[rspec-users] Stopping Example Execution?

Britt Mileshosky mileshosky at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 30 18:11:44 EDT 2008


n Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 12:20 PM, David Chelimsky wrote:
On Jun 29, 2008, at 11:18 AM, Britt Mileshosky wrote:

However, do you see where something like a return statement or end example statement could be beneficial?
If you are working from the top down with your controller action execution, then you only need to test your expectation
and then bail out of your action. No need to further test or meet requirements on anything else in that action because your
single test has been met.

- in my example for making sure I find a user, I'd like to end execution once I DID find the user, i shouldn't have to satisfy
requirements about finding an account and a person... I'll write those expectations later in another nested describe group, as you
can see here, in a top down process

PeopleController with a logged in user
- should find user

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account
- should find account

PeopleController with a logged in user who doesnt have an account
- shouldn't find account
- should redirect ...

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account the person belongs to
- should find person
- should assign person for the view

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account the requested person does not belong to
- should not find person
- should ...

My instinct about this is that it would encourage long methods because it would make it less painful to test them, so I would be adverse to anything that let's you short circuit the method.

Anybody else have opinions on that?



I'm just catching up on email now after being sick for the past six days, but health aside my opinion is that I agree with David's opinion. Rather than focusing on how-to write easier tests that complain less, start focusing on how-to write the right tests that complain when necessary.

One of the benefits associated with feeling the pain of a test is that it may be a sign to re-assess and refactor your code. This usually happens early enough that it only takes a few minutes. Short circuiting essentially gives you the ability to not feel the pain. Its like CIPA [0], but for code. I would fear that the code would get so bad that by the time the test cried with pain your code was already beyond easy repair and instead required invasive surgery.

Tests are part of the nervous system of your application. When they hurt, they're telling you something isn't right and that it should be addressed,



I wouldn't really say that anything I have been presenting has been a result of 'pains', 
more so an observation on how an example group with other example groups can be much more readable
for myself and for other developers when they need to read the specs. Stubbing everything at the top doesn't
make complete sense. Why not stub inside the example group that has a NICE describe statement telling you
what this stubbing is related to. We can't do this because the first examples will blow up due to having to execute
all the code.

Take the 2 examples:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PeopleController
# stub everything way up here at the top where these
# definitions are out of context (by means of position) with following examples
#
# stub controller requirments
# stub logged in requirement
# stub account requirement
# stub no account requirement
# stub account owns person
# stub account doesn't own person


PeopleController with before filters
- should require user

PeopleController with a logged in user
- should find user

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account
- should find account

PeopleController with a logged in user who doesnt have an account
- shouldn't find account
- should redirect ...

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account the person belongs to
- should find person
- should assign person for the view

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account the requested person does not belong to
- should not find person
- should ...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PeopleController
# stub the minimum needed to get to the first example group up and running

PeopleController with before filters
- should require user

PeopleController with a logged in user
# stub logged in requirement
- should find user

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account
# stub account requirement
- should find account

PeopleController with a logged in user who doesnt have an account
# stub no account requirement
- shouldn't find account
- should redirect ...

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account the person belongs to
# stub account owns person
- should find person
- should assign person for the view

PeopleController with a logged in user who has an account the requested person does not belong to
# stub account doesn't own person
- should not find person
- should ...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I prefer the second group, but unfortunately I am not able to write my specs in this organized fashion.
Just sayin.

Britt
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