[rspec-users] simple story, extract link

Pat Maddox pergesu at gmail.com
Tue Sep 25 18:48:22 EDT 2007

On 9/25/07, David Chelimsky <dchelimsky at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/25/07, Jonathan Linowes <jonathan at parkerhill.com> wrote:
> > hi,
> >
> > I just started fooling around with story runner, thought I'd start
> > with a dead simple scenario:
> > The first thing I do when describing a site to someone is go to the
> > home page, and begin exploring public pages from there.
> > So, that seems like a good first story to spec out.
> >
> > And I'd really like to extract the actual link from the rendered page
> > (rather than just "assuming" in the spec), but I'm not sure how to do
> > that
> > Something like:
> >
> >        # alink = find tag 'div#home-banner-links a '  where
> > content=="About"
> >        # url = extract the href attribute from alink
> >        get url
> >
> > Here's the story so far: http://pastie.caboo.se/100810
> Some comments:
> The second scenario seems more like the right level of abstraction
> than the first. Using "should render_template" in a Story seems too
> low level to me. What's interesting is what is being displayed, not
> what template is being used to display it.

I see what you're getting at.  I've thought about it a bit myself, and
have decided that expecting a certain template is a pragmatic way of
knowing that the user is on the right page.

> The second scenario does a nicer job of that.
> One thing is that you won't be able to use the full URL. RailsStory
> wraps rails integration tests, which provide access to routing, but as
> paths, not URLs. So for href="",
> you'd need to extract the "/site_pages/about" part and get that.
> Thoughts?

I was planning on implementing a
click_link "Follow me!"

sorta thing in the next couple days.  One problem I have is that right
now you still need to know too much about the underlying structure
(and golly if I didn't just contradict the first part of my reply!).
There was a thread a few days ago [1] where I hinted at that.  He
wanted to go directly to a URL, when he should have been following a

I think there needs to be some mechanism for following links /
submitting forms so that you can really follow the path a user takes.
That leaves you with something like:

Story "Create an auction", %{
  As a seller
  I want to create a new auction
  So that I can get filthy rich
} do

  Scenario "Successful listing" do
    Given "A user" do
      User.create! :login => "pat", :password => "password"
    And "user visits the login page" do
      get "/login"
    And "user logs in" do
      submit_form :login, :login => "pat", :password => "password"
    And "user visits new auction page" do
      click_link "Create an auction"
    When "user creates auction" do
      submit_form :auction, :auction => { :item_name => "Ruby for
Rails", :price => 50 }
    Then "new auction should be listed" do
      response.should have_text(/Item successfully created!/)
      response.should have_text(/Ruby for Rails/)

That requires you to know
1. Point of entry
2. IDs of forms and links (or text for links, if you prefer)
3. The fields that a form uses

So really all we've gotten away from is dependency on knowing certain
URLs, which I'm not positive is a huge benefit...otoh, this is closer
to tracing a user's path through the app which is nice.



[1] http://rubyforge.org/pipermail/rspec-users/2007-September/003344.html

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