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CSS Animation Resources


This week I discovered CSS Animations.  Well, I shouldn’t say I discovered it so much as I finally spent some time figuring out what it is and why I would care about it.  This could make so much of what we normally do in JavaScript entirely unnecessary.  So, more for my own benefit than anything else, I thought today I would just create a list of resources that are available.

But first, why would you want to use CSS for animation when JavaScript could do it just as well?

CSS and HTML live in the same world

As I mentioned a few weeks ago when I discussed JavaScript performance, anytime you manipulate the DOM from JavaScript, you have to cross the HTML/JavaScript boundary.  And to do it right, you have to make sure you work in sync with the key frames that the DOM is living in.  If you don’t, at best you will be animating more than you need to if you use JavaScript to do the animation.  On a phone, this can eat up precious battery life.  For me, this is the biggest reason.

Declarative Code Is Easier To Read

I realize that some may disagree with this.  But my feeling is, if I can express in one line what would  take a loop in JavaScript to do, I’ll take the one line of code.  This one of the things that makes Angular attractive.  I can create my own HTML tags.  Why not get the same benefit from my CSS?

Reasons Why You Might Not

There are a few reasons why you might not use CSS Animations.  First, it is relatively new.  It may not do everything you want it to do.  So, you may have to resort to using JavaScript for at least some of the things you want to do.

Second, it may not support all of the browsers you need to support.


Here are a brief list of resources that I found

CSS Generators

CSS Animated Accordion


Slide Show

When I first suggested “CSS Animations” to a designer friend of mine, he reacted as though I was suggesting putting a flash animation on a web site.  Obviously, we wouldn’t want to do that. But we use animation is some pretty creative ways.  So the next time you reach for JavaScript to add some sort of animation to your web application, do a search for a CSS Animation instead.

NUnit, Unity Dependency Injection, MOQ and Private Fields


I had an interesting puzzle to solve this week that I thought I would share with you in case someone else is looking for a similar solution.

There was some code that I needed to test that ultimately called into the database. Since this is a UNIT test and all I was interested in testing was one specific function and the state of one specific field in another  object, I had neither the need, nor the desire, to let that call to the database happen.  Since MOQ is  my mocking framework of choice, I wanted to mock out the database object the method was using so that it would return whatever was expected without actually calling down into the database.

There were several problems.  The first was that the database object is a private field in the class I was testing and it got created by the constructor.  Second, the code that needed to use the database object is passing the object by reference (using the “ref” keyword) so that I could no setup my class that needed that object to just ignore it.

There were some other items I needed to inject, but they were pretty straight forward.


But first, I realize that some purist out there is going to leave me a comment that says you shouldn’t use a Dependency Injection container in your unit test.  My answer to that is, yes, ideally, one should not do this.  But, not everything is ideal.  Not every project is a “green field” project (and in fact about 95% of them aren’t).  And in some cases there is so much technical debt involved that the best we can do is a hack.  Read, Working Effectively with Legacy Code for other illustrations of “hacks” to get code under test.

So, there’s the problem.  It may not make a lot of sense yet, especially if you are not familiar with the tools.  So let’s walk through some code.

The Code

The main method I wanted to test was hanging off a POCO class.  It is using what we call a “visitor” pattern (though I’m pretty sure this is not what the pattern is supposed to look like).  So we have an Accept() method hanging off of it that knows how to store the poco into the database.

That method has a method it calls that hangs off a crud object called Create() that takes the POCO and a reference to the database.

I want to mock the Create() method so that it never actually gets called.  The method should return the POCO as part of a list of the POCO’s type.

Mocking out the crud object is pretty straight forward:

_mockCrud = new Mock<ICrud>()


and then registering it with the Unity DI container:


The real issue, and the main point of this post, is that when I wanted to call Create() what I needed to do was:

    x => x.Create(It.IsAny<IPOCOType>(), 
        ref It.IsAny<IDatabaseType>())

Which you can’t do.

What you have to do instead is:

    x => x.Create(It.IsAny<IPOCOType>(),
        ref _database))

And the only way this will work is if the _database variable is pointing to the same object that will ultimately get called.

So, here is the magic that I used to make all that work.


The database object I needed was created as part of the constructor in yet another object that I pass into the Accept() method.  So, I create that object and then use reflection to get the instance of the database from it.

var visitor = new DataVisitor();
var fieldInfo = visitor.GetType()
        BindingFlags.NonPublic | BindingFlags.Instance);
if(fieldInfo != null)
    _database = (Database)fieldInfo.GetValue(visitor);

And now I can use the Setup code I’ve already specified.

Hope that helps someone else.

Technical Debt Is Inevitable


Whoa there Dave.  What are you talking about?  Have you given up the fight? You who have preached the TDD religion.  You who’ve struggled to get organizations to adopt naming conventions, to use version control systems and to use project management software.  The same guy who has implemented continuous integration on his current project?  What’s this world coming to?

Continue reading “Technical Debt Is Inevitable”

Selenium Performance Improvements


As many of you know, I’ve been using Selenium to do my website testing.  And, if you’ve done any testing with Selenium yourself, you know that Selenium can be even slower if you are using Selenium Grid.

There are several things you might do today to achieve Selenium Performance improvements in order to increase the speed that your of your test run. Continue reading “Selenium Performance Improvements”