[rspec-users] What should I test/specify?

Andrew Premdas apremdas at gmail.com
Sat Oct 30 21:54:48 EDT 2010

On 30 October 2010 14:40, Andrew Wagner <wagner.andrew at gmail.com> wrote:

> Ok, so here's the scenario. I have a top-level module, with a method called
> load_file. It should take a file name, get the YAML module (Syck) to parse
> it, and then send the result to a class, which should convert that result
> into a series of objects.
> I'm not sure what specs, if any, I should write for load_file. I can get
> into the nitty gritty details of exactly what methods it should be calling,
> but that seems brittle. I can skip all that and just make assertions about
> the final series of objects, but I'd rather put those specs on the class
> that's actually doing the conversion.
> Suggestions? Here's the code that I (think I) want to drive out:
> module BTree
>   def self.load_file file_name
>     raw = YAML::load_file file_name
>     tree = BehaviorTreeCreator.new(raw).create
>   end
> end
Its not obvious what specs to write for load_file because load_file is
poorly named. It does far more than load a file. If you write your  specs
for load file and read them, they won't make sense e.g.

load_file should use YAML  (why should it use YAML, and what happens if the
file isn't YAML
load_file should create a behaviour tree (why should it create a TREE)

Perhaps BTree only needs a yaml_to_tree, and you can pass the yaml into the
method. If this was the case you might spec the following:
  what happens if you pass invalid YAML
  what happens if you pass valid YAML
  what happens if you pass nothing

Generally if a method is hard to spec, then its smelly, there is something
wrong with it, it needs work



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