[rspec-users] unusual challenges speccing external software

Giles Bowkett gilesb at gmail.com
Thu Jan 17 11:24:01 EST 2008

> At the risk of sounding a bit silly, what's your question? I couldn't
> find a question mark in the whole email...?

OK, well, am I on the right track? Should I do it differently? If so,
in what particular way?

If you were speccing external software, would you do it this way? Do I
sound like a crazy person? If yes, more so than usual? Or only as much
as I usually do? Is this a sensible way to spec software which
interacts with but has no direct access to external software, or
should I just isolate my dependencies on external software and write
it off as unspeccable while speccing everything else? Is there a good
rule of thumb for a BDD workflow when you can't programmatically
capture some of the output? Because that's really what the problem is.
I built a whole set of spec objects to capture the output as text
because the system's real output isn't capturable, and if you can't
capture it, you can't check it against the spec. My code has flaws but
with good specs it's pretty easy to isolate the flaws. In this case I
can't tell yet if the flaws are just flaws in my weird semi-BDD
approach or in the code itself. I've probably done enough question
marks but basically, is there a good set of guiding principles I can
use to apply RSpec well in unconventional contexts?

Giles Bowkett

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