[rspec-users] [Cucumber, BDD] When not to use Cucumber?

Ben Mabey ben at benmabey.com
Fri Jan 23 12:04:16 EST 2009

Hi all,
Just wanted to get some feedback and opinions on something...  I have 
been using Cucumber/Story Runner since plaintext support was introduced. 
(So, since October/November of 2007.)  Throughout this time I have used 
it on various projects.  Some projects had customer involvement in help 
writing the scenarios, some I mostly wrote the scenarios after gathering 
requirements and then got verification from the customer, and others 
involved no customer at all (i.e. I was the customer).  In all three 
cases I have gotten a lot of benefit from the upfront analysis that 
writing the feature forces you to do and the outside-in development that 
follows.  That said, the business analysis and outside-in development 
can be accomplished with any tool (i.e. rspec with webrat for webapps).  
In the past I have always defaulted on using the GWT (Given, When, Then) 
syntax for most of my acceptance tests, but that may be because I am so 
accustomed to that workflow by now.

So... I'm curious what people's thoughts are.  When writing acceptance 
tests how do you choose which tool is best for the job?  I often hear 
people complaining about the GWT syntax and they see no benefit of it 
over the frameworks that provide contexts (i.e rspec, shoulda, etc).[1] 
In what cases, if any, do you think the GWT gets in the way and how?  In 
particular, if you are writing an app or lib whose customers/users are 
all developers do you still think there is value in the GWT syntax that 
Cucumber provides?

I have my own thoughts on the matter, but in playing devil's advocate I 
want to get other people's thoughts before I skew you with mine. :)


[1] http://www.dcmanges.com/blog/practicality-of-the-rspec-story-runner

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