Mar 25, 2020

Ember Template Lint Rule from Addon


I recently wanted to ship an Ember template lint rule from an addon. This use case wasn't exactly documented anywhere, so it took me a little while to figure out how to do it effectively. For anyone else attempting to do the same, the ingredients are:

  1. A file in the addon that exports a plugin that contains the rule.
  2. A custom test setup
  3. Using the plugin from an app that installs the addon

Creating the Rule and Plugin

The default Ember addon directory structure doesn't have an obvious place to put things that aren't used by the Ember CLI build pipeline. Because I only needed to create one rule, I added a file to the root of the directory as template-lint-plugin.js. The file looks like this:

const Rule = require("ember-template-lint").Rule;

class MyRule extends Rule {
visitor() {
return {};

module.exports = {
name: "plugin-name",
rules: {
"the-rule-name": MyRule,

The Plugin API documents a few alternative ways to do this as well. For example, the default export could also be just the rule, and the plugin object could be created where it is used (e.g. the test cases and the app).

Test Setup

This one is a bit tricky. Adding a unit test file into the default tests/ directory means that it gets picked up by the addon's default test suite with QUnit. This is a bit messy because Ember's default unit tests call setupTest(), which boot the Ember application. Although it's possible to configure this, I thought it would be better to more closely match the test setup for rules in ember-template-lint itself, which use a custom test harness, and provides a helper to set it up with any testing library. Internally, it uses Jest to write the test cases for the provided rules, so I opted to set up my tests the same way.

I had to do the following to make it work:

  1. npm install --save-dev jest, and configure it to run tests in the node-tests directory by adding configuration in package.json:

    "jest": {
    "coveragePathIgnorePatterns": [
    "testMatch": ["<rootDir>/node-tests/**/*-test.js"]

    There are several other ways to configure Jest, but this was the most lightweight. The decision to ignore the node-tests directory and then include files matching -test.js, comes wholesale from ember-template-lint.

  2. Add a test file at node-tests/template-lint-plugin-test.js looks like this:

    const generateRuleTests = require("ember-template-lint/lib/helpers/rule-test-harness");

    // The plugin object exported from the file created above.
    const myPlugin = require("../template-lint-plugin");

    function generateRuleTestsHelper(options) {
    return generateRuleTests(
    Object.assign({}, options, {
    groupMethodBefore: beforeEach, // refers to `Jest`'s global `beforeEach`
    groupingMethod: describe, // refers to `Jest`'s global `describe`
    testMethod: test, // refers to `Jest`'s global `test`
    focusMethod: test.only, // refers to `Jest`'s global `test.only`
    plugins: [myPlugin], // The plugin

    name: "the-rule-name",
    config: true,
    good: [
    // examples of markup that passes the lint rule
    bad: [
    // examples of markup that fails the lint rule

    The examples of how to add test cases into good and bad can be taken from any of the rule tests in ember-template-lint now.

  3. Add an npm script to package.json to run the "Node" tests.

    "test:node": "jest"

    In Ember CLI 3.17, the default test script was changed to npm-run-all lint:* test:*", so adding a test:node script would automatically be added to the test suite and CI runs. Before 3.17, depending on your addon's test setup, you could simply add && npm run test:node to the test script.

Using the plugin in an app

Now that the addon contains a lint plugin and is tested, we can actually use it in an app. After installing the addon with npm install --save-dev your-addon-name, and then add the plugin and enable the lint rule in .template-lintrc.js:

// .template-lintrc.js

module.exports = {
plugins: ["my-addon-name/template-lint-plugin"],
rules: {
"the-rule-name": true,

Note that the plugin's name (noted in the plugin object's name key) isn't referenced here at all. The only thing that is needed is a path to where the plugin is exported from and ember-template-lint will require it. Because this runs in Node, and Node's require can resolve paths from the node_modules directory, this works.

There you have it! Ember template lint plugins are fairly straightforward (and a powerful way to encourage a certain way of programing), but the wiring wasn't immediately obvious to me. Another thing I found confusing is that the rules key in the Plugin API refers to the Rule class (i.e. the implementation), but the rules key in .template-lintrc.js refers to the configuration of that rule (on or off).

Hope this helps someone else!

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