by ngauthier

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Raises an error when you use a capybara finder and it times out.

The goal of this gem is to aid in discovering errors in capybara usage to help speed up your test suite.


If you do:

refute page.has_content?("An Error Occurred")

To make sure there's no error on the page, the full timeout will be reached because

waits for the content to appear. The correct usage is:
assert page.has_no_content?("An Error Occurred")

Which would evaluate quickly.

This gem will raise a

whenever the first situation occurs. In fact, it raises the error any time a Capybara synchronized piece of code reaches a timeout.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'capybara-slow_finder_errors'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install capybara-slow_finder_errors


Run your test suite as usual. If you have any slow finders, you'll get a stack trace like this:

Capybara::SlowFinderError (Capybara::SlowFinderError)
/path/to/capybara-slow_finder_errors/lib/capybara/slow_finder_errors.rb:11:in `rescue in synchronize_with_timeout_error'
/path/to/capybara-slow_finder_errors/lib/capybara/slow_finder_errors.rb:7:in `synchronize_with_timeout_error'
./features/support/signed_in_user.rb:31:in `signed_in?'
./features/support/user_helper.rb:59:in `sign_in_as'
features/configuring_a_project.feature:6:in `Given I am signed in as "[email protected]"'

execution expired (Timeout::Error) /path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/web_socket_server.rb:72:in select' /path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/web_socket_server.rb:72:in receive' /path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/web_socket_server.rb:85:in send' /path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/server.rb:33:in send' /path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/browser.rb:270:in command' /path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/browser.rb:106:in evaluate' /path/to/.gems/gems/poltergeist-1.5.1/lib/capybara/poltergeist/driver.rb:130:in evaluate_script' /path/to/.gems/gems/capybara-2.4.4/lib/capybara/session.rb:527:in evaluate_script' ...

If you look at the lines below the gem's trace, you'll see that the slow finder is in

on line 31 in the
method. Just follow those traces and clean up your code!


If you're using RSpec and the matchers provided by Capybara like:

expect(page).to_not have_content("abc")

then Capybara is already telling RSpec to use the negated method (

) and thus Capybara is not waiting for the timeout before continuing.

Common Fixes

This section will hopefully grow as people contribute common situations and fixes.

Inverted Finder


refute page.has_content?("abc")
assert page.has_no_content?("abc")

Boolean Finder

A method that returns a boolean shouldn't use a waiting finder. So:

def signed_in?
  page.has_content?("Sign out")

Returns true if they are signed in, but it waits a full timeout before returning false. Instead, perform a waiting finder for content that is always present (to ensure the page is loaded) then use a quick finder that doesn't wait:

def signed_in?
  page.has_css?('a', :text => 'Home', :wait => false)


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (
    git checkout -b my-new-feature
  3. Commit your changes (
    git commit -am 'Add some feature'
  4. Push to the branch (
    git push origin my-new-feature
  5. Create a new Pull Request

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