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Backward-incompatible changes

  • The negative form of allow_value has been changed so that instead of asserting that any of the given values is an invalid value (allowing good values to pass through), assert that all values are invalid values (allowing good values not to pass through). This means that this test which formerly passed will now fail:

    expect(record).not_to allow_value('good value', *bad_values)
  • ensure_inclusion_of, ensure_exclusion_of, and ensure_length_of have been removed in favor of their validate_* counterparts.

  • set_the_flash and set_session have been changed to more closely align with each other:

    • set_the_flash has been removed in favor of set_flash.
    • set_session('foo') is no longer valid syntax, please use set_session['foo'] instead.
    • set_session['key'].to(nil) will no longer pass when the key in question has not been set yet.
  • allow_value may raise an error if the attribute in question contains custom logic to ignore certain values, resulting in a discrepancy between the value you provide and the value that the attribute is actually set to. Specifically, if the attribute cannot be changed from a non-nil value to a nil value, or vice versa, then you'll get a CouldNotSetAttributeError. The current behavior (which is to permit this) is misleading, as the test that you write by using allow_value is different from the test that actually ends up getting run.

Bug fixes

  • So far the tests for the gem have been running against only SQLite. Now they run against PostgreSQL, too. As a result we were able to fix some Postgres-related bugs, specifically around validate_uniqueness_of:

    • When scoped to a UUID column that ends in an "f", the matcher is able to generate a proper "next" value without erroring. (#402, #587, #662)

    • Support scopes that are PostgreSQL array columns. Please note that this is only supported for Rails 4.2 and greater, as versions before this cannot handle array columns correctly, particularly in conjunction with the uniqueness validator. (#554)

    • Fix so that when scoped to a text column and the scope is set to nil before running it through the matcher, the matcher does not fail. (#521, #607)

  • Fix define_enum_for so that it actually tests that the attribute is present in the list of defined enums, as you could fool it by merely defining a class method that was the pluralized version of the attribute name. In the same vein, passing a pluralized version of the attribute name to define_enum_for would erroneously pass, and now it fails. (#641)



  • ensure_length_of has been renamed to validate_length_of. ensure_length_of is deprecated and will be removed in 3.0.0.

  • set_the_flash has been renamed to set_flash. set_the_flash is deprecated and will be removed in 3.0.0.

  • set_session(:foo) is deprecated in favor of set_session[:foo]. set_session(:foo) will be invalid syntax in 3.0.0.

  • Using should set_session[:key].to(nil) to assert that that a value has not been set is deprecated. Please use should_not set_session[:key] instead. In 3.0.0, should set_session[:key].to(nil) will only pass if the value is truly nil.

Bug fixes

  • Fix delegate_method so that it works again with shoulda-context. (#591)

  • Fix validate_uniqueness_of when used with scoped_to so that when one of the scope attributes is a polymorphic *_type attribute and the model has another validation on the same attribute, the matcher does not fail with an error. (#592)

  • Fix has_many used with through so that when the association does not exist, and the matcher fails, it does not raise an error when producing the failure message. (#588)

  • Fix have_and_belong_to_many used with join_table so that it does not fail when foreign_key and/or association_foreign_key was specified on the association as a symbol instead of a string. (#584)

  • Fix allow_value when an i18n translation key is passed to with_message and the :against option is used to specify an alternate attribute. A bug here also happened to affect validate_confirmation_of when an i18n translation key is passed to with_message. (#593)

  • Fix class_name qualifier for association matchers so that if the model being referenced is namespaced, the matcher will correctly resolve the class before checking it against the association's class_name. (#537)

  • Fix validate_inclusion_of used with with_message so that it fails if given a message that does not match the message on the validation. (#598)

  • Fix route matcher so that when controller and action are specified in hash notation (e.g. posts#show), route parameters such as id do not need to be specified as a string but may be specified as a number as well. (#602)

  • Fix allow_value, validate_numericality_of and validate_inclusion_of so that they handle RangeErrors emitted from ActiveRecord 4.2. These exceptions arise whenever we attempt to set an attribute using a value that lies outside the range of the column (assuming the column is an integer). RangeError is now treated specially, failing the test instead of bubbling up as an error. (#634, #637, #642)


  • Add ability to test :primary_key option on associations. (#597)

  • Add allow_blank qualifier to validate_uniqueness_of to complement the allow_blank option. (#543)

  • Change set_session so that #[] and #to qualifiers are optional, similar to set_flash. That is, you can now say should set_session to assert that any flash value has been set, or should'value') to assert that any value in the session is 'value'.

