[rspec-users] I lost the RSpec fight

Pat Maddox pergesu at gmail.com
Sun Sep 16 11:44:42 EDT 2007

On 9/16/07, Jay Levitt <lists-rspec at shopwatch.org> wrote:
> I've been working on a Rails project with one other developer; he was
> using Test::Unit, and I was using RSpec.  That works OK for a while, but
> obviously it starts causing pain when you have to check in two places to
> see if a piece of code is properly tested/spec'd, you can't use TextMate
> shortcuts to switch back and forth between code and test, you have to
> duplicate shared behaviors/test helpers, etc.
> So when we brought in a consulting team to add some manpower, we
> realized we had to switch to a single framework.  This is a team that's
> fairly experienced with Rails and active in the Rails community, but was
> quite opposed to choosing RSpec.
> Here are the arguments I heard against unifying on RSpec:
> * Test::Unit is ubiquitous.  Everyone knows it.  This is hard to
> counter; it comes with Rails and is the default.  Same reason many
> people use Prototype even though JQuery/dojo might suit them better.
> * For that reason, it's a lot easier to find examples of "how to do
> something" in Test::Unit than in RSpec.  That's true; several times I've
> had a bit of code that didn't fall nicely into the MVC hierarchy, and I
> wasn't sure how to build up the right context to test it in.  If I were
> using Test::Unit, I could just copy the equivalent tests from Rails
> core, but using RSpec I had to roll my own.
> * RSpec is BDD (hand-waving new different troublesome); we do TDD.
> We've covered that ground on this list many times; BDD is an extension
> and interpretation of TDD, not some newfangled crackpot theory.  But
> people don't know that.
> * The team had in fact investigated RSpec a few months ago, and decided
> they didn't like it.  Some of what they didn't like has been fixed in
> 1.0, but of course people aren't going to come running to re-examine
> each release, so the bitter taste remained:
> * #context was defined on Kernel.  Not sure if that's still true for
> #describe.
> * Not compatible with tools that expect Test::Unit output.  This
> would(could) be fixed with the runner integration that's been discussed.
> * Wasn't compatible with mocha/FlexMock.  Fixed now.
> But again, it came back to ubiquity, which is a pretty hard problem to
> overcome.
> Seems to me that the best way to get RSpec adopted is to find some more
> visible, prolific plugin programmers and evangelize them to start using
> RSpec, so it's not some "neat fringe thing", but a solid, respectable
> alternative to Test::Unit.
> Jay Levitt
> _______________________________________________
> rspec-users mailing list
> rspec-users at rubyforge.org
> http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/rspec-users


Since you've been doing TDD the right way this whole time, hopefully
you'll be able to maintain (and teach) what you've learned.  It might
be uncomfortable or painful at first but I'm sure you can do it.

I'm interested to know how your Test::Unit style might have changed
after using RSpec for a while.  I'm also interested to know if you
"slip" back to your older, different style (if there was one).


More information about the rspec-users mailing list