[rspec-users] On Mocks vs Stubs in the context of rSpec

David Chelimsky dchelimsky at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 21:47:36 EDT 2009

On Jul 23, 7:41 pm, Ben Mabey <b... at benmabey.com> wrote:
> Marcelo de Moraes Serpa wrote:> Hello list,
> > >From what I could see, the lines between mocks and stubs are subtle,
> > but the general idea I got is that mocks set expectations and stubs
> > are only dummy objects/method calls. What confused me though, is that
> > the stub() method is an alias for mock() in
> > Spec::Mocks::ExampleMethods. So a stub is a mock?
> Yes, no, and maybe so. :p  I agree with your general understanding that
> "mocks set expectations and stubs are only dummy objects/method calls".  
> The fact that rspec using the same machinery to provide stubs and mocks
> is really inconsequential because the deciding factor of what they are
> is how you use them.  You can, IMO, use a "mock" like a stub and a
> "stub" like a mock.. Take this for example:
> describe "#some_method" do
>   it "delegates to some_obejct" do
>     some_object = stub('some object', :some_method => "foo")
>     my_object = MyObject.new(some_object)
>     my_object.some_method.should == "foo"
>   end
> end
> We are using a stub as a dummy object, and yet our expectation is
> clearing testing the method call.  So is the above a stub or is it
> really a mock?  I would say that it is acting like a mock.  I hope that
> others on the list will correct me if I am wrong making this
> observation/conclusion.   Likewise we could use a mock as a dummy object
> and never set any expectations on it and it would be acting like a
> stub.  Even though stub and mock is the same in RSpec you should still
> use the correct name when using them.
> > Also, another thing that is confusing: You have stub and stub! methods
> > in the Spec::Mocks::Methods namespace, what is the difference between
> > Spec::Mocks::ExampleMethods#stub and Spec::Mocks::Methods#stub ?
> Spec::Mocks::ExampleMethods are the methods that you can call during the course of a code example.  So when you say stub("something") the method in Spec::Mocks::ExampleMethods gets called and returns you a stub.  Now, that stub object now has it's own #stub method which lives on Spec::Mocks::Methods#stub.  That call will stub out the provided method and return value... So my_stub.stub(:foo, "bar"), however that is aliased from #stub! which is used most often.  This is all from memory so I could be wrong but that is the general gist of it.
> HTH,
> -Ben

Ben and I are secretly the same person.

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