Jasmine Dynamic Fixtures

Ryan Sonnek bio photo By Ryan Sonnek Comment

How many times has this happened on your team…

  1. A Javascript test relies on a chunk of static HTML markup modeled after the actual markup used within your application. The jasmine-jquery library makes this simple and straightforward.
  2. Another developer/designer changes the HTML markup within the application, but forgets to update the static test HTML fixture used by the testcase.
  3. The Javascript test suite does not detect the regression. Your tests continue to pass since they are loading a static HTML fixture that is now out of sync with the actual markup used in your app.
  4. Bugs are released to production and your Javascript no longer works as expected.

It’s a simple mistake that is 100% preventable if your Javascript test suite could re-use the same markup for both the real application and the relevant tests. The recent jasmine-rails release now includes an elegant way to get rid of those fragile static HTML fixtures and leverage the markup used within your application!

The JasmineRails save_fixture helper method can be used within any Rspec controller or view test to safe off HTML fixtures that can later be re-used by your Jasmine test suite. This assumes of course that your runs Rspec before Jasmine.

require 'spec_helper'

describe 'users/show.html.haml' do
  before do
  it 'saves html fixture for Javascript specs' do
    save_fixture 'users/show.html'

After your Rspec test suite completes, these fixtures are saved to the spec/javascripts/fixtures/generated directory. The spec/javascripts/fixtures directory can still be used for any static fixtures used by your application and the dynamic generated fixtures will be overwritten every time you run the Rspec tests. The generated fixtures are also automatically ignored by Git, so you don’t need to worry about polluting your project repository.

├── generated
│   └── users
│       └── show.html
└── static_fixture.html

These dynamically generated fixtures can now be loaded by your Jasmine specs with the jasmine-jquery library by tweaking the path used by the loadFixtures call.

describe('users/show.js', function() {
  'use strict';
  beforeEach(function() {
  it('loads generated HTML fixtures', function() {
    // assert something here

This solution has been a huge success for our team, and has successfully caught several regressions by our standard continuous integration process (and not by our customers).