A Ruby port of FIT (Framework for Interactive Testing).
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RubyFIT – FIT for Ruby

This is RubyFIT, a Ruby port of the original Framework for Interactive Testing written in Java by Ward Cunningham. See RubyFIT's home page at fit.rubyforge.org for further information.


Giulio Piancastelli <giulio.piancastelli@gmail.com>


Ruby 1.8 or later


RubyFIT is Copyright 2004-2009 by Giulio Piancastelli. FIT is Copyright 2002 by Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc. Both FIT and RubyFIT are released under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 or later.

Document created on Saturday 11th December, 2004. Last revised on Wednesday 14th October, 2009.

Quick Start

Unit tests and examples

If you want to be sure that at least something is working in the framework, the first thing you could do is to run the unit tests that accompany RubyFIT. You have the chance of running unit tests during the installation of RubyFIT as a gem on your system. (See RubyGems at rubygems.rubyforge.org and its documentation for details on how to do it.) When RubyFIT is installed, you still can run unit tests just by moving into its installation directory in the Ruby environment (e.g. $RUBY_HOME/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/fit-1.2/) and typing rake at the Terminal or Command Prompt in that directory, which contains RubyFIT's Rakefile. If you don't have Rake installed, you can still manually run tests by executing the test/all_tests.rb script.

But the RubyFIT gem also comes with a series of examples directly taken from the official FIT wiki (see fit.c2.com). HTML files containing test data in tables are stored under the doc/examples directory. If you want to run them to verify that the framework passes them, just type rake fit at the Terminal or Command Prompt in the directory containing RubyFIT's Rakefile. Typing rake fit_report instead will also have the effect of generating reports for those tests, so that you can see green, red, yellow and gray cells with your own eyes.

The specification for FIT 1.2 compliant implementations is also included, in the doc/spec directory. Running rake fitspec or rake fitspec_report will have the same effects described above in the context of RubyFIT's examples.

If you don't have Rake (see rake.rubyforge.org) installed, you can still running FIT examples and specifications using the command line tool provided with the RubyFIT distribution. See next section for a brief explanation of its usage.

After having verified the capabilities of the framework, you would like to start writing your own fixtures testing your applications. Follow the online tutorials to understand how to plug into RubyFIT and create fixtures and HTML tables with test data.

RubyFIT from the command line

A sample command-line script is included in the bin subdirectory of the RubyFIT gem to help you run tests in the most painless way. Being RubyFIT a gem, the executable scripts to be used as commands from a Terminal or Console prompt are made available at any file system location.

You can invoke the fit script passing two arguments: the first is the name of the input HTML file containing tables to be tested, the second is the name of the output HTML file which will be created by RubyFIT and will contain the results of the tests.

As of version 1.2, the command-line script supports an --encoding option, used to indicate the encoding of the input and output files. Internally, RubyFIT uses UTF-8 as the default encoding to substitute characters such as non-breaking spaces and typographic quotes. This means that, if your HTML files are already encoded in UTF-8, you don't need to pass the --encoding option on the command line; otherwise, you may need to supply the proper character encoding in order to have the script correctly recognize and produce HTML code.

As an example, the doc/spec directory contains two files for the parsing Fit specification, each with a different encoding. The first file is named parse.html and is encoded in UTF-8; this is the file that is run by the rake fitspec command. The second file is named parse-windows-1252.html and is encoded in windows-1252. When fed to the fit script on the command line, the tests in this file pass only if the proper --encoding=windows-1252 option is supplied.

RubyFIT from a web server

A sample CGI script is included in the bin subdirectory of the RubyFIT gem, just to let you have a glance at how RubyFIT can be used behind a web server. Put fit.cgi in the cgi-bin directory under your web server tree (or in an equivalent appropriate location), then change the shebang line to point to the location of the Ruby interpreter on your machine. Finally, change the location to RubyFIT pointing to the directory you have downloaded the code, and the location to your fixtures to whatever directory you use to collect your Ruby classes derived from Fit::Fixture.

You should now be able to use RubyFIT behind a web server. Write an HTML page containing tables for one of your fixtures, and remember to add a link to the fit.cgi script: serve it through the web server you have installed fit.cgi within, then click on the fit.cgi link to run the tests and get a result page in response.

