[rspec-users] Running RSpec from within my Ruby application

Daniel Lucraft dan at fluentradical.com
Sat Sep 27 11:25:54 EDT 2008

Well, after some time fiddling, I've come up with this:

  require 'rubygems'

  # make sure nothing gets added to ruby's at_exit hook:
  $spec_runner_at_exit_hook_registered = true

  # load RSpec
  require 'spec'
  require 'spec/runner/formatter/base_formatter'

  # helper to find all defined example groups
  def lookup_example_groups
    cs = []
    Spec::Example::ExampleGroup.constants.each do |c|
      if c =~ /Subclass_/
        cs << Spec::Example::ExampleGroup.const_get(c)

  # helper to undefine example groups
  def clean_example_groups(groups)
    groups.each do |c|
      puts "cleaning #{c.to_s}"
      Spec::Example::ExampleGroup.send(:remove_const, c.to_s.split("::").last.intern)

  # my custom formatter, mainly just a stub for now, but will be used
  # to pass information about failing specs back to the gui.
  class RubyFormatter < Spec::Runner::Formatter::BaseFormatter
    def initialize
      super(rspec_options, StringIO.new)
      @pass_count = 0
      @fail_count = 0
    def start(example_count)
      @example_count = example_count
    def example_passed(*args)
      @pass_count += 1
    def example_failed(*args)
      @fail_count += 1
    def inspect
      "<RubyFormatter total:#{@example_count}, passed:#{@pass_count}, failed:#{@fail_count}>"
  # stub out options to use my own formatter
  def rspec_options.formatters
    @o ||= RubyFormatter.new
  # load the actual specs
  load 'some_specs.rb'
  # run the example groups
  lookup_example_groups.each do |eg|
  # examine the results
  p rspec_options.formatters.first
  # undefine example groups

  # clear up formatter
  rspec_options.instance_variable_set(:@o, nil)

  # system is now clean (?), and ready to reload specs etc

As you can probably tell, I'm coding without really understanding. This works well enough for my
needs right now, but please let me know how these things can be done better.


--- Daniel Lucraft <dan.lucraft at googlemail.com> wrote:

> Hi all
> (I tried to send this question to the list a few hours ago, but it
> seems to have not got through. If it did sorry for the duplication.)
> Does anyone have any tips or examples of how to run RSpec example
> groups programmatically from within a Ruby application?
> Essentially I would like to be able to:
>   1. load example groups from a set of files I know about
>   2. run them
>   3. get back an object that contains information about successes and failures
>   4. reload the example groups
> I think I i can accomplish (3) with a custom formatter, (4) by
> reflecting on and undefining the classes Example::Subclass_1 etc as
> required.
> But I'm having real trouble with the first two steps. Here's what I have so far:
>   require 'rubygems'
>   require 'spec'
>   $spec_runner_at_exit_hook_registered = true
>   require 'some_specs'
>   err = StringIO.new
>   out = StringIO.new
>   options = Spec::Runner::Options.new(err, out)
>   options.add_example_group(Spec::Example::ExampleGroup::Subclass_1)
>   runner = Spec::Runner::ExampleGroupRunner.new(options)
>   runner.run
>   puts "results:"
>   puts out.string
>   puts "\n\n[script end]"
> But the results string here claims that there were 0 examples run. By
> looking at the output I know that my example is being run however.
> Can someone help me put these pieces together?
> thanks,
> Dan
> _______________________________________________
> rspec-users mailing list
> rspec-users at rubyforge.org
> http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/rspec-users

More information about the rspec-users mailing list