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Rspec-2 runner and formatters

README.md

rspec-core

gem install rspec      # for rspec-core, rspec-expectations, rspec-mocks
gem install rspec-core # for rspec-core only

overview

rspec-core provides the structure for writing executable examples of how your code should behave. It uses the words "describe" and "it" so we can express concepts like a conversation:

"Describe an order."
"It sums the prices of its line items."

basic structure

describe Order do
  it "sums the prices of its line items" do
    order = Order.new
    order.add_entry(LineItem.new(:item => Item.new(
      :price => Money.new(1.11, :USD)
    )))
    order.add_entry(LineItem.new(:item => Item.new(
      :price => Money.new(2.22, :USD),
      :quantity => 2
    )))
    order.total.should eq(Money.new(5.55, :USD))
  end
end

The describe method creates an ExampleGroup. Within the block passed to describe you can declare examples using the it method.

Under the hood, an example group is a class in which the block passed to describe is evaluated. The blocks passed to it are evaluated in the context of an instance of that class.

nested groups

You can also declare nested nested groups using the describe or context methods:

describe Order do
  context "with no items" do
    it "behaves one way" do
      # ...
    end
  end

  context "with one item" do
    it "behaves another way" do
      # ...
    end
  end
end

aliases

You can declare example groups using either describe or context, though only describe is available at the top level.

You can declare examples within a group using any of it, specify, or example.

shared examples and contexts

Declare a shared example group using shared_examples, and then include it in any group using include_examples.

shared_examples "collections" do |collection_class|
  it "is empty when first created" do
    collection_class.new.should be_empty
  end
end

describe Array do
  include_examples "collections", Array
end

describe Hash do
  include_examples "collections", Hash
end

Nearly anything that can be declared within an example group can be declared within a shared example group. This includes before, after, and around hooks, let declarations, and nested groups/contexts.

You can also use the names shared_context and include_context. These are pretty much the same as shared_examples and include_examples, providing more accurate naming for in which you share hooks, let declarations, helper methods, etc, but no examples.

metadata

rspec-core stores a metadata hash with every example and group, which contains like their descriptions, the locations at which they were declared, etc, etc. This hash powers many of rspec-core's features, including output formatters (which access descriptions and locations), and filtering before and after hooks.

Although you probably won't ever need this unless you are writing an extension, you can access it from an example like this:

it "does something" do
  example.metadata[:description].should eq("does something")
end

described_class

When a class is passed to describe, you can access it from an example using the described_class method, which is a wrapper for example.metadata[:described_class].

describe Widget do
  example do
    described_class.should equal(Widget)
  end
end

This is useful in extensions or shared example groups in which the specific class is unknown. Taking the shared examples example from above, we can clean it up a bit using described_class:

shared_examples "collections" do
  it "is empty when first created" do
    described.new.should be_empty
  end
end

describe Array do
  include_examples "collections"
end

describe Hash do
  include_examples "collections"
end

the rspec command

When you install the rspec-core gem, it installs the rspec executable, which you'll use to run rspec. The rspec comes with many useful options. Run rspec --help to see the complete list.

see also

get started

Start with a simple example of behavior you expect from your system. Do this before you write any implementation code:

# in spec/calculator_spec.rb
describe Calculator do
  it "add(x,y) returns the sum of its arguments" do
    Calculator.new.add(1, 2).should eq(3)
  end
end

Run this with the rspec command, and watch it fail:

$ rspec spec/calculator_spec.rb
./spec/calculator_spec.rb:1: uninitialized constant Calculator

Implement the simplest solution:

# in lib/calculator.rb
class Calculator
  def add(a,b)
    a + b
  end
end

Be sure to require the implementation file in the spec:

# in spec/calculator_spec.rb
# - RSpec adds ./lib to the $LOAD_PATH
require "calculator"

Now run the spec again, and watch it pass:

$ rspec spec/calculator_spec.rb
.

Finished in 0.000315 seconds
1 example, 0 failures

Use the documentation formatter to see the resulting spec:

$ rspec spec/calculator_spec.rb --format doc
Calculator add
  returns the sum of its arguments

Finished in 0.000379 seconds
1 example, 0 failures

Also see

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