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Deity is a property generating tool for use when writing tests. It works well with tools like mocha.

You can read my introductory article on Deity here: Introducing Deity.

Given a string specifying a generator and arguments, Deity will call a given function a number of times with data generated from the specified generator.

deity('string:10-20', function (str) {
    // This function will be called 100 times (by default)
    // str will equal a string of random length between 10 and 20

You can give it any number of generator strings:

deity('string:10-20', 'number:5-7', function (str, num) {
    // This function will be called 100 times
    // str will equal a string of random length between 10 and 20
    // num will equal a random number between 5 and 7

It also supports plugins, for example the plugin:

deity('randomuser', function (user) {
    // user will equal an object representing a randomly generated user

You can play with different generator strings on the Deity website and read the API documentation below.


deity( ...generatorStrings [ , options ] , callback )

The first argument, generatorString, is a string containing the name of the generator to use (for example, "string" or "number"), followed by some arguments to give to the generator, all separated by colons. This argument can be repeated as many times as you want.

The next argument is optional, and is an object where you can specify a number of options to override the defaults with, such as the number of time to call the callback.

The final argument should be the testing function to be called with the generated data. If you specify multiple generator strings, each one will be called as a separate argument of the function.

The Deity function returns a promise which is resolved or rejected depending on whether any errors are thrown in the callback function.

Usage with mocha

Calling the deity() function returns a promise which is either resolved or rejected with any errors thrown inside the callback. To use Deity with mocha, simply return the promise:

it('should return the same value every time', function () {
    return deity('number:0-1000', function (num) {
        assert.equal(myFunc(num), myFunc(num));

Note that in some cases when both the generator and testing function are synchronous, you don't need to return the promise, because the errors will be thrown normally.

Types of generators


The string generator generates strings of length n where n is a random number between two specified numbers.

string:5-10, for example, will generate strings of random length between 5 and 10 characters.

The letters the string is generated from is by default the capital letters A-Z, but this can be configured using the letters option (just specify a string of characters to get the characters from).

deity('string:5-10', { letters: 'ABCDEFG' }, function (str) {
    // str will contain 5-10 characters in the range "A-G".

If not specified, the default length of the string is 10-20.


This generator generates numbers within a given range of numbers at, if specified, a given precision.

  • number:3.1-4.7 will generate random numbers between 3.1 and 4.7.
  • number:0-10:0.1 will generate random numbers between 0 and 10, rounded to one decimal place.
  • number:0-1000:10 will generate random numbers between 0 and 1000, rounded to the nearest ten.

The precision is optional: if not specified, the number will not be rounded (and as such, is extremely unlikely to be an integer). The range is also optional and defaults to "0-1".


The int generator is very similar to the number generator, but only generates whole numbers.

deity('int:-20-30', function (num) {
    // num will equal random integers between -20 and 30.

The range again is optional, and defaults to "0-10".


The char generator generates characters in a given range with a default of "A-Z".

  • char will generate random characters
  • char:A-M will generate random characters in the first half of the alphabet.


The boolean generator generates true or false values with an optional bias. The bias should be a number between 0 and 1. The closer the number to 1, the more likely it is that "true" will be generated.

deity('boolean:0.9', function (bool) {
    // bool will be true nine times out of ten

If the bias isn't specified, it will return true 50% of the time, and false the remaining 50% of the time.


To explain the oneOf generator and a few of the generators below, we introduce the concept of subgenerators. A subgenerator is a generator specified in brackets given as an argument to another generator.

The oneOf generator takes a number of generators, and picks one of them randomly to generate a value from. For example, take the following generator:

deity('oneOf:(int:10-20):(char):(boolean:0.2)', function (value) {
    // What will value be?

In that example, the value variable will equal either:

  • An integer between 10 and 20
  • A character
  • Or a boolean with a 20% chance of being true


This generator is similar to the oneOf generator, but instead of picking one of the generators, it uses all of them to generate an array where the first element will be a value generated by the first generator, the second element will be a value generated by the second generator, and so on.

deity('array:(int:10-20):(char):(boolean:0.2)', function (value) {
    // value[0] will be an integer between 10 and 20
    // value[1] will be a character
    // value[2] will be a boolean with a 20% chance of being true

For example, value in that case could be [15, 'F', false].


This generator generates the result of a given subgenerator called n times, concatenated together as a string.

deity('repeat:4:(char:A-F)', function (str) {
    // str will equal a string of length 4 containing only character "A-F".


The literal generator is mostly used internally. It takes a literal value and returns that value every time.

  • literal:"test" will generate "test" repeatedly.
  • literal:4 will generate "4" repeatedly.

Internally, it uses the JSON parser to turn the value into an object, so you could specify more complicated values like arrays and objects.


The entry generator uses a given array or object to generate random values from the array or object. As the generator string is a string, the collection is specified in the options:

deity('entry', { collection: [1, 3, 5] }, function (num) {
    // num will equal either 1, 3, or 5

The generator also has an argument to specify the name of the option to use, but there aren't many cases you'd have to use it in:

deity('entry:ary', { ary: [1, 3, 5] }, function (num) {
    // num will equal either 1, 3, or 5

Special generators

A few generators have short forms you can use:


Will expand out to repeat:n:(generator).

"literal string values"

Will expand out to literal:"literal string values".

Number and character ranges

You can specify number and character generators without the number and char prefixes:

  • A-Z will expand out to char:A-Z.
  • 3.5-10 will expand out to number:3.5-10.

Plugins and custom generators

Deity is easily extensible using plugins, and as they are ES6 generators, it is pretty simple to write your own.

Loading a plugin

If you have a plugin you want to load, or you found a plugin on npm by searching "deity-plugin", you can use the deity.extend() function to load it into Deity. Take the following example:

var deity = require('deity');
var randomuser = require('deity-randomuser');
deity('randomuser', function (user) {
    // Do something with user

You can also change the name you want the generator to be added as:

deity.extend('user', randomuser);
deity('user', function (user) {
    // Do something with user

There is only one plugin available right now:

Writing a plugin

You can read how to create your own plugin in this article: (coming soon). They're just ES6 generators, though:

deity.extend('myGenerator', function* () {
    while (true) {
        yield 'This is the value given to the deity callback';


You can install Deity from npm:

$ npm install --save-dev deity


Released under the MIT license.




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