[rspec-users] params not available for controller specs?

Al Chou hotfusionman at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 4 15:09:42 EST 2007

I  get what you're saying, but I was trying to fix a bug in existing code in Substruct (that I did not write) that was caused by Rails passing the array as a /-delimited string and then not automatically decoding that string.  As Substruct does not say that Edge Rails is a requirement, I felt it was worth documenting what I had to change to run it on Rails 1.2.x.  Every code change should be driven by a test or example; perhaps in this situation I should've gone over to Test::Unit instead of staying in RSpec?  An interesting philosophical thought....


----- Original Message ----
From: Jarkko Laine <jarkko at jlaine.net>
To: rspec-users <rspec-users at rubyforge.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2007 10:09:01 AM
Subject: Re: [rspec-users] params not available for controller specs?

On 4.12.2007, at 18.19, Al Chou wrote:

> Going back to my original message, I have the following at the  
> beginning of the download method:
>   def download
>    @orders = Order.find( params[:ids] )
>    ...
> The problem is that params[:ids], although built as an Array object  
> by the view that calls the download method on the controller, is  
> passed as a /-delimited string of id values.

If I set

   <%= link_to "Test", :controller => "clients", :foo => [1, 2, 3, 4,  
5] %>

I get this as the url:


That will get correctly parsed back to an array in the receiving

Parameters: {"action"=>"index", "foo"=>["1", "2", "3", "4", "5"],  
"controller"=>"clients", "locale"=>"en"}

This is Edge Rails, though, so YMMV.

>   Order.find() will not do the desired thing with that string, which
> was intended to be an array by the view, but Rails passed it in a  
> string representation.  So the method really should be
>   def download
>    @orders = Order.find( params[:ids].split( '/' ) )
> and what I'm trying to spec is the addition of the call to split().

IMHO there's no need to stub string methods like that. Just do  
something like this:

Order.should_receive(:find).with(%w(1 2  

If params[:ids] is "1/2/3", you can be pretty certain that split("/")  
will work correctly so you're more interested in that the find method  
gets called with correct set of attributes, an array. It's not really  
interesting how that array got to be. In this case, you might notice  
that somehow params[:ids] is an array after all and you can take the  
split call away, and the spec will still pass.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the split call is part of the  
controller action's internal implementation, and you should be  
spec'ing how it behaves related to its surrounding world: fetches  
stuff from the business model, assigns objects for the view etc.


Jarkko Laine

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