Mehul Kar

Apr 24, 2018

Debugging Flaky Ember Tests

ember.js testing

Sometimes tests can be reaaaally flaky and fail intermittently. It can be hard to chase these down, especially becuase it’s not immediately clear how to reproduce an error. When I worked more with Ruby code, I loved how Rspec could run tests in a random order, but would tell you the seed value, so that if a random ordering revealed a breakage, you could use the seed value to run the exact same ordering again. I couldn’t find an easy to way to do this in Qunit1, so I figured out a more hacky way to run tests enough times that I would hopefully reproduce my intermittent failures and be able to debug live.

Here’s how I did it:

Run test suite multiple times

I usually use ember server and then look at tests on the /tests page. This works for day-to-day development, but to really start from scratch it’s better to run ember test. To do that, I used a good ole bash loop.

for i in {1..20}; do ember test; done

Turn off headless mode

By default, ember test runs in headless Chrome. To debug and use Dev Tools, we want to use Chrome, but not in headless mode. To turn off headless, remove the --headless config in Testem config in testem.js.

Open Dev Tools automatically

Instead of futzing around with log statements, I wanted to just set a debugger and use Dev Tools. But when that Chrome window opens, it can be heard to get Dev Tools open right away. Automatically open them using the --auto-open-devtools-for-tabs flag in Testem config (testem.js), which is a Chrome CLI argument.

Increase timeout values

Pausing the debugger can keep the browser and the test process running for a long time and just exit while you’re in the middle of debugging. You can increase the timeout to some large number by setting the browser_start_timeout and browser_disconnect_timeout values in Testem config.

Alerts

Of course when you’re running your test suite 20 times back to back waiting for something to fail, you don’t want to sit and stare at your computer. You’d much rather sit and stare at the TV while the computer is working. To get around that, you can play a beep when the test fails2:

test('soemthing', assert => {
  const passed = actual === expected;
  if (!passed) {
    beep();
  }
  assert.ok(passed);
});

