[rspec-users] How do you use pending in RSpec?

Bill Venners bill at artima.com
Thu Mar 12 19:23:51 EDT 2009

Hi Aslak and Scott,

Thanks for your replies. I have a couple quick follow up questions.

On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 3:05 PM, aslak hellesoy
<aslak.hellesoy at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 10:50 PM, Bill Venners <bill at artima.com> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I've been working on BDD support in a test framework for Scala
>> imaginatively called ScalaTest, and I want to add support for the
> Very cool!
>> notion of pending examples. I see three different "forms" of pending
>> in RSpec, and I'm curious to hear which ones RSpec users find most
>> useful. The three forms are:
>> # 1. With no block you get a PENDING (Not Yet Implemented) in the report
>> it "should say foo"
> I rarely use this, as I don't write a lot of specs up front.
OK. One use case I see for pending is writing the spec text before the
example code. No one yet has said they actually do this in practice.
Anyone care to admit this feature is important to them?

>> # 2. Passing a string, but no block, to pending. You get the PENDING
>> (get the vocal chords working) in the report.
>> it "should say foo" do
>>  pending("get the vocal chords working")
>>  subject.should say("foo")
>> end
> I find myself using #2 the most. I use it when I want to reduce noise diring
> a refactoring that breaks a lot.
You know there's already an "ignore" feature in ScalaTest's Spec,
which I think is probably like xit in RSpec. You just select "it" and
change it to "ignore". That means temporarily ignore this test, which
most likely broke because I'm doing refactoring. What's missing is
that there's no way with ignore to specify a string like you can with
pending #2. What do you usually put in that string?

>> # 3. Pass a string and a block to pending. If the pending code raises
>> an exception, then you get PENDING (get the vocal chords working)k
>> # but if not, I believe the whole tests fails to let you know you need
>> to drop the pending stuff now that it works (I may be wrong).
>> it "should say foo" do
>>  pending("get the vocal chords working") do
>>    subject.should say("foo")
>>  end
>> end
> I sometimes use this when I'm not sure why the example is failing, but don't
> want to look into it right now.
I guess I'm curious:

1) How important is it to you to be able to just "strike out" the
lines of code within an example that are failing (as you can with
RSpec's #3 pending form), versus just "striking out" the entire
example as you can with ignore in ScalaTest.

2) How important is it to you to be able to add a string message to
your stricken code, as you can with either #2 or #3 in RSpec? How does
that string help you?


Bill Venners
Artima, Inc.

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