[rspec-users] Cucumber fat client

mike.gaffney mike.gaffney at asolutions.com
Sun Dec 14 13:49:54 EST 2008

Why not make a web client that manipulates git based projects in the 
background? I've been messing around with Grit and doing things like 
this lately for http://rdocul.us a site I run and it is very easy to do. 
If everything is in a standard location you could just add a project via 
an administrative page and it would be cloned in the background, then 
they could:

browse all specs (just a filesystem listing)
edit and save specs (git add, commit, push)
look at a history on a given spec (log)
look at the history of all changes to the specs (log on a path)
merge changes / conflicts

the only thing that would be hard at all would be the conflict 
resolution from if/when a normal git user update a spec.


Matt Wynne wrote:
> On 9 Dec 2008, at 09:43, aslak hellesoy wrote:
>> Hi folks,
>> Cucumber has become popular a lot quicker than I had anticipated.
>> Still, with its plain text nature it is still limited to programmers 
>> (in most teams).
>> I want to close the gap between customers/product owners/business 
>> analysts and programmers,
>> and I'm convinced that a fat client is needed to achieve this. 
>> Something that lets people
>> browse, edit and run features inside a friendly user interface.
>> So I'm asking you - what would this user interface be like? How do 
>> people want to access it
>> and use it?
> We have a person filling the 'Product Owner' role who is completely 
> non-technical.
> I think it would be nice if there was a way for her to be able to do this:
>     * fire up the client
>     * choose 'open project'
>     * enter the URL to the git repo where the project lives
>     * then see a nice overview of all the features
>     * be able to print off features for taking to meetings, reading on 
> the train etc, nicely formatted
>     * be able to edit features and easily push the changes back to the 
> git repo
> To me, this is more important than being able to run them. I don't think 
> non-techie users need to be able to run features as they won't be able 
> to do anything about it when they inevitably fail. I also hate the idea 
> of having to set up Ruby, gems etc on a non-techie person's computer. 
> It's better, IMO, if the tool makes it easy for them to push their 
> changes into a git repo where they can either be swept into the main dev 
> fork / branch, or automatically run using CI, et etc.
> So that's where I think the focus of such a tool should be - browsing, 
> reviewing and editing features rather than executing them, and with some 
> SCM integration to make all that easier for non-techies. I do think that 
> eventually the ability to run features will become important too, but I 
> would like to see this side of the problem solved first.
> Obviously there's a dependency on git in what I'm suggesting, but I'm 
> sure it would be easy enough to plug in other SCMs if that was popular 
> enough.
> Matt Wynne
> http://blog.mattwynne.net
> http://www.songkick.com
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