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Check that an element is hidden via CSS with Spreewald

If you have content inside a page that is hidden by CSS, the following will work with Selenium, but not when using the Rack::Test driver:

Then I should not see "foobear"

This is because the Rack::Test driver does not know if an element is visible, and only looks at the DOM.

Spreewald offers steps to check that an element is hidden by CSS:

Then "foo" should be hidden # "should not be visible" in Spreewald < 1.2.3

You can also check that an element is visible:

Then "foo" shou...
Repeats

jQuery promises: done() and then() are not the same

jQuery's deferred objects behave somewhat like standard promises, but not really.

One of many subtle differences is that there are two ways to chain callbacks to an async functions.

The first one is done, which only exists in jQuery:

$.ajax('/foo').done(function(html) {
  console.debug("The server responded with %s", html);
});

There is also then, which all promise libraries have:

```
$.ajax('/foo').then(function(html) {
console.debug("The server resp…

Rails: Migration helper for inserting records without using models

You should avoid using application models in your migrations. But how else could you create records in a migration?

The most basic way is to write plain SQL, but since INSERT statements are no pleasant write for Rubyists, here is a simple wrapper:

Record creation helper for migrations

The helper method below takes a table name and a hash of attributes, which it inserts into the specified table. Copy it over to your migration and profit!

```
private

def insert_record(table, **attributes)
attributes.merge!( …

Repeats

Be careful when using buttons without a "type" attribute

Be careful when using buttons without a type attribute, since browsers will consider them the default submit button of a form.

Suppose you have this form:

<form action="/save">
  <input type="text" />
  <button onclick="alert('Alert!')">Alert</button>
  <button type="submit">Save</button>
</form>

If you press the enter key inside in the text input, browsers will trigger the first button and show the alert.

To fix this, add a type="button" attribute to the first button.

How to fix HTML elements being cut off when printing

When you print (or print preview) and elements are cut off (e.g. after 1st page, or "randomly") you should check your CSS rules for these:

  • Is there an element with "display: inline-block" that surrounds your content? Make sure it has "display: block" for printing.
    This primarily affects Firefox and Internet Explorer. Chrome seems to be able to handle inline-block elements in most cases.

  • Does the element itself, or a container, define "overflow: hidden"? Use "overflow: auto" (or maybe "overflow: visible") instead.

  • Is th…

Repeats

HTML: Making browsers wrap long words

By default, browsers will not wrap text at syllable boundaries. Text is wrapped at word boundaries only.

This card explains some options to make browsers wrap inside a long word like "Donaudampfschifffahrt".

Option 1: Soft hyphens

Unicode has a soft hyphen character you can use to mark optional word division opportunities. The soft hyphen is an invisible character with zero width. Only when the browser decides to wrap at a soft hyphen, it is turned in…

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Jasmine: Testing AJAX calls that manipulate the DOM

Here is a Javascript function reloadUsers() that fetches a HTML snippet from the server using AJAX and replaces the current .users container in the DOM:

window.reloadUsers = ->
  $.get('/users').then (html) ->
    $('.users').html(html)

Testing this simple function poses a number of challenges:

  • It only works if there is a <div class="users">...</div> container in the current DOM. Obviously the Jasmine spec runner has no such container.
  • The code requests /users and we want to prevent network interaction in our unit test…

chromedriver-helper gem in Gemfile might break you selenium tests (of other projects)

Summary: Don't add chromedriver-helper to the Gemfile

  • the executables might break your tests in projects where chromedriver-helper is not in the Gemfile
  • developers with different chrome versions will have problems using the same chromedriver-helper version

Background

If you install the chromedriver-helper gem, but don't have it in you Gemfile, your selenium tests might fail with:

Selenium::WebDriver::Error::WebDriverError: unable to connect to chromedriver 127.0.0.1:9515

The reason is that chromedriver-helper ov…

How to install packages from newer Ubuntu releases

We're usually running Ubuntu LTS versions. Sometimes newer hardware requires packages from more recent Ubuntu releases that only come with 6 months of support. If there is really no other way, it's possible to install packages from later Ubuntu releases

