[rspec-users] [rspec] loading specs as an object model without running them

David Chelimsky dchelimsky at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 08:15:07 EDT 2009

On Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 6:50 AM, Marty Andrews <marty at martyandrews.net> wrote:
> On 29/04/2009, at 9:41 PM, David Chelimsky wrote:
>> On Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 6:09 AM, Marty Andrews <marty at martyandrews.net>
>> wrote:
>>> On 29/04/2009, at 8:54 PM, David Chelimsky wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 1:23 AM, Marty Andrews <marty at martyandrews.net>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> I'd like to load all of my examples into memory without actually
>>>>> running them, so I can traverse the object tree and get descriptions
>>>>> etc.  I'm finding it tricky to figure out how to do that though.
>>>>> There seems to be an inherent assumption in the framework that that
>>>>> examples will actually run.
>>>>> So basically, I want to do something like this:
>>>>> examples = load_examples_without_running
>>>>> examples.each {|example| puts example.description}
>>> [snip]
>>>> As for getting a handle on the objects, this is something that is not
>>>> really baked into RSpec, but will definitely be baked into rspec-2.0.
>>>> Work on this will start later this year (probably not until after the
>>>> rspec book is off to print). Goals for it include a very clean
>>>> separation of the DSL and the underlying object model and a very
>>>> lightweight runner.
>>>> So in the short run, your best option is to use --dry-run and
>>>> understand that you only get value out of it if you write docstrings
>>>> for all of your examples.
>>> Ok.  It's actually a bit more complicate than that.  Let me give you an
>>> insight into where I'm headed.
>>> I'm working into a big corporate in Australia, and they are demanding
>>> traceability of tests back to requirements.  I'm already using Mingle to
>>> manage story cards, and I'm hoping to let the testers build in the
>>> traceability via code.  So I've got a Mixin to the examples so that I can
>>> declare the id of the story that the test maps to.  It looks something
>>> like
>>> this:
>>> describe FunctionalArea do
>>>  it "automates some acceptance test declared on a story" do
>>>   traces_to_story 35
>>>   # test implementation
>>>  end
>>> end
>>> So now, I want to be able to walk the object tree, getting the
>>> descriptions
>>> *and* the story id's.  Mingle has a nice RESTful API that I've already
>>> used
>>> to slurp up detail about stories.  Now I just want to wire in this last
>>> bit
>>> of information to tick the traceability box without any human needing to
>>> do
>>> the work.
>>> I'll have a look at the --dry-run option and see where it gets me.  If
>>> you've got any more tips, let me know.  I'll send in a code snippet if I
>>> manage to get it going :)
>> There *is* something you can *almost* use for this, but it's
>> incomplete at the moment. RSpec let's you write your own output
>> formatters, which receive messages for every example group and example
>> as they are run. Currently, the object passed to example_started (and
>> a few other methods) is an ExampleGroupProxy, which includes an
>> options hash passed to the example. So if you do this:
>> it "automates some acceptance test declared on a story",
>>   :traces_to_story => 25 do
>> # ...
>> end
>> Then you could do stuff like:
>> def example_started(example_proxy)
>>  traces_to_story(example_proxy.options[:traces_to_story]
>> end
>> This should solve your problem assuming that you have docstrings for
>> all of your examples. The big missing piece at this moment is that the
>> ExampleGroupProxy (passed to example_group_started) doesn't include
>> the options hash, but I'll happily add that tonight.
> Yep - no problems there.  I reckon about 98% have docstrings.  I can easily
> add the remainders.
>> To see this in action, try this:
>> * in options_formatter.rb
>> require 'spec/runner/formatter/base_text_formatter'
>> class OptionsFormatter < Spec::Runner::Formatter::BaseTextFormatter
>>  def example_started(proxy)
>>   puts proxy.options.inspect unless proxy.options.empty?
>>  end
>> end
>> * in example_spec.rb
>> require 'spec'
>> describe "example" do
>>  it "supports options", :like => 'these' do
>>   # no need for anything here
>>  end
>> end
>> Now, on the command line:
>> $ spec --require options_formatter.rb example_spec.rb --format
>> OptionsFormatter
>> {:like => 'these'}
>> Formatter API is here:
>> http://rspec.rubyforge.org/rspec/1.2.4/classes/Spec/Runner/Formatter/BaseFormatter.html
>> Let me know if this is a good direction for you and I'll add the
>> options hash to the example group proxy.
> I reckon this would be great *if* it will still work with the --dry-run
> option.  Most of the examples are actually integration tests that call out
> to other tools as they run, so the build is S..L..O..W (over an hour).  I
> want to be able to generate the report without actually running the tests.

I'm really sorry about this, but I just couldn't wait for tonight to add this:


The release *will* have to wait for tonight, but you can easily build
the gem locally: http://wiki.github.com/dchelimsky/rspec/edge


> -- Marty
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