[rspec-users] Integrate or isolate views?

Jesse Crockett lists at ruby-forum.com
Sun Jun 28 15:13:23 EDT 2009

Ben Mabey wrote:
> On Jun 28, 2009, at 8:32 AM, Jesse Crockett wrote:
>> When I use integrate_views, can I write view spec in what would
>> otherwise be isolated controller spec?
> Correct, by default RSpec's controller specs will not render the
> view.  This allows you to test the controller and view in complete
> isolation.  By turning on integrate_views you can specify what the
> rendered view should contain at the same time.  If you were to do
> outside-in dev starting from the view you would start out by writing
> an isolated view spec.  That spec would say that such and such would
> be displayed.  This would in turn prompt you to assign something to
> that view for it to be rendered.  That is then your signal that the
> controller needs to assign that object.  So, you go up a level and
> make sure that the controller action is assigning the needed object
> for the view.  That object will most likely have to answer to some
> methods used in the view so that prompts you to start writing examples
> on the model level.  Isolation has it's benefits, however an
> integration test (i.e. Cucumber scenario) is really needed to make
> sure these parts are all working together as expected.
>> I read that I'm "encouraged" to do these in isolation, but IMHO the
>> chapter on spec'ing views is not very convincing in its own right, it
>> tells me that it's good, but doesn't show me as much, compared to the
>> examples and descriptions of circumstance that make several other
>> chapters very convincing.
> FWIW Jesse, you are not alone on this list in thinking that view specs
> are not that valuable.  A lot of people share your opinion, and I
> think Cucumber is generally used to specify the views the majority of
> the time.  This enables you to specify your controllers in isolation
> since your Cucumber features are cutting through the entire stack. 

I gather that you are saying a balance of cucumber scenarios in tandem 
with spec'ing controllers and models in isolation is a reasonable 
conclusion and equally reasonable path to move forward?

> I personally think  view specs are a very nice tool to have available,
> but I would only use them on complex views.  By complex I don't mean
> riddled with logic, but a view that has a lot of stuff going on which
> is hard to set up all in one integration test (or Cucumber scenario).
> Since the majority of views are very simple then verifying them just
> in Cucumber is good enough, IMO.
> -Ben

I gather that you are affirming that adequate testing of controllers and 
models in isolation as presscribed the the Rspec Book can be 
accomplished without spec'ing the views in the same isolation, but 
instead by using 'integrate_views' with adequate cucumber scenarios?
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