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This page shows how to configure a project that uses RequireJS. It is based on Jake's post.

Configure Testacular #

Directory Setup #

For clarity in the example configuration files and test below, the directory structure upon which these are based looks like this:

    jquery.js #etc
    chai/ #etc

Initialize Testacular #

Testacular comes with a nice utility for generating a config file (default name: testacular.conf.js) that it needs in order to run.

In your terminal, type:

$ testacular init

This will give you a series of prompts for things such as paths to source and tests and which browsers to capture.

RequireJs Shim #

Not immediately apparent is the fact that the ‘shim’ config from RequireJs 2.x does not work from within Testacular. I haven’t yet figured out why. For instance, I was constantly getting ‘Backbone’ is not defined messages even though it was specified in the ‘shim’ config and required in the test. I could have been doing something wrong. My solution thus far has been to list each of the non-RequireJs modules and their dependencies in the files attribute of testacular.conf.js.

testacular.conf.js #

The final point is that the RequireJs main module for your test runner should be the last file listed.

So, finally, here is the ‘file’ excerpt of testacular.conf.js:

files = [

  // libs required for test framework
  {pattern: 'node_modules/chai/chai.js', included: false},

  // put what used to be in your requirejs 'shim' config here,
  // these files will be included without requirejs

  // put all libs in requirejs 'paths' config here (included: false)
  {pattern: 'lib/**/*.js', included: false},

  // all src and test modules (included: false)
  {pattern: 'src/**/*', included: false},
  {pattern: 'test/**/*.test.js', included: false},

  // test main require module last

This config is awesome. It replaces an html test runner that you would otherwise have to build.

RequireJs Main Module #

Just like any RequireJs project, you need a main module to bootstrap your tests. In the main module, you setup the require.config.

Testacular /base Directory #

Testacular serves files under the /base directory. So, on the server, requests to files will be served up under http://localhost:9876/base/*. The RequireJs config for baseUrl gives a starting context for modules that load with relative paths. When setting this value for the Testacular server, it will need to start with /base. I want my baseUrl to be at the root of my /src directory so relative requires in the source won’t need to change. My baseUrl has the value of /base/src.

Require Each Test File #

One of the things I hate is having to update a master list of all tests to run every time I add a test. There is no config option for this, but there's an easy way to get around it by filtering the tests from the window.__testacular__.files object. The code is included in the example below and the original suggestion came from https://github.com/testacular/testacular/pull/236.

Asynchronously Run Testacular #

Because the RequireJs require statements are asynchronous, Testacular needs to wait until they’re done (the code is loaded and ready) before it starts the tests.

The main-test.js file ends up looking like this:

var tests = Object.keys(window.__testacular__.files).filter(function (file) {
  return /\.test\.js$/.test(file);

  // Testacular serves files from '/base'
  baseUrl: '/base/src',
  paths: {
    require: '../lib/require',
    text: '../lib/text'
  // ask requirejs to load these files (all our tests)
  deps: tests,
  // start test run, once requirejs is done
  callback: window.__testacular__.start

RequireJs Test in Testacular #

All the setup thus far has been in preparation for the code to follow. The test can now be setup as a RequireJs module. It can require the source code under test. It can use Mocha (or whatever framework there is a Testacular adapter for).

I will also use Chai in order to get the ‘should’ BDD-style assertions. Note that by using RequireJs and running in the browser, we can’t just require('chai'). It has to be required using the asynchronous callback to avoid this error:

Uncaught Error: Module name “../node_modules/chai/chai” has not been loaded yet for context: _. Use require([])

And finally, should() must be invoked to be available in the test.

So, a simple test will look like:

define(['../node_modules/chai/chai', 'MyModule'], function(chai, MyModule) {

  var should = chai.should();

  describe('MyModule', function () {
    describe('#initialize()', function () {
      it('should be a stinkin object', function () {
        var yippee = new MyModule();

Run the Tests in Testacular #

To start the Testacular server:

$ testacular start

If you didn't configure to watch all the files and run tests automatically on any change, you can trigger the tests manually. Just type:

$ testacular run