[rspec-users] testing a post to a controller's create action

Patrick J. Collins patrick at collinatorstudios.com
Sat Nov 19 18:03:31 EST 2011

> #store_params is not an "action", therefore I would make it private.

I agree completely, and probably should have specified that in my sample code
(it certainly is private in my real non-hypothetical implementation).

> Since it is used only by the #create action, I would spec it as part of the #create spec:

Well this came up for me because I have a bit of a complex controller which has
several before_filters, and I wanted a clean way to really verify that each and
every filter is doing what it should, so that's why I wanted to spec those
individual methods.

> You can, but you should mock Post.create!:
> describe '#create' do
>   it 'stores the :post params' do
>     Post.should_receive(:create!).and_return(true)
>     post :create, { :post => { :fake_param => "foobar" } }
>     session[:post_params][:fake_param].should == "foobar"
>   end
> end

Unfortunately, this project is using a plugin called "Decent Exposure" which
does various magic to simplify controller code (and honestly has been a big
headache).  So, the create action actually calls post.save!

the 'post' that .save! is called on is actually auto-generated by a method
created by Decent Exposure.  It returns a new record pre-populated with

The failure I see is:

     Failure/Error: post :create, { :post => { :fake_param => "foobar" } }
				unknown attribute: foo
     # ./app/controllers/posts_controller.rb:107:in `new'

...  So, I can't stub out "create!", because this failure is happening before
there...  And, if I do:  Post.stubs(:new).returns(true)

I still get the same failure.

I even took it a step further where I explicitly told decent exposure to use a

expose(:post) do
	exposed_for_post if params[:post]

def exposed_for_post

..  And guess what?  Doing subject.stubs(:exposed_for_post).returns true

still gives me the same failure, unknown attribute: foo in 'new'...  But,
manually testing stuff proves that exposed_for_post method IS being called, and
everything is working..  I just want an automated test to prove it.

I am totally stumped on this one...  

Patrick J. Collins

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