[rspec-users] cucumber - mark a step as pending

Pat Maddox pergesu at gmail.com
Wed Sep 10 00:16:42 EDT 2008

"aslak hellesoy" <aslak.hellesoy at gmail.com> writes:

> On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 7:16 PM, David Chelimsky <dchelimsky at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Aslak - I think Matt is looking for this:
>> Given /blah/ do
>>  pending
>> end
> I'm not crazy about this "feature". We already have a pending
> mechanism for steps (not defining them). What does this bring to the
> table over just not defining a step?

The main reason is that you can have meaningful messages.  Those are
just good in general.  And I'll admit that when you're sitting down to
write a feature narrative, it may not seem to have value writing a
particular message vs seeing the default pending one...but for
maintenance it can be very helpful.

In fact, here's an example that happened to me just today (example
framework, not cucumber, but I rarely use pending ever so when I do, I
find it's because it's exceptionally handy):

  describe "book" do
    before(:each) do
      @book = Book.new :isbn => "12345678"
    it "should know its amazon url" do
      @book.amazon_url.should == "http://amazon.com/ub/12345678"
      pending "need to figure out affiliate url format"
    it "should know its borders url" do
      @book.borders_url.should == "http://search.borders.com?isbn=12345678"
      pending "need to figure out affiliate url format"

Our initial story was to link to books using an affiliate code.  But for
all providers other than amazon, it was tough finding the right format.
We're better off waiting a couple days until our accounts are available,
then we can look at the internal docs for 2 minutes and figure it out.
We got immediate business value today by just linking directly to these
books from within the site.  And now we've got these pending statements
to remind us in a couple days when we come back to this story.

Anyway, I have a feeling I could have implemented this feature in the
time it took to write this message.  But I hope it's clear that it's
something that would be valuable to some people, and harmless to the


p.s. I believe a more correct action would be to split the story into
two - the first which is to provide a UI for linking to books, and the
second which is for adding the affiliate URLs.  Finish the first story,
and put the second one at the top of the queue, finishing it when the
required information becomes available.  But that's another discussion.

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