Sam Stites

Backbone to Angular Part II

June 17, 2014

17 June 2014 - Redwood City, CA

Lets talk about tests. Yes, tests. Some of you might love the phrase, and some of you may hate it. When it comes to refactoring, however, if you’re not using tests you’re pretty much going to screw yourself somewhere along the road. Even if you’re not a huge fan of TDD, doing test-driven refactors are going to save you a lot of hair pulling down the road. Lets get started.

Tools for tests

Angular was built with the idea that testing needed to be an integral part of the framework. Nothing is merged into core without having tests to go with it. This is imperative for dynamically-typed functions, like javascript, if you want to save yourself the overhead of error checking everything under the sun in your actual codebase.

We have two primary types of tests and test-runners that the angular team recommends. Karma and Protractor. Both are nessecary: Karma for unit-tests, and karma for end-to-end tests. First, lets get started with Karma and unit-testing.

Setting up Karma

If you don’t have karma already in your package.json run:

npm install --save-dev karma

then move into where you’d like to keep all of your tests. For this example, we’ll follow what they do in angular-seed and place a sibling tests folder on the same level as the client-facing app folder.

cd into tests and run karma init karma.conf.js to generate our config file. It’ll look something like the following. I’ll leave it up to you to check out karma’s documentation on the settings you can configure here.

// Karma configuration
module.exports = function(config) {
    // base path, that will be used to resolve files and exclude
    basePath: '',

    // testing framework to use (jasmine/mocha/qunit/...)
    frameworks: ['jasmine'],

    // list of files / patterns to load in the browser
    files: [

    // list of files / patterns to exclude
    exclude: [],

    // web server port
    port: 8080,

    // level of logging
    // possible values: LOG_DISABLE || LOG_ERROR || LOG_WARN || LOG_INFO || LOG_DEBUG
    logLevel: config.LOG_INFO,

    // enable / disable watching file and executing tests whenever any file changes
    autoWatch: false,

    // Start these browsers, currently available:
    // - Chrome
    // - ChromeCanary
    // - Firefox
    // - Opera
    // - Safari (only Mac)
    // - PhantomJS
    // - IE (only Windows)
    browsers: ['Chrome'],

    // Continuous Integration mode
    // if true, it capture browsers, run tests and exit
    singleRun: false

with everything in place, karma start karma.conf.js kicks off the test runner and we are good to go.

Unit Testing

I’m intentionally glossing over the karma stuff because I want to focus on a few use cases on the testing itself. Remember