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Grunt and PhantomJS, sitting in a tree


Grunt and PhantomJS, sitting in a tree.

The best way to understand how this lib should be used is by looking at the grunt-contrib-qunit plugin. Mainly, look at how the lib is required, how event handlers are bound and how PhantomJS is actually spawned.

Also, in the case of the grunt-contrib-qunit plugin, it's important to know that the page being loaded into PhantomJS doesn't know it will be loaded into PhantomJS, and as such doesn't have any PhantomJS->Grunt code in it. That communication code, aka. the "bridge", is dynamically injected into the html page.

If a Grunt task looked something like this:

grunt.registerTask('mytask', 'Integrate with phantomjs.', function() {
  var phantomjs = require('grunt-lib-phantomjs').init(grunt);
  var errorCount = 0;
  // Handle any number of namespaced events like so. 
  phantomjs.on('mytask.ok', function(msg) {
  phantomjs.on('mytask.error', function(msg) {
  // Create some kind of "all done" event. 
  phantomjs.on('mytask.done', function() {
  // Built-in error handlers. 
  phantomjs.on('fail.load', function(url) {
    grunt.warn('PhantomJS unable to load URL.');
  phantomjs.on('fail.timeout', function() {
    grunt.warn('PhantomJS timed out.');
  // This task is async. 
  var done = this.async();
  // Spawn phantomjs 
  phantomjs.spawn('test.html', {
    // Additional PhantomJS options. 
    options: {},
    // Complete the task when done. 
    done: function(err) {
      done(err || errorCount === 0);

And test.html looked something like this (note the "bridge" is hard-coded into this page and not injected):

<!doctype html>
// Send messages to the parent PhantomJS process via alert! Good times!!
function sendMessage() {
  var args = [];
sendMessage('mytask.ok', 'Something worked.');
sendMessage('mytask.error', 'Something failed.');

Then running Grunt would behave something like this:

$ grunt mytask
Running "mytask" task
Something worked.
>> Something failed.
Warning: Task "mytask" failed. Use --force to continue.
Aborted due to warnings.

Call this when everything has finished successfully, or when something horrible happens, and you need to clean up and abort.

Spawn a PhantomJS process. The method returns a reference to the spawned process.
This method has the following arguments:

Type: string
Default: no default value, the user has to set it explicitly.

URL or path to the page .html test file to run.

Type: object

The options object has these possible properties:

Type: function
Default: no default value, the user has to set it explicitly.

The callback to call when the task is done.

Type: number
Default: 0

The error code to exit with when an Error occurs.

Type: number
Default: 1000 ms

The timeout in milliseconds after which the PhantomJS process will be killed.

Type: object
Default: {}

Additional options to passe to PhantomJS. This object has the following properties:

Type: number
Default: undefined

PhantomJS' timeout, in milliseconds.

Type: string|array
Default: undefined

One or multiple (array) JavaScript file names to inject into the page.

Type: object
Default: undefined

An object of options for the PhantomJS page object.

Type: boolean
Default: undefined

Saves a screenshot on failure

PhantomJS requires these dependencies on Ubuntu/Debian:

apt-get install libfontconfig1 fontconfig libfontconfig1-dev libfreetype6-dev