[rspec-users] Assumption tests

Pat Maddox pergesu at gmail.com
Sat Oct 20 12:09:50 EDT 2007

On 10/19/07, Scott Taylor <mailing_lists at railsnewbie.com> wrote:
> 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).  Your "assumption
> tests" are basically model-level integration tests, which are not as
> fine grained as the normal spec (which would mock/stub out AR::Base,
> associations, validations (with load...), etc).

While vocabulary is important, particularly shared vocab, it's even
more important not to get too hung up on it.  I've read plenty of
sources that say a unit test only touches one class, and if you're
interacting with more than one class then it's an integration test.
That's a silly distinction to make - as you point out, there's no
clear definition of what a unit test is.  You should be comfortable
working at the appropriate level of granularity, whether it's writing
a spec for one small method in a given context, or for a couple
collaborating objects.

Also, I probably wouldn't go up to Kent Beck and say, "your book was
nice and all, but I wish you would have admitted that you were writing
INTEGRATION tests instead of unit tests." :)

I think it becomes too easy to use process or arbitrary constraints as
a crutch, instead of simple careful thought.  If you find yourself
doing strange or painful things in order to make them fit some
definition, then you're doing yourself a disservice and need to step
back and evaluate your goals.


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