[rspec-users] Best Practice for Controllers

Ants Pants antsmailinglist at gmail.com
Tue Jan 18 03:30:22 EST 2011

When I read the David Kahn's response, I thought it strange to have
controller code in the model and was going to query him on it so I'm glad
that others think the same.

As for Nick's response, I will look into it_behaves_like (I remember seeing
that in the book with a pizza example) It sounds good to me.

Thanks for the replies.


On 17 January 2011 20:43, David Chelimsky <dchelimsky at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jan 17, 2011, at 10:16 AM, David Kahn wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM, Ants Pants <antsmailinglist at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> From what I've seen, this type of question doesn't really seem to get an
>> answer on this list as most of the replies relate to failures of RSpec. If
>> this is the case, where is the best place to go to get advice about best
>> practices etc?
>> I have a question about best practice. In some of my controllers only an
>> admin user can perform edit, update, show etc. So I have a before filter in
>> those controllers; ApplicationController#authorise_is_admin
>> The ApplicationController#authorise_is_admin throws an AccessDenied
>> exception and that is caught in ApplicationController#access_denied
>> My question is, in the spec for the calling controller, let's say
>> ProductGroups, what should I spec?
>> I have a context "user is admin" and that's easy to spec, but the context
>> "user is not admin" is where I'm stuck as no actions are performed in that
>> controller but I would just like to cover that failure somehow.
>> Interesting question. I had the same dilemma and decided that it took too
> much effort and test code to test this at the controller level. What I do
> (and this may or may not work for you depending on your apps security
> needs), is to have an authorize method in the User model. It returns success
> or failure based on the controller and action passed. The model looks
> something like this:
>   def authorize(controller_name, action_name)
>     if self.role
>       current_role = self.role.name
>     else
>       # guest user is empty user
>       current_role = 'guest'
>     end
>     case controller_name
>     when 'activations'
>       if current_role != 'guest'
>         return set_autorize_failure_value("You are already logged in to the
> system. If you are activating a new user please log out first and try
> again.")
>       end
>       return authorize_success_message
>     when 'feedback_supports'
>       if current_role == 'guest' || current_role == 'sysadmin'
>         return set_autorize_failure_value(LOGIN_NOTICE)
>       end
>       return authorize_success_message
> ...
> end
> Then in the spec it is real easy:
>   describe "user authorization - guest role" do
>     it "is authorized to access certain pages only" do
>       user = User.new
>       user.authorize('activations', 'create')[:success].should == true
>       user.authorize('home', 'index')[:success].should == false
>     ....
>     end
>   end
> This might not be everyone's cup of tea and I am sure I can refactor and
> make this less verbose, but what I like is having the 'dna' of all my access
> rights app wide in one place.
> Definitely agree with the idea of keeping decisions in one place. I don't
> really like the idea of 'controllers' living inside a model, but change
> 'controller_name' to 'resource_collection_name' and that solves that
> problem.
> I would still want to specify that the controller asks the user for
> authorization. WDYT?
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