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A simple Jasmine Ajax spying example
window.context = window.describe
describe ".googlePandaStatus", ->
Given -> @ajaxCaptor = jasmine.captor()
Given -> spyOn($, "get")
When -> googlePandaStatus("Happy")
And -> expect($.get).toHaveBeenCalledWith("", @ajaxCaptor.capture())
describe "~ the AJAX success handler", ->
Given -> spyOn(window, "printMessage")
context "a Chinese panda", ->
When -> @ajaxCaptor.value("Chinese")
Then -> expect(printMessage).toHaveBeenCalledWith("Happy Chinese Panda")
context "a Columbus Zoo panda", ->
When -> @ajaxCaptor.value("Columbus Zoo")
Then -> expect(printMessage).toHaveBeenCalledWith("Happy Columbus Zoo Panda")
// Production Source
var googlePandaStatus = function(disposition) {
var aClosureScopedVar = 'Panda';
$.get('',function(data) {
printMessage(disposition+' '+data+' '+aClosureScopedVar);
var printMessage = function() { /* imagine some terribly complex unrelated component that prints messages*/ }

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@searls searls commented Apr 28, 2011

The purpose of this example is to show how a simple spy (in this case, $.get) can be used to specify asynchronous/ajax code. This approach gives us: (1) synchronous execution, (2) an opportunity to discretely specify many contexts of a callback function using nested example groups, and (3) a spec that can exercise arguments sent to the original function, arguments sent to the callback function, and closure scope variables.

I particularly like this structure because your Jasmine specs can appear symmetrical to your JavaScript. And when the nesting goes too deep for comfort, it's a healthy pressure to start extracting new responsibilities.


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@searls searls commented Mar 5, 2012

I just updated the spec code to do a few things (all of which are more typical of how I write specs now). They use:

  1. CoffeeScript
  2. jasmine-given
  3. jasmine-stealth

As a result, the spec is now 18 lines (before, it had been 38 lines)


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@branchgabriel branchgabriel commented Jul 28, 2014

What if your function arg we are capturing has multiple args?
Is there a way to add an array of values for the captured callback? The singular arg only approach only makes this useful some of the time.

When rendering templates with template engines like dust for example. I want to use my captor on the render call. The callback requires err and out arguments. Setting the value of the captor seems like it can't deal with multiple args. I have tried myCaptor.value([arg1, arg2]) but it doesn't seem to work.

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