function beep() {
  var snd = new Audio("data:audio/wav;base64,//uQRAAAAWMSLwUIYAAsYkXgoQwAEaYLWfkWgAI0wWs/ItAAAGDgYtAgAyN+QWaAAihwMWm4G8QQRDiMcCBcH3Cc+CDv/7xA4Tvh9Rz/y8QADBwMWgQAZG/ILNAARQ4GLTcDeIIIhxGOBAuD7hOfBB3/94gcJ3w+o5/5eIAIAAAVwWgQAVQ2ORaIQwEMAJiDg95G4nQL7mQVWI6GwRcfsZAcsKkJvxgxEjzFUgfHoSQ9Qq7KNwqHwuB13MA4a1q/DmBrHgPcmjiGoh//EwC5nGPEmS4RcfkVKOhJf+WOgoxJclFz3kgn//dBA+ya1GhurNn8zb//9NNutNuhz31f////9vt///z+IdAEAAAK4LQIAKobHItEIYCGAExBwe8jcToF9zIKrEdDYIuP2MgOWFSE34wYiR5iqQPj0JIeoVdlG4VD4XA67mAcNa1fhzA1jwHuTRxDUQ//iYBczjHiTJcIuPyKlHQkv/LHQUYkuSi57yQT//uggfZNajQ3Vmz+Zt//+mm3Wm3Q576v////+32///5/EOgAAADVghQAAAAA//uQZAUAB1WI0PZugAAAAAoQwAAAEk3nRd2qAAAAACiDgAAAAAAABCqEEQRLCgwpBGMlJkIz8jKhGvj4k6jzRnqasNKIeoh5gI7BJaC1A1AoNBjJgbyApVS4IDlZgDU5WUAxEKDNmmALHzZp0Fkz1FMTmGFl1FMEyodIavcCAUHDWrKAIA4aa2oCgILEBupZgHvAhEBcZ6joQBxS76AgccrFlczBvKLC0QI2cBoCFvfTDAo7eoOQInqDPBtvrDEZBNYN5xwNwxQRfw8ZQ5wQVLvO8OYU+mHvFLlDh05Mdg7BT6YrRPpCBznMB2r//xKJjyyOh+cImr2/4doscwD6neZjuZR4AgAABYAAAABy1xcdQtxYBYYZdifkUDgzzXaXn98Z0oi9ILU5mBjFANmRwlVJ3/6jYDAmxaiDG3/6xjQQCCKkRb/6kg/wW+kSJ5//rLobkLSiKmqP/0ikJuDaSaSf/6JiLYLEYnW/+kXg1WRVJL/9EmQ1YZIsv/6Qzwy5qk7/+tEU0nkls3/zIUMPKNX/6yZLf+kFgAfgGyLFAUwY//uQZAUABcd5UiNPVXAAAApAAAAAE0VZQKw9ISAAACgAAAAAVQIygIElVrFkBS+Jhi+EAuu+lKAkYUEIsmEAEoMeDmCETMvfSHTGkF5RWH7kz/ESHWPAq/kcCRhqBtMdokPdM7vil7RG98A2sc7zO6ZvTdM7pmOUAZTnJW+NXxqmd41dqJ6mLTXxrPpnV8avaIf5SvL7pndPvPpndJR9Kuu8fePvuiuhorgWjp7Mf/PRjxcFCPDkW31srioCExivv9lcwKEaHsf/7ow2Fl1T/9RkXgEhYElAoCLFtMArxwivDJJ+bR1HTKJdlEoTELCIqgEwVGSQ+hIm0NbK8WXcTEI0UPoa2NbG4y2K00JEWbZavJXkYaqo9CRHS55FcZTjKEk3NKoCYUnSQ0rWxrZbFKbKIhOKPZe1cJKzZSaQrIyULHDZmV5K4xySsDRKWOruanGtjLJXFEmwaIbDLX0hIPBUQPVFVkQkDoUNfSoDgQGKPekoxeGzA4DUvnn4bxzcZrtJyipKfPNy5w+9lnXwgqsiyHNeSVpemw4bWb9psYeq//uQZBoABQt4yMVxYAIAAAkQoAAAHvYpL5m6AAgAACXDAAAAD59jblTirQe9upFsmZbpMudy7Lz1X1DYsxOOSWpfPqNX2WqktK0DMvuGwlbNj44TleLPQ+Gsfb+GOWOKJoIrWb3cIMeeON6lz2umTqMXV8Mj30yWPpjoSa9ujK8SyeJP5y5mOW1D6hvLepeveEAEDo0mgCRClOEgANv3B9a6fikgUSu/DmAMATrGx7nng5p5iimPNZsfQLYB2sDLIkzRKZOHGAaUyDcpFBSLG9MCQALgAIgQs2YunOszLSAyQYPVC2YdGGeHD2dTdJk1pAHGAWDjnkcLKFymS3RQZTInzySoBwMG0QueC3gMsCEYxUqlrcxK6k1LQQcsmyYeQPdC2YfuGPASCBkcVMQQqpVJshui1tkXQJQV0OXGAZMXSOEEBRirXbVRQW7ugq7IM7rPWSZyDlM3IuNEkxzCOJ0ny2ThNkyRai1b6ev//3dzNGzNb//4uAvHT5sURcZCFcuKLhOFs8mLAAEAt4UWAAIABAAAAAB4qbHo0tIjVkUU//uQZAwABfSFz3ZqQAAAAAngwAAAE1HjMp2qAAAAACZDgAAAD5UkTE1UgZEUExqYynN1qZvqIOREEFmBcJQkwdxiFtw0qEOkGYfRDifBui9MQg4QAHAqWtAWHoCxu1Yf4VfWLPIM2