@ember/test-waiters
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    @ember/test-waiters

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    This addon provides APIs to allow @ember/test-helpers to play nicely with other asynchronous operations, such as an application that is waiting for a CSS transition or an IndexDB transaction. The async helpers inside @ember/test-helpers return promises (i.e. click, andThen, visit, etc). Waiters run periodically after each helper has executed until a predetermined condition is met. After the waiters finish, the next async helper is executed and the process repeats.

    This allows the test suite to pause at deterministic intervals, and helps thread together the async nature of tests.

    Test waiters can be added to application code to provide the necessary integration with the test suite. The waiters will function as intended in development mode, and we strip the vast majority of the functionality in production mode so as to minimize negative performance impact.

    This addon implements the design specified in RFC 581.

    Table of Contents

    Compatibility

    • Ember.js v2.18 or above
    • Ember CLI v2.13 or above

    Installation

    ember install @ember/test-waiters
    

    Quickstart

    @ember/test-waiters uses a minimal API to provide waiting functionality. This minimal API can be composed to accommodate various complex scenarios.

    buildWaiter function

    The buildWaiter function is, in most cases, all you will need to wait for async operations to complete before continuing tests. It returns a waiter instance that provides a number of methods. The key methods that allow you to control async behavior are beginAsync and endAsync, which are expected to be called as a pair to begin waiting and end waiting respectively. The beginAsync method returns a token, which uniquely identifies that async operation. To mark the async operation as complete, call endAsync, passing in the token that was returned from the prior beginAsync call.

    Waiter naming conventions

    When building your waiter, you should ensure you use a meaningful name. At a minimum, your name needs to be constructed of a namespace, and optionally a descriptor in the format namespace[:descriptor]. Suggestions for naming conventions are as follows:

    For apps:

    1. file-name - if your file has only one waiter, the file name becomes the namespace
    2. file-name:waiter-1, file-name:waiter-2, ... - if your file has more than one waiter, the file name becomes the namespace and we add descriptors

    For addons:

    1. addon-name - if your addon has only one waiter, the addon name becomes the namespace
    2. addon-name:waiter-1, addon-name:waiter-2, ... - if your addon has more than one waiter, the addon name becomes the namespace and we add descriptors
    import Component from '@glimmer/component';
    import { buildWaiter } from '@ember/test-waiters';
    
    let waiter = buildWaiter('ember-friendz:friend-waiter');
    
    export default class Friendz extends Component {
      funcWithAsync() {
        let token = waiter.beginAsync();
    
        return makeFriendz()
          .then(() => {
            //... some work
          })
          .finally(() => {
            waiter.endAsync(token);
          });
      }
    }

    waitForPromise function

    This addon also provides a waitForPromise function, which can be used to wrap a promise to register it with the test waiter system. Note: the waitForPromise function will ensure that endAsync is called correctly in the finally call of your promise.

    import Component from '@glimmer/component';
    import { waitForPromise } from '@ember/test-waiters';
    
    export default class MoreFriendz extends Component {
      funcWithAsync() {
        return waitForPromise(makeFriendz).then(() => {
          return goForDrinks();
        });
      }
    }

    waitFor function

    Similar to the waitForPromise function, the waitFor function can be use to wait for async behavior. It can be used with async functions, and in decorator form to wrap an async function so calls to it are registered with the test waiter system. It can also be used with generator functions such as those used in ember-concurrency.

    // wrapping async functions
    import Component from '@glimmer/component';
    import { waitFor } from '@ember/test-waiters';
    
    export default Component.extend({
      doAsyncStuff: waitFor(async function doAsyncStuff() {
        await someAsyncWork();
      }),
    
      funcWithAsync() {
        return this.doAsyncStuff().then(() => {
          doOtherThings();
        });
      },
    });
    // decorator form with async functions
    import Component from '@glimmer/component';
    import { waitFor } from '@ember/test-waiters';
    
    export default class MoreFriendz extends Component {
      @waitFor
      async doAsyncStuff() {
        await someAsyncWork();
      }
    
      funcWithAsync() {
        return this.doAsyncStuff().then(() => {
          doOtherThings();
        });
      }
    }
    // wrapping ember-concurrency tasks
    import Component from '@ember/component';
    import { task } from 'ember-concurrency';
    import { waitFor } from 'ember-test-waiters';
    
    export default Component.extend({
      doTaskStuff: task(waitFor(function* doTaskStuff() {
        yield somethingAsync();
      }
    });
    // decorator form with ember-concurrency tasks
    import Component from '@ember/component';
    import { task } from 'ember-concurrency-decorators';
    import { waitFor } from 'ember-test-waiters';
    
    export default class Friendz extends Component {
      @task
      @waitFor
      *doTaskStuff() {
        yield somethingAsync();
      }
    }

    waitFor acts as a wrapper for the generator function, producing another generator function that is registered with the test waiter system, suitable for wrapping in an ember-concurrency task. So @waitFor/waitFor() needs to be applied directly to the generator function, and @task/task() applied to the result.

