Keep your description short #4

andreareginato opened this Issue Oct 3, 2012 · 8 comments


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Write your thoughts about the "keep your description short" best practice.

nirvdrum commented Oct 3, 2012

40 characters is totally arbitrary. A description should be as long as it needs to be to convey the information it needs to convey. Be concise, sure. But don't hold yourself to some magical limit, IMHO.

iain commented Oct 5, 2012

Also, be careful with automatic spec descriptions. Consider this spec:

let(:user) { FactoryGirl.create(:user) }

its(:owner) { should eq user }

When you run this with the formatter doc, or when the spec fails, the spec name is completely unreadable.


I think the output formatter is somewhat verbose. Because, in the example it doesn't matter whether it responses with 422 or not. It should response correctly, that's all matters. Telling about the output values are verbose.


I believe the "good" example should use instead of should as mentioned in the section "Expect vs Should syntax"

dankohn commented Jul 24, 2014

Yes, I fixed this with #115 and it was merged but @andreareginato has been slow pushing the new version to live.


Great news, thanks.


"not valid" conveys a lot less useful information than "has unexpected parameters"
I think it is bad practice to encourage vague specifications.
I shouldn't have to go searching for the subject or setup to find out what "not valid" means.
See also:


IMHO, 40 characters is really limiting -- may even result to much more confusion for the sake of meeting the 40 char limit. Conciseness is key though.

It's better if rephrased like this:

A spec description ideally should never be longer than 40 characters. If this happens you should split it using a context.

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