[rspec-users] it "should [action] ..." vs it with an active voice

Pat Maddox pergesu at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 00:15:54 EST 2007


On Nov 12, 2007 9:00 PM, David Chelimsky <dchelimsky at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Nov 12, 2007 10:47 PM, Pat Maddox <pergesu at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > On Nov 12, 2007 7:12 PM, David Chelimsky <dchelimsky at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On Nov 12, 2007 9:03 PM, Pat Maddox <pergesu at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > On 11/12/07, David Chelimsky <dchelimsky at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > > On Nov 12, 2007 8:09 PM, Pat Maddox <pergesu at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > > > The difference is that the story is an authoritative
> > > > > > spec of how the system should behave, and the description has no
> > > > > > authority at all.
> > > > >
> > > > > I don't have that sense at all. Where do you get that from?
> > > >
> > > > >From the belief that the customer is the ultimate authority on what it
> > > > means for the system to behave acceptably, and the fact that stories
> > > > are customer-facing and specs are developer-facing.
> > >
> > > I totally agree that the customer is the authority - however, the
> > > customer has just as much right to change her mind about a story as I
> > > do about a spec! So why should stories be any more locked down than
> > > specs?
> >
> > Stories represent a bridge between the customer's and the developer's
> > minds, a snapshot of the shared understanding at a given point in
> > time.  They do not obviate the need for customer-developer
> > communication.  A customer should be able to change her stories as
> > much as she wants, but all but the very simplest changes ought to spur
> > a discussion and reevaluation of assumptions.
>
> We are in violent agreement!
>
> But, as irony would have it, this agreement seems to lead us to
> different conclusions. My thinking is that "should" actually works
> well in stories for all the same reasons it works well in specs. You
> seem to take that in a different direction, no?

Right.  I think that "should" leaves a lot of wiggle room.  While I
believe that the customer should be allowed to change her stories, I
don't think those changes should be finalized without a convo between
customer and developer.  "should" allows you to make a judgment call
and move on, which is the flexibility you want in specs, whereas a
slightly more rigid structure makes it clear that new discussion is
required.

Pat


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