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Raises an error when you use a capybara finder and it times out.

The goal of this gem is to aid in discovering errors in capybara usage to help speed up your test suite.


If you do:

refute page.has_content?("An Error Occurred")

To make sure there's no error on the page, the full timeout will be reached because has_content? waits for the content to appear. The correct usage is:

assert page.has_no_content?("An Error Occurred")

Which would evaluate quickly.

This gem will raise a Capybara::SlowFinderError whenever the first situation occurs. In fact, it raises the error any time a Capybara synchronized piece of code reaches a timeout.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'capybara-slow_finder_errors'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install capybara-slow_finder_errors


Run your test suite as usual. If you have any slow finders, you'll get a stack trace like this:

Capybara::SlowFinderError (Capybara::SlowFinderError)
/path/to/capybara-slow_finder_errors/lib/capybara/slow_finder_errors.rb:11:in `rescue in synchronize_with_timeout_error'
/path/to/capybara-slow_finder_errors/lib/capybara/slow_finder_errors.rb:7:in `synchronize_with_timeout_error'
./features/support/signed_in_user.rb:31:in `signed_in?'
./features/support/user_helper.rb:59:in `sign_in_as'
features/configuring_a_project.feature:6:in `Given I am signed in as ""'

execution expired (Timeout::Error)
/path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/web_socket_server.rb:72:in `select'
/path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/web_socket_server.rb:72:in `receive'
/path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/web_socket_server.rb:85:in `send'
/path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/server.rb:33:in `send'
/path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/browser.rb:270:in `command'
/path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/browser.rb:106:in `evaluate'
/path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/driver.rb:130:in `evaluate_script'
/path/to/.gems/gems/capybara-2.4.4/lib/capybara/session.rb:527:in `evaluate_script'

If you look at the lines below the gem's trace, you'll see that the slow finder is in signed_in_user.rb on line 31 in the signed_in? method. Just follow those traces and clean up your code!


If you're using RSpec and the matchers provided by Capybara like:

expect(page).to_not have_content("abc")

then Capybara is already telling RSpec to use the negated method (has_no_content?) and thus Capybara is not waiting for the timeout before continuing.

Common Fixes

This section will hopefully grow as people contribute common situations and fixes.

Inverted Finder

Replace refute page.has_content?("abc") with assert page.has_no_content?("abc").

Boolean Finder

A method that returns a boolean shouldn't use a waiting finder. So:

def signed_in?
  page.has_content?("Sign out")

Returns true if they are signed in, but it waits a full timeout before returning false. Instead, perform a waiting finder for content that is always present (to ensure the page is loaded) then use a quick finder that doesn't wait:

def signed_in?
  page.has_css?('a', :text => 'Home', :wait => false)


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request


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