fixed the underlying problem in qunitjs/qunit#1188, which should be released as 2.3.4 well before this RFC is merged.

Alternatives

The simplest alternative is to do nothing. This would loose all of the positive benefits mentioned in this RFC, but should still be considered a possibility...

Unanswered Questions

hooks argument

A few folks (e.g. @ebryn and @stefanpenner) have approached me with concerns around the hooks argument I have mentioned/used here. The concerns are generally an initial reaction to the QUnit nested modules API in general and not directly related to this RFC (other than it highlighting a new feature that they haven't used before).

The main concerns are:

  • Teaching folks what hooks means is a bit more difficult because it does not represent the "test environment", but rather just a way to invoke the callbacks for before / beforeEach / after / afterEach.
  • Passing only hooks to the helper functions proposed in the RFC means that if we ever need to thread more information through, we either have to use hooks as a transport or change our API to add more arguments.
  • It seems somewhat impossible to communicate across multiple helpers (again without using hooks as a state/transport mechanism).

I've kicked off a conversation over with the QUnit folks in https://github.com/qunitjs/qunit/issues/1200. If that PR were merged this proposal would be modified to the following syntax:

// current proposal
module('x-foo', function(hooks) {
  setupRenderingTest(hooks);
  // ....snip....
});

// after qunitjs/qunit#1200
module('x-foo', function(hooks) {
  setupRenderingTest(this);
  // ....snip....
});

Another possible solution is to rename the argument (here and in the blueprints) to module. This is more in line with what the QUnit folks view it as: the "module context" that is being created for that specific QUnit.module invocation.