RubyFIT from Rake

RubyFIT tests can also be run from within the Rake build tool. See the online RubyFIT documentation for a brief tutorial on how to use the FitTask task in your Rakefile. Visit rake.rubyforge.org for further details about Rake.

RubyFIT in FitNesse

You can now run RubyFIT tests in FitNesse. (See fitnesse.org for general information on FitNesse.) Define the command pattern like so: “!define COMMAND_PATTERN {/path/to/ruby/ruby -I %p -I /path/to/RubyFIT/lib /path/to/RubyFIT/bin/FitServer.rb}” changing the paths as appropriate.

There is no need to use a separate RubyFIT package to use it from within Fitnesse. After installing RubyFIT as a gem in your Ruby environment, you can reference the FitServer.rb script in Fitnesse from the location of the installed gem. For instance you can set the latest parameter defining the command pattern to the string /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/fit-1.2/bin/FitServer.rb for some Linux flavors.

RubyFIT Development Issues

Being Ruby a much more different language than Java, RubyFIT carries some of those unique characteristics, sometimes bulding on them, sometimes suffering from them. Here follows a uncomplete list of issues in the development of RubyFIT, taken from the examples bundled with the RubyFIT distribution.

Float Arithmetic

In arithmetic.html Ruby does math differently from Java. A workaround is implemented in Fit::TypeAdapter#equals: if one of the object is a Float and the other is a Numeric, equality is tested on a 1.0e-5 delta. Also, in CalculatorExample.html Ruby does Floats with much more precision than Java, so that even a 1.0e-15 or -1.0e-17 difference is retained. A workaround in Fit::ScientificDouble has been implemented, so that if the precision is exactly zero, the values of two comparing objects must be equals in a 1.0e-5 delta.

Note that in AllCombinations.html Ruby does even ScientificDouble with much more precision than the Java version. So, another workaround in == and <=> had to be employed, specifically to create another ScientificDouble to compare with and to pick the precision of the less precise of the two to make the comparison.

Reflection in Fit::Fixture

Being Ruby a dynamically typed programming language, it does not hold static typing information about fields and values returned from methods. The FIT framework instead uses those information to make automatic comparisons between expected and actual results while running tests using HTML tables as input data.

RubyFIT covers that mechanisms for basic types only. When a fixture uses custom types instead, some additional static metadata must be provided to let the framework know about types of fields and return types of methods.

The online tutorials provide some examples on using metadata in fixtures and related classes.

Class names from 'eg.AllFiles$Example' strings in Fit::Fixture

The syntax of fixtures class names into HTML tables is directly taken from the Java world, where FIT was originally being developed. The fully specified name of a class in Java is typically composed by a series of words separated by dots: the last word is the name of the class, while the other words identify the packages in which that class is contained. RubyFIT translates those names into Ruby class names: the name of the class remains unchanged, while package names (typically written in lower case as per Java conventions) get capitalized; the double colon is used instead of the dot as a separator between names.

A particular syntax is used in the Java world for inner classes, i.e. classes defined inside other classes: in this case, a dollar sign is used as a separator between the names of the parent and the child classes. RubyFIT just translates the separator into a double colon, leaving class names untouched.

Method names from HTML in Fit::TypeAdapter

RubyFIT uses Fitnesse-style graceful naming, modified to suit Ruby's syntax and customs. For example, given any of these names in a row or column fixture: some_method(), some method(), some*method(), SomeMethod(), or Some Method(), it will call the method some_method, expecting it to be an output method (or getter), or the equivelent accessor generated by attr_reader. Given any of the above names, with the () replaced by ?, such as some method? it will match the same methods, but will prefer a method named some_method?, if it exists. Any of the above names, with the () removed (and no ?) will be interpreted as an input method (or setter) and will match some_method=(value), as well as mutators generated by attr_writer.



The main developer and project maintainer is Giulio Piancastelli.

Other developers have contributed code to the project:

  • Micah Martin

  • Jim Hughes

  • Brian Marick

  • Bret Pettichord

  • Jari Bakken

  • Zhon Johansen

Special Thanks

Thanks to Ward Cunningham for creating FIT, and to Jim Shore for coordinating the effort of porting FIT to platforms other than Java.