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I've recently started using jasmine to do javascript unit testing. loving it so far.

one of the projects i'm working on is a plugin for backbone.js. since backbone is an mvc style framework for javascript, a lot of what it does is view manipulation - typically through jquery. my plugin is no exception to this. i have several things being manipulated in html elements, through backbone views.

right now, i am doing what might be some awful stuff to make this worth with jasmine. here's an example of how i'm laying out my tests:

describe("conventionBindings", function(){
  beforeEach(function(){
    this.model = new AModel({name: "Some Name"});
    this.view = new AView({model: this.model});
    this.view.render();
  });

  afterEach(function(){
    this.view.close();
  });

  describe("... that thing it does ... ", function(){
    it("... stuff .... ", function(){
    });
  });
});

The important bits here, are the beforeEach and afterEach. notice that i'm calling my view's render method, and then my view's close method.

here's what those methods do:

AView = Backbone.View.extend({
  render: function(){
    this.html = $("");
    $("body").append(this.html);
  },

  close: function(){
    this.html.remove();
  }
});

i'm specifically adding this "close" method to my view for the tests, because if i don't, then the jasmine page that i'm viewing when i run the jasmine test server would show the inputs that i've appended to the body of the page.

so... here's my questions:

is this a horrible thing to be doing? should i be testing my views and html element manipulations in some way other than appending elements to the body of the page?

right now i don't have a need to run these tests in any kind of CI server, but if i do, what kind of problems will i run into? how can i write better jasmine tests, so that i can test my backbone plugin in a CI server, knowing that the plugin has to manipulate html elements during the test?

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1 Answer

I found this article a great resource for getting started with testing jasmine.

Testing Backbone applications with Jasmine and Sinon

In his write-up he's specifically appending elements to the page using setFixtures. So a similar method and it's the way I've used in the past. As far as best practice we might want to see how others feel about this method. I can't think of another way to perform the rendering without putting it on the page.

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