mHDFsbQEVGwyqQoQcwnfHeIkNt9YnkiaS1oizycqJrx4KOQjahZxWbcZgztj2c49nKmkId44S71j0c8eV9yDK6uPRzx5X18eDvjvQ6yKo9ZSS6l//8elePK/Lf//IInrOF/FvDoADYAGBMGb7FtErm5MXMlmPAJQVgWta7Zx2go+8xJ0UiCb8LHHdftWyLJE0QIAIsI+UbXu67dZMjmgDGCGl1H+vpF4NSDckSIkk7Vd+sxEhBQMRU8j/12UIRhzSaUdQ+rQU5kGeFxm+hb1oh6pWWmv3uvmReDl0UnvtapVaIzo1jZbf/pD6ElLqSX+rUmOQNpJFa/r+sa4e/pBlAABoAAAAA3CUgShLdGIxsY7AUABPRrgCABdDuQ5GC7DqPQCgbbJUAoRSUj+NIEig0YfyWUho1VBBBA//uQZB4ABZx5zfMakeAAAAmwAAAAF5F3P0w9GtAAACfAAAAAwLhMDmAYWMgVEG1U0FIGCBgXBXAtfMH10000EEEEEECUBYln03TTTdNBDZopopYvrTTdNa325mImNg3TTPV9q3pmY0xoO6bv3r00y+IDGid/9aaaZTGMuj9mpu9Mpio1dXrr5HERTZSmqU36A3CumzN/9Robv/Xx4v9ijkSRSNLQhAWumap82WRSBUqXStV/YcS+XVLnSS+WLDroqArFkMEsAS+eWmrUzrO0oEmE40RlMZ5+ODIkAyKAGUwZ3mVKmcamcJnMW26MRPgUw6j+LkhyHGVGYjSUUKNpuJUQoOIAyDvEyG8S5yfK6dhZc0Tx1KI/gviKL6qvvFs1+bWtaz58uUNnryq6kt5RzOCkPWlVqVX2a/EEBUdU1KrXLf40GoiiFXK///qpoiDXrOgqDR38JB0bw7SoL+ZB9o1RCkQjQ2CBYZKd/+VJxZRRZlqSkKiws0WFxUyCwsKiMy7hUVFhIaCrNQsKkTIsLivwKKigsj8XYlwt/WKi2N4d//uQRCSAAjURNIHpMZBGYiaQPSYyAAABLAAAAAAAACWAAAAApUF/Mg+0aohSIRobBAsMlO//Kk4soosy1JSFRYWaLC4qZBYWFRGZdwqKiwkNBVmoWFSJkWFxX4FFRQWR+LsS4W/rFRb/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////VEFHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAU291bmRib3kuZGUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMjAwNGh0dHA6Ly93d3cuc291bmRib3kuZGUAAAAAAAAAACU=");
  snd.play();
}

In the end, my Testem config looks like this:

module.exports = {
  framework: 'qunit',
  test_page: 'tests/index.html?hidepassed',
  disable_watching: true,
  launch_in_ci: [
    'Chrome'
  ],
  launch_in_dev: [
    'Chrome'
  ],
  browser_args: {
    Chrome: {
      mode: 'ci',
      browser_start_timeout: 10000,
      browser_disconnect_timeout: 10000,
      args: [
        '--disable-gpu',
        // '--headless',
        '--auto-open-devtools-for-tabs',
        '--remote-debugging-port=9222',
        '--remote-debugging-address=0.0.0.0',
        '--no-sandbox',
        '--user-data-dir=/tmp',
        '--window-size=1440,900'
      ]
    }
  }
};

Footnotes:

  1. To be fair, I’m a little lost about how Ember CLI, testem, and qunit all play together and what their roles are, so it’s possible that I just don’t know how to do this.
  2. I couldn’t actually get this to work, and I really didn’t want to spend more time debugging something tangential to what I was debugging.

Want to talk about this blag? Email me or send me a toot @mehulkar!