[rspec-users] story vs feature (was Documentation for Plain-Text Stories)

Jonathan Linowes jonathan at parkerhill.com
Fri Aug 22 13:53:42 EDT 2008

On Aug 20, 2008, at 10:20 AM, David Chelimsky wrote:
> I see them as very different.
> User Stories are inputs to a development process and Features are  
> the outputs.

I decided to churn on this for a few days before responding. Actually  
I was going to let it drop, but kept thinking about it.

Given your observation (above) I see an analogy between Stores ->  
Features,   and Specs -> Tests, that is, I write specs as input, I  
develop the code, and tests are the outputs. Same code, different  

You (or someone) named this framework rspec perhaps because 'spec' is  
more descriptive and accurate than 'test', but more importantly  
because there is a large body of work and history with conventional  
QA and testing, and it was important to coin a new term (spec) to  
distinguish BDD from conventional testing. However, you can use test  
tools to do BDD (e.g. as many people has chosen to continue using  
Test Unit and shoulda rather than rspec for whatever reasons).

But with regard to stories vs features, there really isnt a legacy  
and baggage about the word 'story', so changing the name to 'feature'  
is mostly semantics.

Personally, I do not see a feature as separate from a story, because  
a feature means nothing without some context. Stories provide that  
context.  Scenarios provide the specifics. I might write and organize  
my stories by individual feature, but theres other ways as well:  
workflows, goals/objectives, different starting setups, user roles,  
and so on, all involving one or more sets of features.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and I'm wholeheartedly  
appreciative of the work you and Alask and everyone does on this  
project. If anything, I'm just trying to sort all this out for myself.

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