    Waiting on all waiters

    The @ember/test-waiters addon provides a waiter-manager to register, unregister, iterate and invoke waiters to determine if we should wait for conditions to be met or continue test execution. This functionality is encapsulated in the hasPendingWaiters function, which evaluates each registered waiter to determine its current state.

    import { hasPendingWaiters } from '@ember/test-waiters';
    
    // ...
    
    // true if waiters are pending, allowing us to still wait for async to complete
    let hasPendingWaiters = hasPendingWaiters();
    
    // ...

    Best Practices

    Use buildWaiter in module scope

    TL;DR - invoke buildWaiter in module scope rather than inside a class itself

    The buildWaiter function, as previously mentioned, returns an instance of a test waiter. That waiter is then used to mark the beginning and end of async operations. Internally, the test waiter instance manages n async operations via a token system, allowing it to work across class instances. Due to this, it's recommended that you do not invoke buildWaiter as part of the class itself. Doing so would require you to provide a unique name, per instance, of each test waiter.

    Instead, the best practice is to invoke buildWaiter in module scope - creating one test waiter instance per module. The waiter can then be used in methods of a class and will automatically provide the type of instance encapsulation that you need.

    Keep beginAsync/endAsync in same block scope

    TL;DR - ensure you keep beginAsync/endAsync calls within the same block scope

    Beginning and ending async operation marking with the beginAsync/endAsync methods of a test waiter should be done as close together as possible. It's very easy to incorrectly invoke beginAsync, and subsequently not invoke a paired endAsync call if your calls are not easy to visualize in the same scope. Invoking these methods in different parts of your code, separate from one another, can increase the chances of making this mistake. As such, the best practice is to keep these related calls as close together as possible.

    General Design

    Ember’s test framework has an internal concept of settledness, that is used by all of its internal helpers. Settledness can be defined as all known active async operations have completed, and there’s no outstanding work to be done. This is codified in the settled helper.

    The settled helper, as noted, wires itself up to known asynchronous behaviors. Those include whether there

    • is an active runloop (more on the runloop)
    • are any pending timers within the runloop (run.later, run.debounce, run.throttle)
    • are any pending test waiters (more on waiters later!)
    • are any pending jQuery.ajax requests
    • are any pending route transitions.

    The settled check returns a Promise that is fulfilled when all of the above behaviors return false, indicating all async for each behavior is completed. These cover a vast number of async behaviors that are typical in our applications.

    An enhancement was added to ember-qunit that allowed for detecting a lack of settledness at the end of a test. This enhancement, test isolation validation, evaluated the settled state once a test was considered done and reported to the user whether there were active async operations pending. This helped developers quickly identify and fix known asynchronous leaks in their tests, allowing for a more deterministic test suite.

    During the development of the test isolation validation feature, we discovered that most asynchronous operations used in the settled check provided good debug information that could be provided to the end user, with the exception of the existing test waiters. Those waiters only provided rudimentary information that could be exposed, specifically whether there were any active test waiters pending, but nothing more.

    To address this, a new addon was written to experiment on a new test waiter system that would provide a number of things (as noted above):

    1. A new API that's explicit and straightforward
    2. A more robust way to gather debugging information for the test waiter
    3. Default test waiters with the ability to author your own, more complex test waiters

    This allows developers to utilize @ember/test-waiters to annotate their asynchronous operations that are not tracked by an await settled() check, and for those annotations to provide useful debugging information in the event their async extended past the expected duration of the test.

    Comparison of old waiters system to new

    In the old test waiters system, you would do the following:

    import { registerWaiter } from '@ember/test';
    
    registerWaiter(function() {
      return myPendingTransactions() === 0;
    });

    While reading the above is straightforward, when writing a test waiter using the old system it's easy to forget what the expected return value is: true or false. Additionally, it's a bit more cognitive overhead to derive what the intended result of the particular boolean return value is: does returning true result in the test waiter waiting or not?

    As mentioned before, there's no additional information provided via registerWaiter, and capturing stack traces at the call site is currently not implemented. Unmanaged async that 'hangs' can cause your tests to stall and ultimately timeout. Not having stack traces is particularly problematic when trying to identify which of many test waiters has caused this timeout, as it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

    The new system captures an error object when the waiter's beginAsync method is called (more on beginAsync later), but evaluates the stack property lazily, when this value is processed by @ember/test-helpers' getSettledState. This allows for identifying the offending code more easily.

