Fake setTimeout and friends (collectively known as "timers"). Useful in your JavaScript tests. Extracted from Sinon.JS
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Latest commit dd89315 Jan 13, 2017 @JoshuaKGoldberg JoshuaKGoldberg committed with fatso83 Fixed typo in clock.runAll error
Error would previously say `"Aborting after running 1000timers, assuming an infinite loop!" (notice the lack of space between `1000` and `timers`). Adding a space there.

Readme.md

Lolex Build Status bitHound Overall Score

JavaScript implementation of the timer APIs; setTimeout, clearTimeout, setImmediate, clearImmediate, setInterval and clearInterval, along with a clock instance that controls the flow of time. Lolex also provides a Date implementation that gets its time from the clock.

Lolex can be used to simulate passing time in automated tests and other situations where you want the scheduling semantics, but don't want to actually wait. Lolex is extracted from Sinon.JS.

Installation

Lolex can be used in both Node and browser environments. Installation is as easy as

npm install lolex

If you want to use Lolex in a browser you can use the pre-built version available in the repo and the npm package. Using npm you only need to reference ./node_modules/lolex/lolex.js in your <script> tags.

You are always free to build it yourself, of course.

Usage

To use lolex, create a new clock, schedule events on it using the timer functions and pass time using the tick method.

// In the browser distribution, a global `lolex` is already available
var lolex = require("lolex");
var clock = lolex.createClock();

clock.setTimeout(function () {
    console.log("The poblano is a mild chili pepper originating in the state of Puebla, Mexico.");
}, 15);

// ...

clock.tick(15);

Upon executing the last line, an interesting fact about the Poblano will be printed synchronously to the screen. If you want to simulate asynchronous behavior, you have to use your imagination when calling the various functions.

The next, runAll, and runToLast methods are available to advance the clock. See the API Reference for more details.

Faking the native timers

When using lolex to test timers, you will most likely want to replace the native timers such that calling setTimeout actually schedules a callback with your clock instance, not the browser's internals.

Calling install with no arguments achieves this. You can call uninstall later to restore things as they were again.

// In the browser distribution, a global `lolex` is already available
var lolex = require("lolex");

var clock = lolex.install();
// Equivalent to
// var clock = lolex.install(typeof global !== "undefined" ? global : window);

setTimeout(fn, 15); // Schedules with clock.setTimeout

clock.uninstall();
// setTimeout is restored to the native implementation

To hijack timers in another context pass it to the install method.

var lolex = require("lolex");
var context = {
    setTimeout: setTimeout // By default context.setTimeout uses the global setTimeout
}
var clock = lolex.install(context);

context.setTimeout(fn, 15); // Schedules with clock.setTimeout

clock.uninstall();
// context.setTimeout is restored to the original implementation

Usually you want to install the timers onto the global object, so call install without arguments.

API Reference

var clock = lolex.createClock([now[, loopLimit]])

Creates a clock. The default epoch is 0.

The now argument may be a number (in milliseconds) or a Date object.

The loopLimit argument sets the maximum number of timers that will be run when calling runAll() before assuming that we have an infinite loop and throwing an error. The default is 1000.

var clock = lolex.install([context[, now[, toFake[, loopLimit]]]])

var clock = lolex.install([now[, toFake[, loopLimit]]])

Creates a clock and installs it onto the context object, or globally. The now argument is the same as in lolex.createClock().

toFake is an array of the names of the methods that should be faked. You can pick from setTimeout, clearTimeout, setImmediate, clearImmediate, setInterval, clearInterval, and Date. E.g. lolex.install(["setTimeout", "clearTimeout"]).

The loopLimit argument is the same as in lolex.createClock().

var id = clock.setTimeout(callback, timeout)

Schedules the callback to be fired once timeout milliseconds have ticked by.

In Node.js setTimeout returns a timer object. Lolex will do the same, however its ref() and unref() methods have no effect.

In browsers a timer ID is returned.

clock.clearTimeout(id)

Clears the timer given the ID or timer object, as long as it was created using setTimeout.

var id = clock.setInterval(callback, timeout)

Schedules the callback to be fired every time timeout milliseconds have ticked by.

In Node.js setInterval returns a timer object. Lolex will do the same, however its ref() and unref() methods have no effect.

In browsers a timer ID is returned.

clock.clearInterval(id)

Clears the timer given the ID or timer object, as long as it was created using setInterval.

var id = clock.setImmediate(callback)

Schedules the callback, to be fired once 0 milliseconds have ticked by. Note that you'll still have to call clock.tick() for the callback to fire. If called during a tick the callback won't fire until 1 millisecond has ticked by.

In Node.js setImmediate returns a timer object. Lolex will do the same, however its ref() and unref() methods have no effect.

In browsers a timer ID is returned.

clock.clearImmediate(id)

Clears the timer given the ID or timer object, as long as it was created using setImmediate.

clock.hrtime(prevTime?)

Only available in Node.JS, mimicks process.hrtime().

clock.tick(time)

Advance the clock, firing callbacks if necessary. time may be the number of milliseconds to advance the clock by or a human-readable string. Valid string formats are "08" for eight seconds, "01:00" for one minute and "02:34:10" for two hours, 34 minutes and ten seconds.

time may be negative, which causes the clock to change but won't fire any callbacks.

clock.next()

Advances the clock to the the moment of the first scheduled timer, firing it.

clock.runAll()

This runs all pending timers until there are none remaining. If new timers are added while it is executing they will be run as well.

This makes it easier to run asynchronous tests to completion without worrying about the number of timers they use, or the delays in those timers.

It runs a maximum of loopLimit times after which it assumes there is an infinite loop of timers and throws an error.

clock.runToLast()

This takes note of the last scheduled timer when it is run, and advances the clock to that time firing callbacks as necessary.

If new timers are added while it is executing they will be run only if they would occur before this time.

This is useful when you want to run a test to completion, but the test recursively sets timers that would cause runAll to trigger an infinite loop warning.

clock.setSystemTime([now])

This simulates a user changing the system clock while your program is running. It affects the current time but it does not in itself cause e.g. timers to fire; they will fire exactly as they would have done without the call to setSystemTime().

clock.uninstall()

Restores the original methods on the context that was passed to lolex.install, or the native timers if no context was given.

Date

Implements the Date object but using the clock to provide the correct time.

Running tests

Lolex has a comprehensive test suite. If you're thinking of contributing bug fixes or suggesting new features, you need to make sure you have not broken any tests. You are also expected to add tests for any new behavior.

On node:

npm test

Or, if you prefer more verbose output:

$(npm bin)/mocha ./test/lolex-test.js

In the browser

Mochify is used to run the tests in PhantomJS. Make sure you have phantomjs installed. Then:

npm test-headless

License

BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License (see LICENSE file)