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Inspired by tape-watch, since that was the fastest solution I could find to run tape tests in watch mode, but I got annoyed by the memory leak warnings it was throwing and also thought I could make the experience a bit more fun.



  • Runs tape tests after modifications, while keeping the require cache for node_module files, saving on startup time
  • Only reports details for failing tests
  • Prints a meaningful stack trace for runtime exceptions
  • A watchdog lets you know if you forgot about t.end(), the process doesn't just hangs up waiting for it
  • Provides an interactive terminal that lets you set how you want to see your result during runtime


From command line if installed globally:

tape-watcher 'src/**.spec.js'

Or install locally as a dev dependency and add it to package json scripts:

"tdd": "tape-watcher src/**.spec.js"

Commands during run:

Type in the letters while the watch mode is active and press enter. A new run will be triggered with the changed option taking effect.

  • d: toggle showing actual and expected or their colored diff
  • i: toggle printing values with or without and indentation
  • 1 to 9: set objectPrintDepth for printing
  • r: manually trigger the re-run of all the tests (not needed if watch is working well)
  • q: quit, exit process (same as hitting ctrl + c)


npm i tape-watcher --save-dev