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RubyFlow The Ruby and Rails community linklog


The Ruby and Rails community linklog

Made a library? Written a blog post? Found a useful tutorial? Share it with the Ruby community here or just enjoy what everyone else has found!

Is it curtains for RSpec?

We’ve stopped using RSpec… say Rails development team ENTP. They’re now back to Test::Unit but improved with Jeremy McAnally’s context. Others in the comments suggest shoulda. Is it curtains for RSpec?


Because one team stopped using it? I don’t think so. I use all three mentioned testing frameworks, and they all have their pros and cons. What’s more worrying me than problems with RSpec is the fact that testing itself is still not widely adopted, regardless of the framework used. When it comes to testing bigger Rails applications RSpec is still my preferred tool. Instead of complaining about the RSpec problems they should’ve just fixed them. But well, bashing RSpec seems to be the new thing these days.

These sorts of progressions have occurred in many other areas of the Rails ecosystem (such as Apache->lighttpd->back to Apache->Mongrel->nginx/thin or CVS->SVN->Git) so I don’t feel too bad about calling this one. This appears to be the earliest recognizable stage of a tipping point.

There’s nothing new about bashing RSpec.

“Instead of complaining about the RSpec problems they should’ve just fixed them.”

Easier said than done, especially when there are working alternatives they can simply switch to.

When you have a really big test suite, switching is not always an option too. I wouldn’t want to switch > 1000 specs to a different framework. That’s also easier said than done.

More ‘sensationalist’ head lines from Peter;)

I hope so! I hate having to install extra libraries just to use somebody’s favorite test suite. This goes double for library code.

I do like shoulda though, because the macros are great and you can use it without special syntax if you want to.

If I stop reading rubyflow, does that mean there will be a post about “curtains for RubyFlow”?


“I wouldn’t want to switch > 1000 specs to a different framework.”

True, me either. They’re switching just for new projects they start.

I stopped buying American cars. Does this mean its curtains for America?

I think I am done with Rubyflow. You sound like a homeschooled journalist with an abundance of ignorance.

Mr Done: I want to apologize for offending something you are emotionally connected to. I didn’t realize you took it so personally, and am very sorry.

Secondly, is this all over the five words, “Is it curtains for RSpec?” This form of sentence is called a question. It is speculative and looking for responses - it is not a declaration. I am very sorry a question offended you.

Third, if I sound like a homeschooled journalist, it is because I am. I very much apologize for this. This is a community blog to which anyone can post, and if you don’t want to read what other people have to say, I’m very sorry.

In conclusion, I am extremely sorry for the seemingly very offensive things I’ve said in this post. I hope that, one day, you will forgive me.

A statement:

I am dismayed both that the offensive comments broadcast on RubyFlow on 4 November fell so far short of audiences’ legitimate expectations.

I offer a full and unreserved apology to the readers of this site, including those who raised the initial objections over this content.

Editorial control and compliance procedures are inadequate and need to be strengthened. I will strengthen immediately the editorial controls around any content which represents high levels of editorial risk.

My job is to ensure that RubyFlow provides a wide range of content to reflect a diverse society made up differing ages, interests and backgrounds. In doing so however, it is essential that RubyFlow demonstrates its commitment to the highest level of editorial standards at all times.

RubyFlow has fallen way short of the public’s overall expectations in this case, and it is essential that lessons are learned to avoid further lapses in the future.

I hope you’re kidding. This is the internet, after all, and taking flames is part of it. Yes, “Is it curtains for RSpec?” is a worthless question, but who the hell cares? Keep it up, Peter :)

Brian: Haha, sure, and I like to take them as gracefully as they are delivered. :) Let the beat roll on!

This post from caboosers made me laugh, “we don’t know how to upgrade gems but we don’t want to admit that so let’s find someone/something to blame” what a bunch of loosers (caboosers ;)

It was a big sigh of relief to read the headline, and to hear that people are struggling with RSpec. Why continue battling with something that is making your life harder when there are easier ways to get your testing done?

Is it curtains for Ruby?

Kindof a lame post, as others have said. Also, I’m very surprised … I consider RSpec to be the de-facto standard for testing for many/most Rubyists. Where are these sudden anti-RSpec opinions coming from?

I’ve never run into any of the weirdness described. The only problems I’ve ever had with spec were compatibility issues with particular versions of Autotest.

I love RSpec, but I would also love to hear why alternatives are any better. I’ve always wanted to use Bacon, for example, because I love how simple it is, but it doesn’t some with enough functionality out-of-the-box for me (maybe if I used it alongside Mocha for the mocking stuff …)

Just FYI, using context and matchy together, the changes were very minimal. The two together are nearly API compatible with RSpec (and will be even closer after RubyConf).

Just a random point that came to mind, but the defensiveness of RSpec devotees strikes me in contrast to how Rails folk acted when criticized a few years ago (and are still criticized, really).

It’s time to put these experiments to bed. RSpec, shoulda, context, matchy, test/spec, etc., etc.

Nested contexts cause more problems than they solve. All of these libs (even context, the smallest) use too much “magic”. We’re now seeing testing gems that try to be “API compatible” with all of these experiments.

Stick with standards: Test::Unit. Return to sanity.

Only painful thing about Test::Unit is the snake_case_underscores. That is solved in Rails:

For greenfield Rails apps, I encourage my fellow Rubyists to stick with what Ruby gives you by default. You’ll get farther than you think, and you’ll be encouraging standards and all the benefits that come along with them.

Testing is good. Stop over-thinking it. Focus on building apps, not new, clever testing DSLs that don’t solve any problems or alleviate any pain.

Sorry, wrong link above:


I’m still confused by this post.

Is this anti-RSpec or any DSLs?

“I encourage my fellow Rubyists to stick with what Ruby gives you by default.”

I guess we wouldn’t use any gems? Make everything by hand? You, sir, must not have project deadlines!

I really do want to better understand the argument against RSpec. It’s a DSL that makes BDD fun and easy. I can write specification examples that are human-readable. I greatly enjoy using RSpec - especially after years of old-school xUnit-style assertions.

If there’s a reason why RSpec is bad, I would very much like to know. I enjoy following the conventions of the community and, currently, I feel like RSpec is conventional (not to mention, I greatly enjoy using it).

Out of curiosity, are there any alternatives to RSpec (that give a similar BDD DSL), besides Bacon?

Reading the post and the comments thoroughly I can’t find a single argument that tries to explain why rspec is worse or better than any other alternative. Does anyone have a good reason or is it just because some guys once had a problem deploying an app that we are asking ourselves whether is it curtains for a testing framework?

RSpec is still the best testing system going. I just wish the team behind it would stop bloating it, and spin stuff like “stories” off into separate libraries.

Pretty cool set of resources…thanks Point of Sale .

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RSpec has always rubbed me the wrong way too. i think my issue that it feels like a complete replacement for the testing built in that ive been using for the last several years, nd it just doesn’t feel as natural to put “spec” in all my commands.

Plus with the standard test unit i can be pretty lazy and generate alot of code i dont want to think about. if i generate a model or resource and forget to use the spec generator, im stuck cleaning up files and starting over. this way i can just go on without a second though. wow account for sale

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