must

Testing and assertion library with friendly BDD syntax — awesome.must.be.true(). Many expressive matchers and is test runner and framework agnostic. Follows RFC 2119 with its use of MUST. Good and well tested stuff.

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Must.js

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Must.js is a testing and assertion library for JavaScript and Node.js with a friendly BDD syntax (awesome.must.be.true()). It ships with many expressive matchers and is test runner and framework agnostic. Follows RFC 2119 with its use of MUST. Good and well testsed stuff.

For those new to testing JavaScript on Node.js, you'll also need a test framework (also called a test-runner or a harness) to run your tests. One such tool is Mocha.

Tour

  • Assert with a beautiful and fluent chain that saves you from wrapping objects manually and reads nicely, too:

    obj.must.be.true()
    
  • Supports the expect flavor of wrapping as well:

    var demand = require("must")
    demand(obj).be.string()
    
  • Many expressive matchers out of the box, including:

    [].must.be.empty()
    obj.must.have.nonenumerable("foo")
    (42).must.be.above(13)
    
  • Simple, because matchers always behave the same way and don't depend on any "special flags" in the chain. They are also not interdependent the way foo.should.have.property(x).with.lengthOf(5) would be.

  • Reasonable, because it asserts only when you call the matcher [].must.be.empty() and not when you merely get the property empty. See below why asserting on property access is dangerous in other assertion libraries.

  • Has an intelligent and type-safe recursive eql matcher that compares arrays and objects by content and supports value objects. It's fully type-safe, so instances of different classes aren't eql, even if their properties are. It also supports circular and self-referential objects.

    primesBelowTen.must.eql([2, 3, 5, 7])
    model.attributes.must.eql({title: "New", createdAt: new Date(2000, 1, 1)})
    
  • Human readable error messages let you know if an object wasn't what you expected.

  • Honors RFC 2119 by using the word MUST because your tests assert things, they don't list wishes or prayers, right? Exactly! Foo.must.equal(42), not foo.pretty.please.equal(42).

  • Works with any test runner and framework.

  • Avoids type coercions and mismatches.
  • Well tested — over 750 cases in over 2500 lines of tests. That makes a test to code ratio of 5:1.

Using Should.js or Chai.js? Switch for safety!

Among other things, one reason why Should.js and Chai.js inspired me to write Must.js is that they have a fundamental design mistake that makes them both surprising in a bad way and dangerous to use. Read more below.

Installing

Note: Must.js will follow the semantic versioning starting from v1.0.0.

Installing on Node.js

npm install must

Installing for the browser

Must.js doesn't yet have a build ready for the browser, but you might be able to use Browserify to have it run there till then.

Using

To use the fluent chain, just require Must.js and it'll make itself available everywhere:

require("must")

Then just access the must property on any object and call matchers on it.

answer.must.equal(42)
new Date().must.be.an.instanceof(Date)

If you wish to use the expect flavor, assign Must to any name of your choice, e.g:

var expect = require("must")
var demand = require("must")

And call it with the object you wish to assert:

expect(answer).to.equal(42)
demand(null).be.null()

For a list of all matchers, please see the Must.js API Documentation.

Negative asserting or matching the opposite

To assert the opposite, just add not between the chain:

true.must.not.be.false()
[].must.not.be.empty()

Use it multiple times to create lots of fun puzzles! :-)

true.must.not.not.be.true()

Asserting on null and undefined values

In almost all cases you can freely call methods on any object in JavaScript. Except for null and undefined.

Most of the time this won't be a problem, because if you're asserting that something.must.be.true() and something ends up null, the test will still fail. If, however, you do need to assert its nullness, aliasing Must to expect or demand and wrapping it manually works well:

var demand = require("must")
demand(something).be.null()
demand(undefined).be.undefined()

Autoloading

If your test runner supports an options file, you might want to require Must there so you wouldn't have to remember to require in each test file.

For Mocha, that file is test/mocha.opts:

--require must

Full example

Inside a test runner or framework things would look something like this:

require("must")
var MySong = require("../my_song")

describe("MySong", function() {
  it("must be creatable", function() {
    new MySong().must.be.an.instanceof(MySong)
  })

  it("must have cowbell", function() {
    new MySong().cowbell.must.be.true()
  })

  it("must not have pop", function() {
    new MySong().must.not.have.property("pop")
  })
})

API

For extended documentation on all matchers and other objects that come with Must.js, please see the Must.js API Documentation.

