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Spec your Cells.

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Rspec Cells

Spec your Cells.

This plugin allows you to test your cells easily using RSpec. Basically, it adds a cells example group with a #render_cell helper.

Cells is Rails' popular view components framework.


This gem runs with RSpec2 and Rails >= 3.x, so just add it to your app's Gemfile.

group :test do
  gem "rspec-cells"


Simply put all your specs in the spec/cells directory. However, let the cell generator do that for you!

rails g cell blog_post show -t rspec

will create an exemplary spec/cells/blog_post_cell_spec.rb for you.


In your specs you can use render_cell to assert the rendered markup (or whatever your state is supposed to do). This goes fine with Webrat matchers.

it "renders posts count" do
  render_cell(:posts, :count).should have_selector("p", :content => "4 posts!")

You can create a cell instance using the cell method, and then render afterwards. This is helpful when you're planning to stub things or if you need to pass arguments to the cell constructor.

it "renders empty posts list" do
  posts = cell(:posts)

  posts.render_state(:count).should have_selector("p", :content => "No posts!")

After preparing the instance you can use render_state for triggering the state.


If you want Capybara's string matchers be sure to bundle at least capybara 0.4.1 in your Gemfile.

group :development, :test do
  gem "capybara", "~> 0.4.1"

In order to make the cells test generator work properly, capybara needs to be in both groups.

You can then use capybara's matchers in your cell spec.

describe PostsCell do
  describe "search posts" do
    let(:search) { render_cell(:posts, :search) }

    it "should have a search field" do
      search.should have_field("Search by Title")

    it "should have a search button" do
      search.should have_button("Search")

  describe "latest posts" do
    subject { render_cell(:posts, :latest) }

    it { should have_css("h3.title", :text => "Latest Posts") }
    it { should have_table("latest_posts") }
    it { should have_link("View all Posts") }
    it { should_not have_button("Create Post") }
    it { should_not have_field("Search by Title") }

You can see all capybara matchers and finders here.

Running the specs

Run your examples with

rake spec:cells

If you need more helpers, matchers and stuff, just let us know.


  • Jorge Calás Lozano <> (Cleanup, capybara string matchers)


Copyright © 2010, Nick Sutterer

Copyright © 2007-2009, Dmytro Shteflyuk <>

Released under the MIT License.

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