Baretest — An extremely minimalistic alternative to Jest
The primary reason for building Baretest was to get near-instant unit tests. We constantly hit
CMD + B on Sublime Text to test a function we are actively working on. We do this all the time, sometimes hundreds of times a day. If the test takes seconds to run our flow suffers and the frustration levels start to rise.
Here's the difference when running the same test file with Jest and Baretest.
Sometimes Jest took seven seconds to start on a regular laptop. This is not acceptable for our style of unit testing, where everything above 100ms is considered slow.
We think a good test runner stays out of your way. We want to focus on the task at hand and not deal with the complexities of testing.
assert.equals() methods are typically 98% of what we use when writing tests. We've never needed automatic re-ordering, file watchers, “mocking” or “snapshotting”. We want our test runner to be as invisible as possible. We don't want to commit to a massive framework that dictates our work.
Built for Minimalists
Baretest is built in minimalistic fashion. It has only 44 lines of code and only one dependency (with 12 LOC). In contrast, Jest is 57,540 lines of TypeScript and it has 76 dependencies. There are 1,745 files on the repository and a whopping 119,624 lines of code in total. These are big numbers for a test runner.
Baretest is stripped down to bare essentials so if you need advanced stuff like parallelization, coverage reports, or mock functions, then Baretest is a bad choice.
Install Baretest using
Let's start by creating a simple app called
Then, create tests for it in a file named
node test and Baretest will print this:
Done. Your first test using Baretest.
Organizing multiple tests
Errors are pretty printed with color:
> node test
Bareserver • • • • • • • • • •
FAIL: “Raw handlers”
ReferenceError: bareserver.raw is not defined
TypeError: Cannot set property ‘b’ of undefined
at Object.<anonymous> (tools/bareserver/test.js:101:11)
at Object.self.exec (tools/bareserver/lib/index.js:71:22)
at processTicksAndRejections (internal/process/task_queues.js:97:5)
at async Object.fn (tools/bareserver/test.js:108:15)
Runs a function that contains the expectations to test. The first argument is the test name, which is shown when the test function fails.
Run only these tests and ignore the rest
Run the given function before all the supplied tests.
Run the given function when there is a failure or after all the tests have passed.
Skip the given function. Useful for omitting tests temporarily.
Run all the supplied tests.
Frequently asked questions
Why compare to Jest specifically?
Isn't Jest fast in
It's not. It took 1.566s to run the “sum” function on my laptop. Jest also says “estimated 2s” which I have no idea what that means.
Why not make testing 🎉🎉😊🎉😍 fun?
This question probably stems from the fact that testing is typically the least enjoyable part of software development. Instead of striving for “fun” or “delightful”, we shoot for “tolerable”. Feels closer to reality.
Why care about the size?
We want to keep Baretest small because small things are easier to maintain and they have faster startup times, which is essential for our unit tests.
Why not use arrow functions?
We think old school function declarations are clearer, especially with the
async keyword. Explicit is good. Or maybe we are just old farts.
Where is this project heading?
Our first milestone is a permanent version with Long Term Support (LTS) that remains unchanged for many months, possibly years. This reduces the risk, expense, and disruption of deployment.