Caution: Pay really close attention to what you're doing. Depending on the package, this process may require upgrading a lot of dependencies, possibly breaking the system! You really should not do this unless you've carefully calculated the impact on your system

Preparation

First,…

Repeats

JavaScript: Testing the type of a value

Checking if a JavaScript value is of a given type can be very confusing:

  • There are two operators typeof and instanceof which work very differently.
  • JavaScript has some primitive types, like string literals, that are not objects (as opposed to Ruby, where every value is an object).
  • Some values are sometimes a primitive value (e.g. "foo") and sometimes an object (new String("foo")) and each form requires different checks
  • There are three different types for null (null, undefined and NaN) and each has different rules for…
Repeats

Async control flow in JavaScript: Promises, Microtasks, async/await

Slides for Henning's talk on Sep 21st 2017.


Understanding sync vs. async control flow

Talking to synchronous (or "blocking") API

print('script start')
html = http_get('/foo')
print(html)
print('script end')

Script outputs 'script start', (long delay), '<html>...</html>', 'script end'.

Talking to asynchronous (or "evented") API

print('script start')
http_get('foo', done: function(html) {
  print(html)
}
print('script end')

Script outputs `'script st…

Repeats

Fixing flaky integration tests

This card shows basic techniques for fixing a flaky integration test suite that sometimes passes and sometimes fails. "Integration test" is a test script that remote-controls a web browser with tools like Selenium WebDriver.

Although the examples in this card use Cucumber and Selenium, the techniques are applicable to all languages and testing tools.

Why tests are flaky

Your tests probably look like this:

When I click on A
When I click on B
When I click on C
Then I should see effects of C

A test like this works fine most of t…

Repeats

Be careful to use correct HTTP status codes for maintenance pages

When your public-facing application has a longer downtime for server maintenance or long migrations, it's nice to setup a maintenance page to inform your users.

When delivering the maintenance page, be very careful to send the correct HTTP status code. Sending the wrong status code might get you kicked out of Google, or undo years of SEO work.

Here are some ways to shoot yourself in the foot durign maintenance:

  • If all your routes send a "200 OK" with a HTML body "We're b…

How to fix broken font collisions in wkhtmltopdf

If you are using PDFKit / wkhtmltopdf, you might as well want to use custom fonts in your stylesheets. Usually this should not be a problem, but at times they include misleading Meta-information that leads to a strange error in the PDF.

The setup

  • The designer gave you two fonts named something like BrandonText-Regular and BrandonText-Bold. (With flawed Meta-information)
  • You have a HTML string to be rendered by PDFKit
  • For demonstration purposes, this strin…
Repeats

Thread-safe collections in Ruby

When using threads, you must make your code thread-safe. This can be done by either locking (mutexes) all data shared between threads, or by only using immutable data structures. Ruby core classes like String or Array are not immutable.

There's several gems providing thread-safe collection classes in Ruby.

thread_safe

The concurrent-ruby gem provides thread-safe versions of Array and Hash:

```
sa = Concurrent::Array.new # supports standard Array.new forms
sh = Concurre…

Linked content

How to exploit websites that include user input in their CSS

The linked article shows how to exploit websites that include unsanitized user input in their CSS.

Although the article often mentions React and CSS-in-JS libraries, the methods are applicable to any web app that injects user input into style tags or properties.

Also, sanitizing user input for CSS injection is much harder than sanitizing HTML.

Rails: render a template that accepts a block by using the layout option of render

Let's say you have a form that you render a few times but you would like to customize your submit section each time. You can achieve this by rendering your form partial as layout and passing in a block. Your template or partial then serves as the surrounding layout of the block that you pass in. You can then yield back the form to the block and access the form in your block.

record/_form.haml

= form_for record do |form|
  ...
  .form-actions
    yield(form)
  

In order to make your template record/_form.haml accept a block whe…

Linked contentRepeats

Helper methods - RSpec Core

You can define methods in any example group using Ruby's def keyword or define_method method. These helper methods are exposed to examples in the group in which they are defined and groups nested within that group, but not parent or sibling groups.

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