[rspec-users] "they" synonym for "it"?

Tom Stuart tom at experthuman.com
Wed Jul 11 12:31:48 EDT 2007

On 11 Jul 2007, at 17:12, Anthony Carlos wrote:
> Perhaps we need to bundle "The Elements of RSpec Style" with the
> documentation on the website. I'm happy to collect and edit  
> suggestions.

I would like to enthusiastically (albeit fundamentally unhelpfully)  
voice my support for this idea. The main win of RSpec over Test::Unit  
is the framework of linguistic constraints it provides to help guide  
people down the right path, but the main weakness is that it still  
doesn't go far enough -- most conversations I have with people about  
BDD are concerned with the continuing struggle to work out what the  
"right way" to write specs is. Toy examples (cf Stack, Account) are  
unhelpful in this regard because they demonstrate the common-sense  
mechanics of RSpec without really delivering any accumulated wisdom  
about how real specs should look and behave, and that's the hard part  
to grasp when you're trying to learn this stuff.

I realise there's a well-intentioned progressive reticence to preach  
a dogmatic gospel about how specs should be named, designed and  
constructed, but as with Rails I believe that people derive genuine  
comfort and encouragement from being told The One Correct Way when  
they're starting out, and once they become competent enough to have  
dissenting opinions of their own they rarely seem to have a problem  
with enacting them. There are lots of gems of pragmatic wisdom dotted  
throughout the rspec-users archives -- yeah, David's "one WHEN/THEN  
per example" is a great one -- and I think it'd be tremendously  
useful to collect and promote these as Truth even if no expert quite  
believes that they are.


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