A simple suite for making the tests more straight-forward and easier to read
Last updated a year ago by thedeem .
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$ cnpm install hubot-chat-testing 
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NodeJS module to be used as a helper with automatic testing.

Why hubot-chat-testing?

Hubot chat testing module is a wrapper for the hubot-test-helper library and can be used to write easier to understand tests for Hubot.

The hubot-test-helper library provides great help with technical side of the tests - it manages the bot and the room creation and it allows for adding new messages to the bot. The biggest problem - for me - is the readability for those tests. Let's use an example:

context('testing good manners of the bot', function() {
    beforeEach(function() {
      return co(function*() {
        yield'user', 'hubot hi');
        // maybe some promise with delaying the response...?
        yield'user2', 'hi');

    it('should be polite and say hi when user is greeting', function() {
      expect([0])['user', 'hubot hi']);
      expect([1])['hubot', '@user hi']);
      expect([2])['user2', 'hi']);
      expect([3])['hubot', '@user2 hi']);

The user of this library has to remember that all the messages should be defined in the beforeEach section, where the co library is used altogether with the yield keyword. What is more important, when the bot's response takes some additional time, the user also needs to include Promise with delay.

The Array type storing messages is also a little hard to expect more complex test suites.

You have to remember to include hubot and @user prefixes in some cases of messages.

Next problem with readability is that the bot responses are defined in different section, it. This way the chat history seems to be a little unsettled while normally it looks like conversation between user and bot, similar to "user => bot => user => bot" like so:

    chat.when('the user says hi to the bot')
    .expect('the bot should say hi to the user')

And this is exactly what I had in mind when writing tests for Hubot scripts. Why writing so much copy-paste-like code, when in most of the cases you just want to achieve/test a simple flow of the conversation?

The hubot-chat-testing module will generate the hubot-test-helper scripts with remembering about all the technical stuff - you just have to provide chat history.


Installing the module

npm install hubot-chat-testing

then all you have to do is to require the library and set-up the hubot-test-helper helper:

const HubotChatTesting = require('hubot-chat-testing');
const Helper = require('hubot-test-helper');

const chat = new HubotChatTesting('hubot', new Helper('../scripts/script.js'));

Writing the tests

All you have to do in the first place is to create normal test suit - as you would do with the hubot-test-helper module. Then either in describe or context just place your chat assertions by using the module's API.

Typical flow of the conversation:

 chat.when('testing good manners of the bot')
    .user('user').messagesBot('hi')                // User: hubot hi
    .bot.repliesWith('hi')                         // Hubot: @user hi
    .user('user2').messagesBot('hi')               // User2: @hubot hi
    .bot.repliesWith('hi')                         // Hubot: @user2 hi
    .user('user').messagesRoom('hello everyone')   // User: hello everyone
    .bot.repliesWith('hi')                         // Hubot: @user hi
    .expect('the bot should be polite and say hi when user is greeting');

As you can see, this library focuses on making the chat flow as easy as it would be in the real life. Each bot response should be added as a reaction to the specific user's message - and each expectation means a new message in chat.

The hubot-chat-test module has simple to understand 'chains', which were inspired by libraries like spec, mocha etc.

Checking whether the bot response matches regex

If you don't want to check the whole response of the bot, but instead you just need to check whether the response matches some regexp:

 chat.when('the user appears after years of absence')
    .user('user').messagesRoom('hi father')
    // Lets assume that bot normally says "No, I am your father!" to "hi father"
    .bot.replyMatches(/(Luke|No), I am your father/)
    .expect('the bot should tell the user the truth');
Checking whether the bot responses multiple time for one user message

If the bot feels very talkative, you can just use:

 chat.when('the user is greeting in the room')
    .bot.repliesWith('Have I met you before? Let me think...')
    .bot.repliesWith('Oh yes, now I remember! You\'re that guy the admin told me to worry about!')
    .expect('the bot should react to it with some chit-chat');
Multiple assertions for single bot response

If you want to perform multiple checks for single bot's response:

chat.when('the user asks for a very complex answer')
    .user('user').messagesBot('say dirty things to me')
    .bot.replyIncludes('Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,')
        .and.itMatches(/mattis sit amet dolor$/i)
        .and.itIncludes('Etiam aliquet sagittis')
    .expect('the bot should react to it with some chit-chat');
Setting the delay for the bot response

If the bot needs time to compute an answer, you can increase the waiting time by using:

// this delay will be used by default in all test scenarios
const chat = new HubotChatTesting('hubot', new Helper('../scripts/detailed-help.js'), {answerDelay: 50}); 

// this delay will be used in this specific test scenario
chat.when('the user asks for a very complex answer', {answerDelay: 200}) 
    .user('user').messagesBot('a very intriguing message', 400) // only this request will wait 400 ms for an answer

This functionality is useful when you are not mocking your bot's functionality and instead it calls some HTTP requests. More information can be found under the docs for hubot-test-helper.

Setting content and adding assertions for the bot's brain

If you want to set the robot's brain before committing to the test case, just user below example:

    chat.when('user is asking the bot to forget the value of the remembered variable')
        .setBrain((brain => {
            brain.set('hubot-sayings-name', 'value');
        .user('alice').messagesRoom('!forget name')
        .expect('the bot should forget it');
Adding your own expectations for the test

If you still need something more complex than this module's API, you can also define your own expectations that will fire after the default ones:

const expect = require('chai').expect;
chat.when('the user is asking for something very complex')
    .user('user').messagesBot('cmon, do something')
    .additionalExpectations((test, logger) => {
        logger.debug(`You can access the logger by using the optional parameter logger`);
    .expect('the bot should do it')
Setting up the environment variables

Sometimes our bot will behave differently depending on the value of any environment variables. If you would do it outside the beforeEach scope, it would set up the env variable with the same value for every test. In order to make this easy, there is a way to set up the variables using the library's API:

    chat.when('we have set up the environment variable')
            MY_VARIABLE: 'my-value'
        .user('alice').messagesBot('encourage Rex')
        .additionalExpectations(() => {
        .expect('the library should properly set up it');

The library will revert the value after the testing is done, so it has no impact on other tests.

Additional configuration for the hubot-test-helper

In case of requirement to set up the room other than with default values, you can do it with two different ways.

const roomOptions = {response: NewMockResponse};
// The first way is to set the default options on all chat test cases
const chat = new HubotChatTesting('hubot', new Helper('../node_modules/hubot-sayings/src/hubot-sayings.js'), null, roomOptions);

chat.when('user is asking the bot to remember the value')
    .setRoomOptions(roomOptions) // The second way is to set the options only for this test case
    .user('alice').messagesRoom('!remember name value')
    .bot.messagesRoom("okay, i'll remember that")
    .expect('the bot should remember the values');
More examples

For more examples, please give the tests a try.


I am willing to greet any contributions that would make testing Hubot's scripts even more readable. If you want to contribute, just fork the project and add some changes!

Errors and ideas to improve

If you will find any errors with this library or have great idea how to improve it (and dont want to do it on your own), please feel free to open a new ticket.

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