  • Change set_session so that its #to qualifier supports regexps, similar to set_flash.

  • Add with_prefix qualifier to delegate_method to correspond to the prefix option for Rails's delegate macro. (#622)

  • Add support for Rails 4.2, especially fixing serialize matcher to remove warning about serialized_attributes being deprecated. (#627)

  • Update dependent qualifier on association matchers to support :destroy, :delete, :nullify, :restrict, :restrict_with_exception, and :restrict_with_error. You can also pass true or false to assert that the association has (or has not) been declared with any dependent option. (#631)


  • Tweak allow_value failure message so that it reads a bit nicer when listing existing errors.



  • ensure_inclusion_of has been renamed to validate_inclusion_of. ensure_inclusion_of is deprecated and will be removed in 3.0.0.

  • ensure_exclusion_of has been renamed to validate_exclusion_of. ensure_exclusion_of is deprecated and will be removed in 3.0.0.

Bug fixes

  • Fix delegate_method so that it does not raise an error if the method that returns the delegate object is private.

  • Warn when ensure_inclusion_of is chained with .in_array([false, true]) as well as with .in_array([true, false]).

  • Fix set_session so that the to qualifier if given nil checks that the session variable in question was set to nil (previously this actually did nothing).

  • Fix filter_param so that it works when config.filter_parameters contains regexes.

  • Fix delegate_method so that it can be required independent of Active Support.

  • Fix validate_uniqueness_of. When used against an unpersisted record whose model contained a non-nullable column other than the one being validated, the matcher would break. Even if the test set that column to a value beforehand, the record had to be persisted in order for the matcher to work. Now this is no longer the case and the record can remain unpersisted.

  • Fix validate_absence_of: it required that a string be passed as the attribute name rather than a symbol (which is the usual and documented usage).


  • Add new matcher define_enum_for to test usage of the enum macro introduced in Rails 4.1.


  • have_and_belongs_to_many now checks to make sure that the join table contains the correct columns for the left- and right-hand side of the association.

  • Reword failure message for delegate_method so that it's a little more helpful.


Bug fixes

  • If you have a Rails >= 4.1 project and you are running tests using Spring, matchers that depend on assertions within Rails' testing layer (e.g. render_template and route) will no longer fail.

  • Fix permit so that it can be used more than once in the same test.

  • Revert change to validate_uniqueness_of made in 2.6.0 so that it no longer provides default values for non-primary, non-nullable columns. This approach was causing test failures because it makes the assumption that none of these columns allow only specific values, which is not true. If you get an error from validate_uniqueness_of, your best bet continues to be creating a record manually and calling validate_uniqueness_of on that instead.

  • The majority of warnings that the gem produced have been removed. The gem still produces warnings under Ruby 1.9.3; we will address this in a future release.


Bug fixes

  • Revert changes to validate_numericality_of made in the last release, which made it so that comparison qualifiers specified on the validation are tested using a very small decimal number offset rather than a whole number by default, except if the matcher was qualified with only_integer. This means that prior to 2.6.0, if your validation specified only_integer and you did not, then after 2.6.0 that test would fail. This is now fixed.

  • Fix regression in previous release where ActiveRecord matchers would not be included when ActiveRecord wasn't defined (i.e. if you were using ActiveModel only).

  • Revert the behavior of allow_value changed in 2.6.0 (it will no longer raise CouldNotClearAttribute). This was originally done as a part of a fix for validate_presence_of when used in conjunction with has_secure_password. That fix has been updated so that it does not affect allow_value.

  • Fix callback matchers and correct test coverage.

  • Fix permit so that it does not interfere with different usages of params in your controller action. Specifically, this will not raise an error: params.fetch(:foo, {}).permit(:bar, :baz) (the permit will have no problems recognizing that :bar and :baz are permitted params).

