[rspec-users] Custom Formatter: Getting Text from It Method

Jeff Nyman jeffnyman at gmail.com
Wed Sep 28 08:30:26 EDT 2011

Hey all.

I've been playing around with RSpec custom formatters to see how much
flexibility there is. One thing I've been trying to see is if I can
print the contents of a variable that's in an example (it) method. So,
for example, here's what I have in my specification:

  it "should display results range" do
    search_for("star wars")
    @browser.text.should match(/Showing .* of .* Results/)
    intent = "Text 'Showing .* of .* Results' shows after 'Star Wars'

Notice the line with intent there? I realize this is not what most
people would do with RSpec. The reason I'm doing this is because I'd
like viewers of the test results to see the exact condition that was
tested for in the should if they want to -- without having to read the
code. Again, I'm just experimenting.

What I'm trying to do is figure out how I could use a custom formatter
to print out that intent text. I know that the example_passed method
in the formatters contains elements like example.description that
prints out the text of the it method. But trying @output.puts
example.intent does not seem to work.

Is there a better way to do what I'm trying to do here? Again, I
realize that most people are happy with the describe and it text being
printed out. But sometimes people -- like my business users -- want to
check the actual condition that was checked for, without having to
read Ruby code.

Any pointers or tips would be greatly appreciated.

- Jeff

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