samhuri.net


By Sami J. Samhuri

test/spec on rails declared awesome, just one catch

This last week I've been getting to know test/spec via err's test/spec on rails plugin. I have to say that I really dig this method of testing my code and I look forward to trying out some actual BDD in the future.

I did hit a little snag with functional testing though. The method of declaring which controller to use takes the form:


use_controller :foo

and can be placed in the setup method, like so:

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# in test/functional/sessions_controller_test.rb

context "A guest" do
  fixtures :users

  setup do
    use_controller :sessions
  end

  specify "can login" do
    post :create, :username => 'sjs', :password => 'blah'
    response.should.redirect_to user_url(users(:sjs))
    ...
  end
end

This is great and the test will work. But let's say that I have another controller that guests can access:

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# in test/functional/foo_controller_test.rb

context "A guest" do
  setup do
    use_controller :foo
  end

  specify "can do foo stuff" do
    get :fooriffic
    status.should.be :success
    ...
  end
end

This test will pass on its own as well, which is what really tripped me up. When I ran my tests individually as I wrote them, they passed. When I ran rake test:functionals this morning and saw over a dozen failures and errors I was pretty alarmed. Then I looked at the errors and was thoroughly confused. Of course the action fooriffic can't be found in SessionsController, it lives in FooController and that's the controller I said to use! What gives?!

The problem is that test/spec only creates one context with a specific name, and re-uses that context on subsequent tests using the same context name. The various setup methods are all added to a list and each one is executed, not just the one in the same context block as the specs. I can see how that's useful, but for me right now it's just a hinderance as I'd have to uniquely name each context. "Another guest" just looks strange in a file by itself, and I want my tests to work with my brain not against it.

My solution was to just create a new context each time and re-use nothing. Only 2 lines in test/spec need to be changed to achieve this, but I'm not sure if what I'm doing is a bad idea. My tests pass and right now that's basically all I care about though.