  • Fix permit on Rails 4.1 to use PATCH by default for #update instead of PUT. Previously you had to specify this manually.

  • Fix permit so that it track multiple calls to #permit in your controller action. Previously only the last usage of #permit would be considered in determining whether the matcher matched.

  • Fix permit so that if the route for your action requires params (such as id) then you can now specify those params: permit(:first_name, :last_name).for(:update, params: { id: 42 }).

  • Fix delegate_method so that it does not stub the target method forever, returning it to its original implementation after the match ends.

  • Fix validate_uniqueness_of to work with Rails 4.1 enum columns.


  • Teach with_message qualifier on allow_value to accept a hash of i18n interpolation values: allow_value('foo').for(:attr).with_message(:greater_than, values: { count: 20 }).


  • The boolean argument to have_db_index's unique option is now optional, for consistency with other matchers.

  • Association matchers now test that the model being referred to (either implicitly or explicitly, using :class_name) actually exists.

  • Add ability to test :autosave option on associations.

  • Fix validate_uniqueness_of(...).allow_nil so that it can be used against an non-password attribute which is in a model that has_secure_password. Doing so previously would result in a "Password digest missing on new record" error.

  • Fix description for validate_numericality_of so that if the matcher fails, the error message reported does not say the matcher accepts integer values if you didn't specify that.

  • Fix ensure_inclusion_of so that you can use it against a boolean column (and pass boolean values to in_array). There are two caveats:

    • You should not test that your attribute allows both true and false (.in_array([true, false]); there's no way to test that it doesn't accept anything other than that.
    • You cannot test that your attribute allows nil (.in_array([nil])) if the column does not allow null values.
  • Change validate_uniqueness_of(...) so that it provides default values for non-nullable attributes.

  • Running rake now installs Appraisals before running the test suite. (Additionally, we now manage Appraisals using the appraisal executable in Appraisal 1.0.0.)

  • Add allow_nil option to validate_numericality_of so that you can validate that numeric values are validated only if a value is supplied.

  • Fix validate_numericality_of so that test fails when the value with greater_than, greater_than_or_equal_to, less_than, less_than_or_equal_ to or equal_to is not appropriate.

  • Change validate_presence_of under Rails 4 so that if you are using it with a user whose model has_secure_password and whose password is set to a value, you will be instructed to use a user whose password is blank instead. The reason for this change is due to the fact that Rails 4's version of has_secure_password defines #password= such that nil will be ignored, which interferes with how validate_presence_of works.

  • Add ability to test belongs_to associations defined with :inverse_of.

  • Add back matchers that were removed in 2.0.0: permit, for testing strong parameters, and delegate_method, for testing delegation.

  • Add new matchers for testing controller filters: before_filter, after_filter, and around_filter (aliased to before_action, after_action and around_action for Rails 4).

  • Fix rescue_from matcher so that it does not raise an error when testing a method handler which has been marked as protected or private.

  • Fix compatibility issues with Rails 4.1:

    • set_the_flash and have_and_belongs_to_many no longer raise errors
    • Minitest no longer prints warnings whenever shoulda-matchers is required

v 2.5.0

  • Fix Rails/Test::Unit integration to ensure that the test case classes we are re-opening actually exist.

  • Fix ensure_length_of so that it uses the right message to validate when is_equal_to is specified in conjunction with a custom message.

  • The route matcher now accepts specifying a controller/action pair as a string instead of only a hash (e.g. route(...).to('posts#index') instead of route(...).to(controller: 'posts', action: 'index')).

  • The ensure_inclusion_of matcher now works with a decimal column.

  • Under Rails 3, if you had an association matcher chained with the the order submatcher -- e.g. should have_many(:foos).order(:bar) -- and your association had an :include on it, using the matcher would raise an error. This has been fixed.

  • Fix validate_uniqueness_of so it doesn't fail if the attribute under test has a limit of fewer than 16 characters.

  • You can now test that your has_many :through or has_one :through associations are defined with a :source option.

  • Add new matcher validates_absence_of.