Must

Migrating to Must.js

You're likely to be already using some testing library and have a set of tests in them. I'm honored you picked Must.js to go forward. Let's get you up to speed on how Must.js differs from others and how to migrate your old tests over.

From Should.js

Must.js and Should.js are fairly similar when it comes to matchers.

  • Just add parentheses after each assertion and you're almost set.
  • Must.js does not have static matchers like should.not.exist(obj.foo).
    Convert to demand(foo).not.to.exist().
  • Must.js lacks with.lengthOf because its matchers are all independent.
    Convert to obj.must.have.length(5)
  • Must.js lacks the ok matcher because unambiguous names are better.
    Convert to truthy.
  • Must.js does not support custom error descriptions.

Here's a quick sed script to convert obj.should.xxx style to obj.must.xxx():

sed -i.should -E -f /dev/stdin test/**/*.js <<-end
  /\.should\.([[:alpha:].]+)([[:space:]}\);]|$)/s/\.should\.([[:alpha:].]+)/.must.\1()/g
  s/\.should\.([[:alpha:].]+)/.must.\1/g
end

From Chai.js

Must.js and Chai.js are fairly similar when it comes to matchers.

  • Just add parentheses after each assertion and you're almost set.
    That goes for both the BDD (obj.should) and expect (expect(obj).to) flavor.
  • Must.js lacks the include flag because its matchers are all independent.
    Convert to Object.keys(obj).must.include("foo").
  • Must.js lacks the deep flag for the equal matcher because eql already compares recursively and in a type-safe way.
    Convert to obj.must.eql({some: {deep: "object"}}).
  • Must.js lacks the deep flag for the property matcher because it prefers regular property access.
    Convert to obj.some.nested.property.must.equal(42).
  • Must.js lacks the ok matcher because unambiguous names are better.
    Convert to truthy.
  • Must.js lacks the respondTo matcher because unambiguous names are better.
    Convert to MyClass.prototype.must.be.a.function().

Here's a quick sed script to convert obj.should.xxx style to obj.must.xxx():

sed -i.should -E -f /dev/stdin test/**/*.js <<-end
  /\.should\.([[:alpha:].]+)([[:space:]}\);]|$)/s/\.should\.([[:alpha:].]+)/.must.\1()/g
  s/\.should\.([[:alpha:].]+)/.must.\1/g
end

Convert test case titles to MUST

If you've used the should style before, you most likely have test cases titled it("should do good").
Migrate those to it("must do good") with this sed script:

sed -i.should -E -e 's/it\("should/it("must/g' test/**/*.js

Beware of libraries that assert on property access

Among other things, one reason why Should.js and Chai.js inspired me to write Must.js is that they have a fundamental design mistake that makes them both surprising in a bad way and dangerous to use.

It has to do with them asserting on property access, like this:

true.should.be.true
[].should.be.empty

What initially may seem familiar to Ruby programmers, first of all, is out of place in JavaScript. Dot-something stands for getting a property's value and getters, regardless of language, should not have side-effects. Especially not control-flow changing exceptions!

Secondly, and this is where it's flat out dangerous asserting on property access, is that accessing a non-existent property does nothing in JavaScript. Recall that JavaScript does not have Ruby's method_missing or other hooks to catch such access. So, guess what happens when someone mistypes or mis-remembers a matcher? Yep, nothin' again. And that's the way it's supposed to be. But what's good in JavaScript, not so good for your now false positive test.

Imagine using a plugin that adds matchers for spies or mocks. Then using it with someFn.should.have.been.calledOnce. Someone accidentally removes the plugin or thinks calledQuadrice sounds good? Well, those assertions will surely continue passing because they'll now just get undefined back.

Must.js solves both problems with the simplest but effective solution — requires you to always call matchers because they're plain-old functions — expect(problem).to.not.exist().

License

Must.js is released under a Lesser GNU Affero General Public License, which in summary means:

  • You can use this program for no cost.
  • You can use this program for both personal and commercial reasons.
  • You do not have to share your own program's code which uses this program.
  • You have to share modifications (e.g bug-fixes) you've made to this program.

For more convoluted language, see the LICENSE file.

About

Andri Möll typed this and the code.
Monday Calendar supported the engineering work.

If you find Must.js needs improving, please don't hesitate to type to me now at andri@dot.ee or create an issue online.

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