Herman J. Radtke III

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Testing Repeated Elements With Behat+Mink

Written by Herman J. Radtke III on 21 Mar 2014

The Mink extension to behat makes it really easy to test the contents of a page. I can use the assertElementContainsText feature to assert that some text exists within a certain element:

Then I should see "My Page Title" in the "h1" element.

If there is more than one h1 element on the page, I can use a css selector to increase specificity:

Then I should see "My Page Title" in the "h1.page-title" element.

This is really powerful and css selectors make it pretty easy to identify most elements on a page. However, given the block of html below, how do I test the text in a repeated element?

<div class="items">
    <div class="item-row">
        <p class="item-row-name">Item 1</p>
    <div class="item-row">
        <p class="item-row-name">Item 2</p>
    <div class="item-row">
        <p class="item-row-name">Item 3</p>

My initial attempt was to use a more advanced css selector:

Then I should see "Item 1" in the "div.item-row:nth(0)" element.

Unfortuntely, the Symfony 2 web driver does not support this syntax. After talking with a few colleagues, I decided to create a feature that allowed me to do this. Here is an example of my feature syntax:

Then I should see the following in the repeated "div.item-row-name" element within the context of the "div.items" element:
| text   |
| Item 1 |
| Item 2 |
| Item 3 |

Here is what the code looks like:

* @Then /^(?:|I )should see the following in the repeated "(?P<element>[^"]*)" element within the context of the "(?P<parentElement>[^"]*)" element
public function assertRepeatedElementContainsText(TableNode $table, $element, $parentElement)
    $parent = $this->getSession()->getPage()->findAll('css', $parentElement);

    foreach ($table->getHash() as $n => $repeatedElement) {
        $child = $parent[$n];

            $child->find('css', $element)->getText(),

I take advantage of the fact that the repeated elements have a common parent div.items. I find all children of the div.items element using the Mink find API. I can loop over the children and take advantage of the fact that the children are of type NodeElement. The NodeElement class shares the same base class as DocumentElement object returned from $this->getSession()->getPage() call. When I use the find method on the $child object, I will only search for elements that are within the context of the current child. Here is what that context looks like on the first iteration:

<div class="item-row">
    <p class="item-row-name">Item 1</p>

Now when I search for the element matching div.item-row-name, I only get back the one element within this context. I can then assert that this text within this element matches the corresponding item in my table.

Notice that I use a PHPUnit assertion within this feature. I would have preferred to re-use an existing Mink web assertion, but all of the assertions assume a global context. Look at the elementTextContains code to see what I mean.

Happy Hacking!