[rspec-users] [Cucumber:4066] Cucumber vs, RSpec

Mike Sassak msassak at gmail.com
Tue Apr 20 14:57:07 EDT 2010

On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 2:33 PM, Ed Howland <ed.howland at gmail.com> wrote:
> Please forgive the x-post.
> I just got back from the Great Lakes Ruby Bash. They had several good
> presentations, two specific to BDD and Cucumber. I also talked to
> several CEOs and devs afterwards, and the overall takeaway I gathered
> was a shift to less RSpec and more Cucumber. Some people even claimed
> a 90/10 split (cukes/specs) on current projects.
> This was surorising to me and not at all how I worked up to this
> point. I was more 20/80. I usually cuked a feature, then spec'ed the
> code to make the cuke work. Each release had some new features and
> specs for all the underlying code. Apparently, the feeling is that you
> should do all your main thrusts with Cucumber and use RSpec for edge
> cases. The theory is that you can change out all the underlying code
> and the cukes still pass.
> What is the communities consensus on this?

Hi Ed,

I was also at the GLRB, and was a bit aghast at the claim that you
should have a 90/10 split between cukes and rspec. In my experience,
favoring Cucumber so heavily invites developing code that behaves
correctly, but is messy and difficult to change. I would go so far as
to claim there is a positive correlation between over-reliance on
Cucumber features and rampant violations of the SOLID principles.
Cucumber simply doesn't excel at enforcing simple, testable contracts
between the objects in your code base the way RSpec does. The result
is that your code is hard to refactor and change, which from the
developer's point of view is practically the whole reason to maintain
a good test suite in the first place. This isn't the whole of the
story by any means, but I think it's close to the place to start.


P.S. Hello RSpec Group! What's the etiquette here for cross-posting?

> Cheers,
> Ed
> Ed Howland
> http://greenprogrammer.wordpress.com
> http://twitter.com/ed_howland
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