[rspec-users] specs on private methods

David Chelimsky dchelimsky at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 08:15:07 EST 2008

On Jan 9, 2008 6:09 AM, Kerry Buckley <kerry at kerrybuckley.com> wrote:
> On Jan 9, 2008 10:01 AM, Stefan Magnus Landrø <stefan.landro at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I totally agree with you, David!

Then you agree with the majority of the TDD community.

> >
> > For quite a while I was testing all my methods (even had to declare them
> > protected/package scope in java!), but I realized that I was getting into a
> > lot of trouble. Now I've shifted to testing functionality in stead of
> > methods.
> >
> > Now, sometimes you might end up having small methods (typically a result of
> > refactoring) that are being used by several clients. In that case you should
> > start testing those methods, since they actually represent real business
> > logic.

Again, if they appear through refactoring, then they ARE tested
through the public methods. The only time I would test them directly
would be in the process of trying to locate the source of a bug, or if
I wanted to move the method to another class because it represented a
fundamentally different concept from the one represented by its
current class.

This is all TDD 101 stuff. Maybe we should have required reading on
this list ;) Here are a few suggestions:


These sorts of questions are explored in great detail in these books.


> I wonder whether that is a smell indicating that the functionality in
> those methods really belongs in its own class?
> Kerry
> --
> http://www.kerrybuckley.com/
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