Really, really simple test setup for models.
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README.markdown

object_mother

Version 0.2 (July 9th, 2009)

Authors: Jeff Perrin

License: MIT License. See MIT-LICENSE file for more details.

object_mother is a library used as a plugin for Rails projects that establishes a simple pattern for creating and persisting model objects. It takes inspiration from the "Object Mother" pattern and is currently a work in progress.

See http://jeffperrin.com/2009/07/08/object-mother-testing-pattern-in-rails/ for some context on why object_mother exists.

Installation

object_mother lives as a gem dependency in your application. Since it is for testing only, place the following line in config/environments/test.rb

config.gem "jeffperrin-object_mother", :lib => "object_mother", :source => "http://gems.github.com"

You can then run:

rake gems:install rake gems:unpack

Next, create a folder called object_mother in your Rails test directory. Create a blank ruby file (named whatever you want) in this directory and put your model factories inside.

Testing

There are currently no tests to run. This is probably fixable.

Usage

object_mother provides a single class called ObjectMother::Factory that is sub-classed in your Rails app. It will include all .rb files in a directory called test/object_mother within your app. A file might look like this (where we have 3 models, City, Area, and Community):

class CityFactory < ObjectMother::Factory
  def self.spawn
    City.new
  end
  def self.populate(model)
    model.name = unique('Calgary')
  end
end

class AreaFactory < ObjectMother::Factory
  def self.spawn
    Area.new
  end
  def self.populate(model)
    model.name = unique('SW')
    model.city = CityFactory.create!
  end
end

class CommunityFactory < ObjectMother::Factory
  def self.spawn
    Community.new
  end
  def self.populate(model)
    model.name = unique('Evergreen')
    model.area = AreaFactory.create!
  end
end

Each factory deals specifically with one model type. The spawn method must be overridden to let object_mother know what type of object it should create. The populate method supplies the model with all attributes necessary to successfully persist a model instance. Once this is done, each factory can be used in tests like so:

#Creates a valid `city` that is not yet persisted
CityFactory.create

#Creates a valid `city` and persists it
CityFactory.create!

#example usage...
context "should show city" do
  setup do
    get :show, :id => CityFactory.create!.to_param
  end
  should_respond_with :success
end

#Can also override self.to_hash for your controller tests
context "creating a valid city" do
  setup do
    post :create, :city => CityFactory.create_as_hash
  end
  should_redirect_to "city path" do 
    cities_path
  end
end

Blocks

object_mother lets you customize the look of your models by passing a block to create, create! or create_as_hash like so:

#override the default name given in the UserFactory.populate method. All other 
#attributes will stay the same.
user = UserFactory.create! do |u|
  u.name = "Jorge"
end

Known Issues

  1. Yes, the spawn method should be inferred.
  2. Yes, the create_as_hash method should be inferred.
  3. test/object_mother directory (and perhaps an .rb file) should be generated if they don't exist.
  4. I didn't use any crazy meta-programming wizardry. Just really simple code. Sorry.