[rspec-users] Assumption tests

Ashley Moran work at ashleymoran.me.uk
Sat Oct 20 10:01:56 EDT 2007

On Oct 20, 2007, at 5:34 am, Scott Taylor wrote:

> As I see it, the problem is that ActiveRecord is not like a typical
> library, which is completely external.  With rails,
> ActiveRecord::Base (and co) *become* your code.

Surely the implication is that the only way to thoroughly spec an  
ActiveRecord::Base subclass would be to have shared specs available  
for the full behaviour of Base and it_should_behave_like them into  
your own specs?  As it happens, I use very little inheritance so  
possibly there is a better way to handle this.

> Of course, if you wanted to split up your specs into specs/, stories/
> and assumptions/, you would certainly be free to.

I have used assumption specs before, to test things in Rails views  
that were not mockable, but I put them immediately before the specs  
on my modifications.  They are there to flag the thing that needs  
fixing.  If I felt the need to have an assumption spec folder, I'd  
start feeling like there was something fundamentally wrong that  
needed a more decisive solution, like switching to a new framework...

> Following up on the last idea: One thing that I don't think is yet
> widely understood is that there is no such thing as a "unit" or
> "integration" test - test happen on a continuum (the classification
> of a test is not a black and white sort of thing).

I'm glad someone said that.  For a couple of months now I've been  
struggling to define "unit test" and "integration test".  I realised  
not long ago that to thoroughly test an app with a reasonably complex  
object model could easily have 5-10 layers of testing.  Each one  
would extend the black box from individual objects and messages,  
right up firing it off on the command line / web server / whatever  
and testing the output.  Most of these would be brittle and semi- 
redundant, but they would tell you *exactly* where your app was going  


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