[rspec-users] spec-ing private methods?

Ashley Moran ashley.moran at patchspace.co.uk
Wed Oct 14 16:32:43 EDT 2009

On 14 Oct 2009, at 20:49, Scott Taylor wrote:
> On Oct 14, 2009, at 3:36 PM, Joaquin Rivera Padron wrote:
>> private
>> def complex_method...
>> def other_complex_methods ...
>> and the two complex methods can get really tricky to get right, I  
>> would like to be able to write specs for them, how do you do that?  
>> I mean I cannot do:
>> object.some_private_method
> You have a few options:
> 1. Make the method public in the object you are testing
> 2. Make the method public in the test case
> 3. Don't test the method
> 4. Use __send__ or (send) to call it.
> 5. Refactor private methods to a new object, and make the methods  
> public in that object.
> Most of those options suck (esp. 1, 2, 3, & 4) - usually it  
> represents a design flaw (you are doing too much in your class).

I'm with Scott, this usually indicates a design flaw, and 5 is usually  
the solution.  The clue is in the names you gave them - you shouldn't  
have complex methods, especially private ones.

Can you post any of the code so we can see where the complexity/ 
problem is?



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