[rspec-users] RSpec-Rails bug with to_xml?

Bira u.alberton at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 07:30:27 EDT 2008

Hello, everyone. I've been lurking here for a while, but this is my first post.

I think I've run into a RSpec bug in a Rails project I'm working on. I
was working on a few REST controllers, and started getting failures on
a specific spec that verified whether a certain action returned XML
output. I spent quite a lot of time checking my code to see if it was
something I did wrong, but it works when I test it manually.

So I created an empty Rails app, and wrote the bare minimum of code
necessary to reproduce this problem. I'm using Rails 2.1.1, with
rspec-1.1.8 and rspec-rails-1.1.8, all installed as gems.

I started by creating a dead-simple model with two string attributes
and no validations, along with this fixture:

# spec/fixtures/users.yml
  name: Name
  email: email

Then I created a simple controller, and its corresponding spec.

class UsersController < ApplicationController

  def index
    respond_to do |format|
      format.xml { render :xml => User.find(:all).to_xml}


# spec

require File.expand_path(File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/../spec_helper')

describe UsersController do

  fixtures :users

  it "should return a XML user list" do
    get :index, :format => :xml
    response.body.should == User.find(:all).to_xml


It all looks straightforward enough - I use the same call on both the
controller and the spec, so the two results should indeed be the same.
However, when I run the spec I get this failure:

'UsersController should return a XML user list' FAILED
expected: "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>\n<users
type=\"array\">\n  <user>\n    <created-at
<email>email</email>\n    <id type=\"integer\">953125641</id>\n
<name>Name</name>\n    <updated-at
     got: " " (using ==)
/usr/lib64/ruby/1.8/timeout.rb:53:in `timeout'

Finished in 0.256981 seconds

This happens both when using "rake spec" and when running only that
spec file. Firing up the app and accessing localhost:3000/users.xml
returns the correct result. In the "real" project, it's even weirder:
the "expected" site of the assertion shows a string composed of the
XML out put concatenated to itself, and the "got" side has the correct
output. Something like "Expected 'aa' but got 'a'".

What could the problem be? Is it really a RSpec bug, or is it
something I did wrong?


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