kurowski edited this page Sep 13, 2010 · 7 revisions
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Doing spec-driven development on OS X Leopard? RSpactor is just the tool for you — small, fast, reliable, and easy on the CPU (and disk).

RSpactor listens while you’re developing and automatically runs specs based on which files have changed, much like autotest. Unlike autotest, however, it doesn’t do polling, so you don’t have to worry about your CPU usage being constantly between 15-25%.


  • Easy to use — simply type rspactor in your project;
  • Listens to files that changed and runs related specs in the background;
  • Growl notifications after each spec run;
  • Smart file → specs mappings for Rails projects.


  • rubycocoa — bundled with Leopard Developer Tools, otherwise get it from SourceForge;
    • if using MacPorts ruby instead of Leopard ruby, then sudo port install rb-cocoa
  • RSpec — version 1.2.x recommended;

RSpactor was originally written by Andreas Wolff as a replacement for autotest on OS X.

My project is maintenance and improvements of the command-line tool.

Ride the edge

Since this is pre-1.0 software, it’s best to track its development by using the master branch instead of gem releases.

Clone the repository and save this file as “~/bin/rspactor” (or at any other directory that’s in your path):

ruby -I$RSPACTOR/lib $RSPACTOR/bin/rspactor $*

Of course, set the RSPACTOR variable to point to a directory where you have RSpactor locally.

Optional nicer RSpec console output

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