[rspec-users] Presentation Testing and CSS ids

James Byrne lists at ruby-forum.com
Thu Mar 12 09:27:51 EDT 2009

Andrew Premdas wrote:
> The key phrase is semantic meaning. Its good to use CSS to give semantic
> meaning to things that appear on web pages. Not only can these id's or
> classes be useful for using with screen readers, they should be stable
> things that don't change even if the design of the page does. It should 

This is an example of my current practice, consequential on the 
discussions I have had on this list:

<h2 id="authentication_request">To Proceed Please Authenticate 
<div id="authentication_fields">
  <form action="/user_session"
    <label for="user_session_username">User Name</label> <br />
    <input id="user_session_username"
           size="30" type="text" />
    <input id="user_session_submit"
           value="Authenticate" />

My intent is that id values are tied to the presentation elements they 
deal with, not to the layout they find themselves in.  So I test the UI 
by calling the ids in webrat, rather than the labels.  This will ease 
any future transition to I18n.t calls in the templates.

As a side issue, in getting the input box ids to work with label ids as 
I specified in the templates, I discovered that I had misread the 
FormHelper api.  I uncovered my mistake by writing a few tests to 
exercise this feature as Rails own test/form_helper_test.rb did not.

The point is that I have submitted these tests as a patch to Rails and 
they are awaiting verification for inclusion.  Patches require three 
reviewers for consideration by the core team.  My submission has had one 
positive review already. I would appreciate a couple of more. The 
lighthouse ticket is 2096.

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