[rspec-users] We can't 100% remove our unit tests from the database, can we?

aslak hellesoy aslak.hellesoy at gmail.com
Fri Feb 23 13:32:06 EST 2007

On 2/23/07, Ashley Moran <work at ashleymoran.me.uk> wrote:
> Three replies for the price of one...
> I was about to reply to this:
> On 22 Feb 2007, at 22:08, Nick Sieger wrote:
> > Joe Walnes, "Don't mock types you don't own"

This is a guideline, not an absolute truth.

> Idiot question... doesn't this preclude stubbing methods like
> ActiveRecord::Base.find?  Or have I misunderstood?

It's ok(ish) to stub/mock at the "surface" of an API. But once you
start stubbing/mocking methods that the "surface" API calls (i.e. what
AR.find calls) then you're in trouble land.

> Then I saw this, which kinda answers it:
> On 22 Feb 2007, at 22:32, David Chelimsky wrote:
> > The problem is that in an effort to make life seemingly easier for you
> > and me, AR forces us to couple our business logic with our persistence
> > logic, which puts us in a catch 22 vis a vis pre-Rails thinking about
> > testing and mocking. We can either test these things separately, which
> > requires that we mock code we didn't write, or we adhere to only
> > mocking code we don't own, which requires us to test two concepts
> > together.
> >
> > Alternatively, we could add concepts to our rails apps to decouple
> > these things - non-AR model classes that delegate to AR backed models
> > - ModelFactories so we don't call class methods on the model classes,
> > etc. My instinct is that it would be more complicated that its worth.
> >
> > Has anyone experimented w/ anything like that?
> Not tried that, but I've been thinking for a while.  Is it time
> ActiveRecord became a data mapper, that defaulted to model -> table
> mapping?  I mean something like,
>    class Person
>      persistence_mapper :auto
>      # usual stuff
>      validates_presence_of :name
>    end
> creates dynamically:
>    PersonMapper < ActiveRecord::Base
>    end
> and if you want more control,
>    class FinanceProposal
>      # make it call ComplexFinanceProposalMapper.new or whatever
>      persistence_mapper :complex_finance_proposal_mapper
>    end
>    class FinanceProposalMapper
>      # all the overcomplicated stuff you need to do to save finance
> proposals,
>      # possibly using ActiveRecord::Base subclasses to save to tables
>    end
> This way you get separation of validation so you can test it
> independently, without losing any of the out-of-the-box simplicity.
> On 22 Feb 2007, at 21:33, Steven Baker wrote:
> > The way you describe is the way to do this.  It sucks, but it's not
> > our fault, it's ActiveRecord's fault.  AcitveRecord has extra
> > suckage, baked in for free.  You don't even have to pay extra.
> It seems a bit unfair to throw too much criticism at ActiveRecord.
> After all, it was intended to follow the ActiveRecord pattern for
> simplicity (presumably convention over configuration).  On the other
> hand, seeing as testability is pretty essential for agile
> development, which is one of the big selling points of Rails, it
> sounds like something has to be done.  Might make more sense to take
> this to the Rails list, but I seem to spend all my time here lately.
> Has anyone got any experience of Og?  I looked at the source recently
> but haven't tried to use it.  How does it compare test-wise?
> Ashley
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