[rspec-users] Attempting to Make Sense of RSpec use

Steve Eley steve at deepsalt.com
Sat Jul 5 17:00:55 EDT 2008

On Sat, Jul 5, 2008 at 3:50 PM, Tiffani Ashley Bell
<tiffani2k3 at gmail.com> wrote:
> When I run the tests the third test fails and RSpec complains that "Mock
> 'Account_1003' expected :new with (any args) once, but received it 0 times"
> I'm confused about that since I am calling Account.new in the create method
> on the controller.  What's really wrong here?

The problem there is that Account.new is a _class_ method on the
Account class.  The @mock_account you made is an _instance_ of Account
(actually, not even that, it's a mock object that will pretend it's an
Account if you ask it).  You're not sending @mock_account any
messages, you're sending them to the Account class.  To do what you
want, you need to stub that class, for instance:


And in the spec you can do Account.should_receive(:new).

There's some other stuff in that spec that looks a bit messy...
Generally speaking, you can do some pretty clean tests with fixtures
*or* you can do tests by mocking everything, but it's not a great idea
to do both at the same time.  In controller specs, best practice is
usually to mock your models and not touch the real models or the
database (i.e. fixtures) at all, because A.) it's faster and B.)
you're isolating your tests to *just* the controller code, and won't
have to worry about tests failing because the models are broken.
(That's what the model specs are for.)  >8->

I'm also unclear on the relationship between User and Account in this
code, and why you're creating a new account for every new user in the
UsersController...  But that's really about your application, not
about RSpec.  If that's how your application needs to behave, then
your spec here seems to be on the right track.

I hope this was helpful.  I'm just figuring a lot of this out myself,
and my main reason for answering you was to reinforce this stuff in my
_own_ mind.  >8->

> Thanks in advance for answering my RSpec questions! :D
> --Tiffani AB
> On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 9:09 PM, Mikel Lindsaar <raasdnil at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jul 4, 2008 at 8:32 AM, Tiffani Ashley Bell
>> <tiffani2k3 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hi everybody,
>> Hi Tiffany, welcome to Rspec
>> > I was reading the Typo source code, however, and came across some code
>> > that
>> > I didn't know exactly how it worked.  I've noticed that in testing one
>> > of
>> > their controllers, they use a variable (@comments) that they don't
>> > declare
>> > anywhere else, yet they use it as a stand in for collections on some of
>> > the
>> > mocks.  How is that possible?  I know in the mocking documentation it
>> > says
>> > that you can define collaborations with other objects before those
>> > objects
>> > exist, but how is that working in this code?  I only ask that because
>> > later,
>> > you see code like this:  @comments.stub!(:build).and_return(@comment).
>> If you have a look at the descriptions, they use :shared => true.
>> This is a way of being DRY in RSpec (which I personally don't think is
>> such a good idea).
>> What the shared => true declaration allows you to do is to include
>> that block of code elsewhere with 'it should behave like my shared
>> code'
>> So we have (describe "All Requests", :shared => true do)
>> and then the next description block is:
>> describe "General Comment Creation", :shared => true do
>>  it_should_behave_like "All Requests"
>> Which then includes the All Requests block (which is just a before
>> method).
>> The @comments variable gets declared in:
>> @comments.stub!(:build).and_return(@comment)
>> and then this is tied in to the Article model in the _previous_ code
>> block like so:
>>    @article  = mock_model(Article,
>>                  :comments                   => @comments,
>>                  :published_comments         => @comments,
>>                  :add_comment                => @comment)
>> So when you call @article.comments you get @comments as a stub back
>> which stubs :build and returns a @comment.
>> Ugh.
>> This is where, in RSpec, you can dig a very fast grave.  Because
>> you'll come back to this code in 6-12 months and be totally stuck
>> trying to figure out what is where.
>> I recently wrote a viewpoint on this that might help you:
>> http://www.lindsaar.net/2008/6/24/tip-24-being-clever-in-specs-is-for-dummies
>> Hope you do well with Rspec, feel free to ask more questions!
>> --
>> http://lindsaar.net/
>> Rails, RSpec, Puppet and Life blog....
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Have Fun,
Steve Eley
Deep Salt Team

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