    The new test waiters system looks like this:

    import Component from '@glimmer/component';
    import { buildWaiter } from '@ember/test-waiters';
    
    let waiter = buildWaiter('friend-waiter');
    
    export default class Friendz extends Component {
      funcWithAsync() {
        let token = waiter.beginAsync();
    
        someAsyncWork()
          .then(() => {
            //... some work
          })
          .finally(() => {
            waiter.endAsync(token);
          });
      }
    }

    In the above example, a new test waiter is built that is identified via a name string passed into the buildWaiter function. This allows the waiter to be identifiable, and that name is ultimately used with test isolation validation to help developers narrow down problems in their tests.

    New Test Waiters Design

    The new test waiters addon is built using low-level primitives that are complimented with some convenience utilities.

    Waiter

    At its core, the addon uses an Waiter interface defined as follows:

    export type WaiterName = string;
    export type Token = unknown;
    
    export interface Waiter {
      name: WaiterName;
      waitUntil(): boolean;
      debugInfo(): TestWaiterDebugInfo[];
    }
    • name: The name of the test waiter, which is used to help identify it in test isolation validation output.
    • waitUntil: Used to determine if the waiter system should still wait for async operations to complete. The waitUntil method will return true to signal completion.
    • debugInfo: Returns the debugInfo for each item tracking async operations in a waiter. The debugInfo for each waiter item is ultimately used in @ember/test-helpers' getSettledState function, which is used for test isolation validation output.

    This allows for maximum flexibility when creating your own waiter implementations.

    TestWaiter

    The Waiter interface is built upon to create a more specific interface for a test waiter, TestWaiter:

    export interface TestWaiter<T extends object | Primitive | unknown = Token> extends Waiter {
      beginAsync(token?: T, label?: string): T;
      endAsync(token: T): void;
      reset(): void;
    }
    • beginAsync: Should be used to signal the beginning of an async operation that is to be waited for. Invocation of this method should be paired with a subsequent endAsync call to indicate to the waiter system that the async operation is completed.
    • endAsync: Should be used to signal the end of an async operation. Invocation of this method should be paired with a preceding beginAsync call, which would indicate the beginning of an async operation.
    • reset: Resets the waiter state, clearing items tracking async operations in this waiter.

    This interface is used for the concrete TestWaiter type. This type forms the basis for the addon, and will likely satisfy the majority of use cases.

    The most common practice is to import and invoke the buildWaiter function to create a new test waiter. The recommendation is to do so at the module level, which allows a single waiter to be created per type (this should likely be enforced via a lint rule added to eslint-plugin-ember). A single waiter is then usable across multiple instances.

    function buildWaiter(name: string): TestWaiter;

    In anything but a production build, this function will return a TestWaiter instance. When in production mode, we make this instance inert and essentially no cost to invoke. Since test waiters are intended to be called from application or addon code, but are only required to be active when in tests, this process of making the instance inert is important. Even though code is still invoked, this has a negligible impact on performance.

    Using the Test Waiter

    After building a test waiter, most users interact with a limited set of methods within this class, namely beginAsync and endAsync.

    The API used to signal whether an asynchronous operation has begun and ultimately ended is through the paired calls of beginAsync and endAsync: begin to denote the start of the asynchronous operation, and end to denote the end. Unique instances of async operations are identified using a token returned from beginAsync, which is subsequently provided to the endAsync call.

    To annotate the example provided above:

    import Component from '@glimmer/component';
    import { buildWaiter } from '@ember/test-waiters';
    
    // Creates a test waiter with the name 'friend-waiter' that
    // is usable by all instances of the `Friendz` component.
    let waiter = buildWaiter('friend-waiter');
    
    export default class Friendz extends Component {
      funcWithAsync() {
        // Alerts the test waiter system that an async operation has started,
        // storing the resulting unique token to be used to notify the test
        // waiter system that the operation has ended.
        let token = waiter.beginAsync();
    
        someAsyncWork()
          .then(() => {
            //... some work
          })
          .finally(() => {
            // Notifies the test waiter system that
            // this unique async operation has ended.
            waiter.endAsync(token);
          });
      }
    }

    waitForPromise

    The waitForPromise utility provides a convenience wrapper around the TestWaiter class for use with promises. It ensures the endAsync call is invoked in the finally of the configured promise.

    import Component from '@glimmer/component';
    import { waitForPromise } from '@ember/test-waiters';
    
    export default class MoreFriendz extends Component {
      funcWithAsync() {
        waitForPromise(someAsyncWork).then(() => {
          doOtherThings();
        });
      }
    }

    This new test waiters system has been through multiple iterations of refinement, and is in use and integrated with the test isolation validation system.

    Contributing

    See the Contributing guide for details.

    License

    This project is licensed under the MIT License.

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    Install

    npm i @ember/test-waiters

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    Version

    3.0.0

    License

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