[rspec-users] Message expectation that verifies result of passed block

Paul Hinze paul.t.hinze at gmail.com
Thu Jan 28 16:14:02 EST 2010

Ashley Moran <ashley.moran at patchspace.co.uk> on 2010-01-28 at 13:28:
> On Jan 28, 2010, at 1:29 pm, Paul Hinze wrote:
> > I believe the lack of ability to use this notation comes down to a ruby
> > limitation, but I'm not sure.  If that's the case, then we would need a
> > specific argument expectation (along the lines of my suggestion) that
> > executes in a context in which it can call the block.
> I can't find a solution, I suspect Ruby 1.8 can't do this, but I'm guessing.
> Can I ask why you want to do this though?  As another example, it
> would be unusual to spec something like:
>   @array = [1, 2, 3]
>   @array.should_receive(:map).with(block_that_doubles_values)
> You'd instead check that the array that came out was [2, 4, 6].

I'm trying to spec a large set of what essentially come down to
decorator methods in a Rails FormBuilder extension plugin.  What this
boils down to is methods that wrap rails FormBuilder methods, so
`f.text(*args)` ends up calling `f.text_field(*args)` to generate an
<input> tag, but only after it does its own logic and wrapping, which
among a bunch of other things wraps the output in an <li>.

So the methods run the gamut in complexity from 'f.radio' to
'f.dependent_collection' to 'f.sigma', but much of the common code is
wrapped up in a method called 'f.question', which does the outer <li>
wrapping, required field detection, label and error display, and a few
other common things required by every control we use in our forms.

So most of our methods have this basic structure:

  class OurFormBuilder < ActionView::Helpers::FormBuilder
    def foo_text(method, options={})
      foo_option = options.delete(:foo_option)
      options[:value] ||= 'FOO'

      # some logic, using foo_option somewhere... 

      question(method, options) do |remaining_options|
        'FOO -->' + text_field(method, remaining_options) + '<-- FOO'

I started out with a nice spec for `question`'s behavior and made it all
in a shared group, but because of the number of examples just for
question and the number of methods that call it (so both performance and
complexity), I'm thinking about switching to message expectations in all
of my `foo_text`-style method specs:

  describe 'foo_text'
    it 'calls text field with the proper options' do
      @builder.should_receive(:text_field).with(:some_method, :proper_args)
    it 'yields a wrapped text_field into question' do
      # dont test rails text_field
      text_field_return = "BOOGA"

      expected = "FOO -->" + text_field_return + "<-- FOO"

      @builder.foo_text(:some_method, :some => options)
    it 'properly returns the result of the call to question' do
      xhtml = @builder.foo_text(:some_method)
      xhtml.should == 'BOOGA'

I'd appreciate any feedback that folks might be willing to give.
Particularly I realize the following:

 (a) This might be testing implementation too much (possible)
 (b) The architecture of the whole plugin needs a serious refactor to
     increase modularity and decouple the components (very likely); a
     dash of decent OO design could really help this whole situation,
     and it's something I'm planning on tackling down the road
For now, I'm just trying to push things in the right direction, and I
_think_ the .with_a_block_yielding(value) or .with(block_yielding(value))
argument verification would help me do that.

Thanks for your time!


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