[rspec-users] RSpec Requestable Examples

Zach Dennis zach.dennis at gmail.com
Tue Jan 31 00:16:22 EST 2012

I forgot to answer your question more directly. I see things in the
requestable/selectable approach which I would like to continue to
explore and see if it pans out. So far I like the
requestable/selectable approach for the reasons I mentioned in the
other email.

In short term practical use there are no giant reasons why you should
avoid using macros. They provide a valuable utility.  As mentioned in
the other email I think there are benefits (both short and long term)
of not using them in favor of an approach that integrates more
consistently and at the same communication level as RSpec. Currently,
I think the requestable/selectable has the potential to be that (or
maybe help lead a discussion and exploration which becomes that). But
it's an experiment that so far has worked a few times. I would hardly
say it's time tested or community tested at this point.

And if macros are working well for you and my thinking is persuasive,
then so be it, just keep on doing what helps you craft good software.


On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 11:46 PM, Zach Dennis <zach.dennis at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 3:04 PM, Lenny Marks <lenny at aps.org> wrote:
>> On Jan 27, 2012, at 9:56 PM, Zach Dennis wrote:
>>> I would be interested to hear any thoughts from the community about
>>> the ability to request specific examples from a shared example group
>>> as expressed in the rspec-requestable-examples gem.
>>> Here's the post that introduces them:
>>> http://mutuallyhuman.com/blog/2012/01/27/rspec-requestable-examples
>>> Git repository: https://github.com/mhs/rspec-requestable-examples
>> I've successfully used macros to get similar results, like in the gist below:
>> # macros approach to requestable examples
>> https://gist.github.com/1700352
>> Curious if you see any big advantages over the macros approach.
> Both approaches can get the job done technically speaking. Here were
> some goals of rspec-requestable-examples:
> 1. allowing individual examples to be selected from a shared set of examples
> 2. when a user selects a non-existent example communicate that to them
> so they can implement the example or fix their typo
> 3. be consistent and complementary with RSpec's forms
> 4. be consistent with RSpec method of delivery (communication)
> With these goals macros let's you technically do #1 and #2:
> * modules allow you to create shared sets of methods which can be shared
> * when referring to a non-existent method Ruby will yell at you
> But it fails for #3 and #4:
> * RSpec has a shared example group form already. Modules are not
> needed at this level because RSpec provides a higher level concept
> which provides the utility of sharing examples (it just didn't have
> baked in the ability to select individual examples). Plain old Ruby
> modules breaks away from this form and does not complement what RSpec
> is doing.
> * RSpec communicates to the user in terms of nice spec output for
> passing, failing, and pending examples. It is less work for a user to
> stub out an example which is not yet implemented as they write their
> spec and to move on, then to have to see low-level Ruby undefined
> method errors and have to go stub it out right then and there. I would
> rather have an unknown example be pending so the user could take care
> of it at the time they were ready.
> And even though using "extend ..." and ruby methods are easy to do
> (and they do technically work) I find it complicates my specs because
> they exist at a different level of language and communication than all
> of the other components in my specs. I prefer the language and forms I
> use to be as consistent as I can make them in my specs. For me, this
> helps my rhythm of creating software.
> There is a level of consistency and continuity I want my code to have
> and in the rspec-requestable-examples approach I try to find that with
> what RSpec already provides and how it is already being used. I feel
> like the macro approach attempts to shoehorn in a solution and that's
> what I've done that in the past, but I think the
> requestable/selectable examples is better now for reasons above
> mentioned.
> In the original blog post it may have sounded like we hit problem A
> and then in 5 minutes we came up with a solution. When really that's
> not the case. I've done the macro approach a number of times in the
> past and never felt comfortable with it, but it worked and we didn't
> have a better way. But this time, we finally found a way to make do it
> a little better (at least in our opinion).
> --
> @zachdennis
> http://www.continuousthinking.com
> http://www.mutuallyhuman.com



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