[rspec-users] RSpec style and truthiness

Pat Maddox pat.maddox at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 20:38:28 EDT 2009

I hate should/should_not be and so if I really *have* to do it then I
just throw a !! in the method and get back a real boolean.  Not ideal,
but it works.


Predicate matchers *do* accept args, and in the specific example you
gave, the have matcher comes to the rescue.  Check out these examples:

The first one shows the typical be_blah form taking an arg, and the
second one shows some magic provided by the have matcher.


2009/3/19 Rick DeNatale <rick.denatale at gmail.com>:
> I like to avoid over-constraining specifications, so for example of methods
> which return 'boolean' values, I prefer to test either truthiness (anything
> but false or nil), or falsiness (either false or nil).
> This isn't an issue true predicate methods which are of the right form to
> use be_whatever (as in a whatever? method taking no arguments). But for a
> method taking arguments this doesn't work (I think!), and even if it did I
> wouldn't want to use it for some cases. For instance I'm working with some
> code now (which I'm not really free to change) which has methods like
> has_member?(user) which tells whether or not the object has user as a
> member.  So I tend to write things like
>    @it.has_member?(user).should be
> when the response is expected to be truthy
> or
>    @it.has_member?(user).should_not be
> Now I recently noticed that if the second expectation fails, I get a rather
> snarky message like 'not only did it fail, but it's awkwardly expressed, try
> to express it as a positive.'
> While I agree that it isn't as elegant an expression as I like, I don't see
> a way out of the box to check that a result should be a falsy (or should
> that be non-truthy) value.
> Even 'should be' is a bit grating.  I'm tempted to write a pair of matchers
> like be_truthy and be_falsy, but I was wondering what other RSpec users have
> to say.
> --
> Rick DeNatale
> Blog: http://talklikeaduck.denhaven2.com/
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/RickDeNatale
> WWR: http://www.workingwithrails.com/person/9021-rick-denatale
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rickdenatale
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