Cannot test for assertion errors

Not sure if this is a regression or if I’m just holding it wrong, but the following test fails:

import 'package:test/test.dart';

void main() {
  test('assert throws assert', () {
    expect(() {
    }, throwsA(AssertionError));

This test fails with:

Expected: throws Type:<AssertionError>
  Actual: <Closure: () => Null>
   Which: threw ?:<'file:///....dart': Failed assertion: line 754 pos 16: 'false': is not true.>
          stack dart:core                        _AssertionError._throwNew
                test/storyline_test.dart 754:16  main.<fn>.<fn>.<fn>
                package:test_api                 expect
                test/storyline_test.dart 753:7   main.<fn>.<fn>

Note that this is not the same as #34530, which lacked the () {} (as @mraleph pointed out).

Why I think this is important to fix: it’s valuable to have potentially expensive assertions that only get executed during tests. In my concrete example, I have an O(n^2) assertion that I want to make sure works correctly, and that I also don’t want anywhere near the shipped app.

  • Dart SDK Version (dart --version)

Dart VM version: 2.6.0 (Thu Oct 24 17:52:22 2019 +0200) on "macos_x64"

  • Whether you are using Windows, MacOSX, or Linux (if applicable)


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Author: Fantashit

3 thoughts on “Cannot test for assertion errors

  1. Ah! I figured it out. The correct test should look like this:

    import 'package:test/test.dart';
    void main() {
      test('assert throws assert', () {
        expect(() {
        }, throwsA(isA<AssertionError>());

    We should document the matchers and how they work, or write a codelab. But that’s outside the scope of this bug. Hopefully, others will find this bug when faced with a similar issue.

  2. Having unreadable tests really bothered me: you can’t read “throws a is a” without having to first stop to think about what is going on.

    Here are two alternatives that might make your code more readable.

    Generic solution

    /// Returns a matcher for functions that throw object with type [T]
    Matcher throwsTypeOf<T>() => throwsA(isA<T>());

    Then you can:

    expect(() { assert(false); }, throwsTypeOf<AssertionError>());

    A solution just for assertion errors

    // Inspired by the throws_matchers.dart file, that file includes
    // mathcers like throwsArgumentError
    /// A matcher for functions that throw AssertionError
    final Matcher throwsAssertionError = throwsA(isA<AssertionError>());

    Then in your expectations:

    expect(() { assert(false); }, throwsAssertionError);
  3. @vargavince91 It looks like TypeMatcher is recently deprecated.

    ‘TypeMatcher has been deprecated because it is no longer used in framework(only in deprecated methods). ‘
    ‘This feature was deprecated after v1.12.1.’

    Combining your approach with the one from @filiph could achieve the same goal:

    final Matcher throwsAssertionError = throwsA(isA<AssertionError>());

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