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

Dan North tastapod at gmail.com
Fri Aug 29 14:37:02 EDT 2008

At the risk of being a bit controversial...

2008/8/24 David Chelimsky <dchelimsky at gmail.com>

> Sadly, "spec" has just as much baggage, if not more, as "test" does.
> These days we're calling these things "code examples," (tongue
> pressing into cheek) so maybe we should change the name to
> rcodeexample?

Or rbehave?

The rbehave.org domain is available (I registered it some time ago), and
rspec has naturally evolved from its original goal of code-level specs to
become a full-stack behaviour description framework.

Just a thought.

With regard to the stories and features thing, I see a BDD-shaped story as
providing a context - and justification - for a feature:

As a [stakeholder]
*I want [a feature]
*So that [I get some benefit]

Before we started using this structure, a "story" would often just be the
middle line, so it wasn't immediately obvious who the stakeholder was or why
they wanted the feature, which in turn would often lead to over-work,
under-work or just plain wrong-work. Of course the word "story" has its own
baggage. In XP a story is "a placeholder/promise for a conversation", and as
such could just be a title scribbled on a card. I wrote the story
article<http://dannorth.net/whats-in-a-story>to put this all in
context - if you ask 5 agile folks what a story is, you
will likely get 6 answers.

I agree that *the feature is the interesting thing*, and also that there may
be several stories about the same feature in different broad contexts. In
any event the scenarios provide the definition of "Done" for the feature,
which is kind of the whole point. So I guess I'm saying I'm ambivalent about
the story/feature distinction. I don't look at stories as work units as much
as a more formal description of (some aspect of) a feature.

After speaking with Aslak - and some FDD folks I met at Agile 2008 - I can
fully agree with organising stories by feature. In fact in Peter Coad's FDD
they have features within feature sets, within subject areas, which might
well map to stories within features within [not sure - subject areas?
themes? something broader anyway]. FDD features seem to be "thinner" than
what I understand Aslak's description of features to be.

One thing that makes me happy is that we seem to have consensus around the
word "scenario" - which is where the outside-in work really starts.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://rubyforge.org/pipermail/rspec-users/attachments/20080829/ae43e517/attachment.html>

More information about the rspec-users mailing list