[rspec-users] stubbing Time.zone.now for model tests fails for Rails 2.3.1

David Chelimsky dchelimsky at gmail.com
Wed Mar 11 13:57:57 EDT 2009

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 12:40 PM, David Schmidt <davids at tower-mt.com> wrote:
> Our application has some code to schedule recurring tasks, with code to skip
> holidays and weekends.
> In order to test the schedule model we need to have a fixed time returned
> when the model is run so that the tests will run the same no matter what day
> they are run.  (The first set of tests written would all pass until run on a
> weekend, when the skip code would schedule a task days later in order to
> skip a weekend day.)
> Our solution under Rails 2.1 was to set an instance variable to a fixed time
> and then to stub the time returned, similar to the method that David
> Chelimsky recommended:
> now = Time.now
> Time.stub!(:now).and_return(now)
> However, our app is using Time.zone.now in order to return local time in the
> user's local time zone.  The following code works in Rails 2.1:
> @now = Time.now
> @timezone = TimeZone.new('UTC')
> Time.stub!(:zone).and_return(@timezone)
> @timezone.stub!(:now).and_return(@new)

How about:

@now = Time.now
@zone = mock('timezone')

Now you're not depending on TimeZone in the examples. Let us know if it works.


> In Rails 2.1 this properly returned @now when the model accessed
> Time.zone.now.
> After upgrading to Rails 2.3.1 (and RSpec *all* tests that use
> this method fail.  They appear to fail as soon as a time from Time.zone.now
> is saved to a model and then accessed, even though the time in the record
> appears fine.
> The error we're getting is:
> "You have a nil object when you didn't expect it!
> The error occurred while evaluating nil.period_for_utc"
> If I comment out the last two lines above ("Time.stub!" and
> "@timezone.stub!") then I don't get that error, but without fixed times some
> of our tests fail due to the variable time.
> Has anyone else run into this problem and come up with a solution to getting
> a fixed time back from Time.zone.now?
> David Schmidt
> davids at tower-mt.com
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