Getting "$digest already in progress" in async test with Jasmine 2.0

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I know that calling $digest or $apply manually during a digest cycle will cause a “$digest already in progress” error but I have no idea why I am getting it here.

This is a unit test for a service that wraps $http, the service is simple enough, it just prevents making duplicate calls to the server while ensuring that code that attempts to do the calls still gets the data it expected.

angular.module('services')
    .factory('httpService', ['$http', function($http) {

        var pendingCalls = {};

        var createKey = function(url, data, method) {
            return method + url + JSON.stringify(data);
        };

        var send = function(url, data, method) {
            var key = createKey(url, data, method);
            if (pendingCalls[key]) {
                return pendingCalls[key];
            }
            var promise = $http({
                method: method,
                url: url,
                data: data
            });
            pendingCalls[key] = promise;
            promise.then(function() {
                delete pendingCalls[key];
            });
            return promise;
        };

        return {
            post: function(url, data) {
                return send(url, data, 'POST');
            },
            get: function(url, data) {
                return send(url, data, 'GET');
            },
            _delete: function(url, data) {
                return send(url, data, 'DELETE');
            }
        };
    }]);

The unit-test is also pretty straight forward, it uses $httpBackend to expect the request.

it('does GET requests', function(done) {
    $httpBackend.expectGET('/some/random/url').respond('The response');

    service.get('/some/random/url').then(function(result) {
        expect(result.data).toEqual('The response');
        done();
    });
    $httpBackend.flush();
});

This blows up as sone as done() gets called with a “$digest already in progress” error. I’ve no idea why. I can solve this by wrapping done() in a timeout like this

setTimeout(function() { done() }, 1);

That means done() will get queued up and run after the $digest is done but while that solves my problem I want to know

  • Why is Angular in a digest-cycle in the first place?
  • Why does calling done() trigger this error?

I had the exact same test running green with Jasmine 1.3, this only happened after I upgraded to Jasmine 2.0 and rewrote the test to use the new async-syntax.

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

$httpBacked.flush() actually starts and completes a $digest() cycle. I spent all day yesterday digging into the source of ngResource and angular-mocks to get to the bottom of this, and still don’t fully understand it.

As far as I can tell, the purpose of $httpBackend.flush() is to avoid the async structure above entirely. In other words, the syntax of it('should do something',function(done){}); and $httpBackend.flush() do not play nicely together. The very purpose of .flush() is to push through the pending async callbacks and then return. It is like one big done wrapper around all of your async callbacks.

So if I understood correctly (and it works for me now) the correct method would be to remove the done() processor when using $httpBackend.flush():

it('does GET requests', function() {
    $httpBackend.expectGET('/some/random/url').respond('The response');

    service.get('/some/random/url').then(function(result) {
        expect(result.data).toEqual('The response');
    });
    $httpBackend.flush();
});

If you add console.log statements, you will find that all of the callbacks consistently happen during the flush() cycle:

it('does GET requests', function() {
    $httpBackend.expectGET('/some/random/url').respond('The response');

    console.log("pre-get");
    service.get('/some/random/url').then(function(result) {
        console.log("async callback begin");
        expect(result.data).toEqual('The response');
        console.log("async callback end");
    });
    console.log("pre-flush");
    $httpBackend.flush();
    console.log("post-flush");
});

Then the output will be:

pre-get

pre-flush

async callback begin

async callback end

post-flush

Every time. If you really want to see it, grab the scope and look at scope.$$phase

var scope;
beforeEach(function(){
    inject(function($rootScope){
        scope = $rootScope;
    });
});
it('does GET requests', function() {
    $httpBackend.expectGET('/some/random/url').respond('The response');

    console.log("pre-get "+scope.$$phase);
    service.get('/some/random/url').then(function(result) {
        console.log("async callback begin "+scope.$$phase);
        expect(result.data).toEqual('The response');
        console.log("async callback end "+scope.$$phase);
    });
    console.log("pre-flush "+scope.$$phase);
    $httpBackend.flush();
    console.log("post-flush "+scope.$$phase);
});

And you will see the output:

pre-get undefined

pre-flush undefined

async callback begin $digest

async callback end $digest

post-flush undefined

Method 2

@deitch is right, that $httpBacked.flush() triggers a digest. The problem is that when $httpBackend.verifyNoOutstandingExpectation(); is run after each it is completed it also has a digest. So here’s the sequence of events:

  1. you call flush() which triggers a digest
  2. the then() is executed
  3. the done() is executed
  4. verifyNoOutstandingExpectation() is run which triggers a digest, but you are already in one so you get an error.

done() is still important since we need to know that the ‘expects’ within the then() are even executed. If the then doesn’t run then you might now know there were failures. The key is to make sure the digest is complete before firing the done().

it('does GET requests', function(done) {
    $httpBackend.expectGET('/some/random/url').respond('The response');

    service.get('/some/random/url').then(function(result) {
        expect(result.data).toEqual('The response');
        setTimeout(done, 0); // run the done() after the current $digest is complete.
    });
    $httpBackend.flush();
});

Putting done() in a timeout will make it executes immediately after the current digest is complete(). This will ensure that all of the expects that you wanted to run will actually run.

Method 3

Adding to @deitch’s answer. To make the tests more robust you can add a spy before your callback. This should guarantee that your callback actually gets called.

it('does GET requests', function() {
  var callback = jasmine.createSpy().and.callFake(function(result) {
    expect(result.data).toEqual('The response');
  });

  $httpBackend.expectGET('/some/random/url').respond('The response');
  service.get('/some/random/url').then(callback);
  $httpBackend.flush();

  expect(callback).toHaveBeenCalled();
});

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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