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Waiting for page loads and AJAX requests to finish with Capybara

If you're using the Capybara webdriver, steps sometimes fail because the browser hasn't finished loading the next page yet, or it still has a pending AJAX request. You'll often see workarounds like

When I wait for the page to load
Then ...

Workarounds like this do not work reliably, will result in flickering tests and should be avoided. There is no known reliable way to detect if the browser has finished loading the page.

Solution

Instead you should wait until you can observe the result of a page load. E.g. if y…

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Testing regular expressions visually

Developing complex regular expressions quickly blows my mind. Here are some online regex editors that help you by highlighting matching text and capture groups:

How to: Specify size of Selenium browser window

Applications often show or hide elements based on viewport dimensions, or may have components that behave differently (like mobile vs desktop navigation menus).
Since you want your integration tests to behave consistently, you want to set a specific size for your tests' browser windows.

Using WebDriver options / Chrome device metrics

For Google Chrome, the preferred way is setting "device metrics". This allows you to configure dimensions larger than your display and enable/disable touch behavior.

Simply use register_driver to set up…

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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…
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Don't use the || operator to set defaults

I often see the use of || to set a default value for a variable that might be nil, null or undefined.

x = x || 'default-value'

This pattern should be avoided in all languages.

While using || works as intended when x is null or an actual object, it also sets the default value for other falsy values, such as false. false is a non-blank value that you never want to override with a default.

To make it worse, languages like JavaScript or Perl have [many more fal…

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Cancelling event propagation

Within an event handler, there are multiple methods to cancel event propagation, each with different semantics.

  • event.preventDefault()

    Only prevents the default browser behavior for the click, i.e. going to a different url or submitting a form.

  • event.stopPropagation()

    Only prevents the event from bubbling up the DOM. Note this effectively also cancels any event handlers attached through jQuery's live method, since those depend on bubbling.

  • event.stopImmediatePropagation()

    Prevents the event from bubbling up the DOM…

Linked contentAuto-destruct in 29 days

Updated: Raising JavaScript errors in Cucumber scenarios and how to silence them for particular scenarios

Added:

Cucumber output doesn't show JavaScript errors with the default progress formatter

Cucumber's "progress" formatter (many dots) do not show the JavaScript errors raised in the AfterStep above. The scenario will simply fail without an error message.

To see the error message, use the verbose formatter:

cucumber --debug

Or if you are using geordi:

geordi cucumber --debug
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Using CSS transitions

CSS transitions are a simple animation framework that is built right into browsers. No need for Javascript here. They're supported by all browsers.

Basic usage

Transitions are used to animate the path between to property values. For example, to let the text color fade from red to green on hover, the following SASS is used (shorthand syntax):

.element
  color: red
  transition: color .1s
  
  &:hover
    color: green

This tells the browser "whenever the color of an .element changes…

Linked contentDeprecated

CSS-Style

Richard Powell presents a collection of CSS styling advice that's mainly taken from SMACSS. Although at makandra we're using BEM instead of SMACSS, here's my favorites.

Do not use ID's in CSS Selectors

It is never safe to assume there will only ever be one of something on a page so do not use ID's for CSS. Id's are much better used as javascript hooks so use them for this instead.

.list {…} instead of #list {…}

Animate an interface using classes not inline styles

Inline styles added by javascript are h…

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How to solve Selenium focus issues

Selenium cannot reliably control a browser when its window is not in focus, or when you accidentally interact with the browser frame. This will result in flickering tests, which are "randomly" red and green. In fact, this behavior is not random at all and completely depends on whether or not the browser window had focus at the time.

This card will give you a better understanding of Selenium focus issues, and what you can do to get your test suite stable again.

Preventing accidental interaction with the Selenium window ——————–…

Linked contentAuto-destruct in 19 days

Updated: An intro to Javascript promises

Restructured card for new situation: native promises are implemented in all major browsers.

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Google Analytics: Change the tracked URL path

By default, Google Analytics tracks the current URL for every request. Sometimes you will want to track another URL instead, for example:

  • When an application URL contains a secret (e.g. an access token)
  • When you want to track multiple URLs under the same bucket
  • When you want to track interactions that don't have a corresponding URL + request (e.g. a Javascript button or a PDF download)

Luckily the Analytics code snippet allows you to freely choose what path is being tracked. Simple change this:

ga('send', 'pageview');

… to th…

DOM API for jQuery users

General hints on the DOM

  • the root of the DOM is document
  • custom elements inherit from HTMLElement. They need a - (dash) in their name, e.g. <notification-box>.
  • event listeners don't have event delegation à la .on('click', cssSelector, handler)

Comparison

Action jQuery DOM API equivalent
Find descendant(s) by CSS selector .find(selector) one: `.querySelector(selecto…
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Unpoly: Automatically show the full better_errors page when Rails raises an error

When an AJAX request raises an exception on the server, Rails will show a minimal error page with only basic information. Because all Unpoly updates work using AJAX requests, you won't get the more detailled better_errors page with the interactive REPL.

Below is an event listener that automatically repeats the request as a full-page load if your development error shows an error page. This means you get…

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RubyMine: Efficiently filtering results in the "Finder" overlay

RubyMine comes with a nice way to grep through your project's files: The finder (ctrl + shift + f). Don't be discouraged about the notice 100+ matches in n+ files if your searched keyword is too general or widely used in your project.

Image

RubyMine comes with a few ways to narrow down the resulting list, don't hesitate to apply those filters to speed up your search. Your keybinding might vary based on your personal settings.

File mask (alt + k)

If you already know the file extension of your …

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Webpack(er): A primer

webpack is a very powerful asset bundler written in node.js to bundle (ES6) JavaScript modules, stylesheets, images, and other assets for consumption in browsers.

Webpacker is a wrapper around webpack that handles integration with Rails.

This is a short introduction.

Installation

If you haven't already, you need to install node.js and Yarn.

Then, put

```ruby
gem 'webpacker', '~> 4.x' # check if 4.x is still cu…

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Capybara/Selenium: evaluate_script might freeze your browser, use execute_script

In a nutshell: Do not use evaluate_script. Use execute_script instead!


Capybara gives you two different methods for executing Javascript:

page.evaluate_script("$('input').focus()")
page.execute_script("$('input').focus()")

While you can use both, the first line (with evaluate_script) might freeze your Firefox window for 10 seconds.

The reason is that evaluate_script will always return a result. The return value will be converted back to Ruby objects, which in case of complex objects (e.g. a jQuery collection) is *ver…

Adding Jasmine JavaScript specs to a Webpack(er) project

The goal is to get Jasmine specs running in a Rails project using Webpacker, with the browser based test runner. Should be easily adaptable to a pure Webpack setup.

Image

Step 1: Install Jasmine

yarn add jasmine-core

Step 2: Add two separate packs

Since we do not want to mix Jasmine into our regular Javascript, we will create two additional packs. The first only contains Jasmine and the test runner. The second will contain our normal application code and the specs themselves.

We cannot…

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