Quixote Day 1 Report

The Quixote hackathon and livestream finished its first day today, and we made great progress! The first release of Quixote is up and ready for use. It’s viable. Minimally viable, but actually useful!

(In case you missed the announcement, Quixote is a library for unit testing CSS. It’s open source and I’m developing it live on hitbox.tv every day through Thursday this week.)

You can download version 0.1 from npm using npm install quixote, or grab the code from GitHub.

This version establishes all the basics of CSS unit testing.

  • You can create an iframe of arbitrary size to test your pages in. (This is important for testing how elements work in responsive or scalable designs).

  • You can load up an external stylesheet that you want to test, or you can load an entire HTML document that already has a stylesheet embedded.

  • You can get elements out of the page and make assertions about their position and styling, as actually displayed by the browser.

The techniques for testing a visual medium such as HTML + CSS aren’t obvious, but I think we have a solid angle on it. With this first release, we’ve established the core infrastructure needed to unit test CSS. It’s usable today. (The normal first version caveats apply, of course! Don’t use this if you aren’t interested in being on the bleeding edge.)

Tomorrow, we’ll build on this foundation by creating a more sophisticated API. Although Quixote currently provides access to all the positioning and styling information you need, there’s lots more we can do to make it easy and convenient to work with. Creating a fast, useful API is our first order of business tomorrow.

We had a great turnout today. Thanks to everyone who participated! If you’d like to join in, or just watch, come to hitbox.tv/jamesshore starting at 10am PDT (GMT-7).

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