  • Update matchers so that they use failure_message and failure_message_when_negated to define error messages. These are new methods in the upcoming RSpec 3 release which replace failure_message_for_should and failure_message_for_should_not. We've kept backward compatibility so all of your existing tests should still work -- this is just to make sure when RSpec 3 is released you don't get a bunch of warnings.

v 2.4.0

  • Fix a bug with the validate_numericality_of matcher that would not allow the with_message option on certain submatchers.

  • Fix a regression with context-dependent validations in ActiveResource

  • shoulda-matchers is now fully compatible with Rails 4.

  • When not using RSpec, shoulda-matchers is now auto-included into ActiveSupport::TestCase instead of Test::Unit::TestCase (in Rails 4 the former no longer inherits from the latter).

v 2.3.0

  • Fix a bug in ensure_inclusion_of that would cause issues with using in_array with an integer value.

  • Add support for PostgreSQL UUID columns to validates_uniqueness_of (#334).

  • Fix validates_numericality_of so that is_equal_to submatcher works correctly (#326).

  • Fix context support for validation matchers and disallowed values (#313).

  • Add a counter_cache submatcher for belongs_to associations (#311).

  • Add a rescue_from matcher for Rails controllers which checks that the correct ActiveSupport call has been made and that the handlers exist without actually throwing an exception (#287).

  • Changed the scope of AssociationMatcher methods from protected to private.

  • Extracted #order, #through, and #dependent from AssociationMatcher as their own submatchers.

v 2.2.0

  • Fix have_and_belong_to_many matcher issue for Rails 4.

  • Fix validate_uniqueness_of.scoped_to issue when the scoped field is already taken (#207).

  • Add comparison submatchers to validate_numericality_of to correspond to the comparison options you can give to validates_numericality_of (#244).

v 2.1.0

  • Add missing failure_message_for_should_not implementations to validate_numericality_of and its submatchers

  • Support validation contexts for testing validations on: :create and when using custom contexts like model.valid?(:my_context).

  • Fix a bug in validations with autosaved models.

  • Fix maximum value detection for the ensure_inclusion_of and ensure_exclusion_of matchers.

  • Add :odd and :even options to the validate_numericality_of matcher.

  • Add :touch option to AssociationMatcher.

  • Ruby 2.0.0 is now officially supported.

  • Fix the issue where using %{attribute} or %{model} in I18n translations raised exceptions.

  • Support datetime columns in validate_uniqueness_of.scoped_to.

  • Add allow_nil option to the validate_uniqueness_of matcher.

v 2.0.0

v 1.5.6

  • Revert previous change in AllowValueMatcher that added a check for a properly-set attribute.

v 1.5.5

  • AllowValueMatcher checks that the right value is used for attempts at setting the attribute with it.

    • Please note that previously-passing tests might now fail. It is likely that it's not a bug, but please make sure that the code you're testing is written properly before submitting an issue.
  • Use DisallowValueMatcher for disallows_value_of method.

  • Assert class_name value on real class name for AssociationMatcher.

  • Correct the variable used for validate_confirmation_of matcher description.

v 1.5.4

  • Properly-released version of 1.5.3.

v 1.5.3 - yanked due to mis-release

  • Alleviate the need to add rspec gem to your app.

v 1.5.1

  • Bump version dependency of Bourne to allow for Mocha upgrade.

  • Should fix incompatibility with MiniTest.

v 1.5.0

  • Deprecate the following matchers:

    • assign_to
    • respond_with_content_type
    • query_the_database
    • validate_format_of
    • have_sent_email
    • permit (strong parameters matcher)
    • delegate_method
  • Use RSpec's native configure.include syntax for including matchers into RSpec (#204).

  • Do not force MiniTest loading when test-unit is available (this was fixed before 1.3.0 then reverted in 1.3.0).


  • Add a new delegate_method matcher.


  • Fix an issue when used with Test::Unit on the allow value matcher.

  • Fix an issue with using ensure_inclusion_of(:attr) given an array of true or false values.


  • Add strict option to validation matchers.

  • Verify that arguments to set_the_flash matcher are valid.

  • Fix issue in ValidateUniquenessMatcher that could cause an error on postgres.

  • You can now pass an array to ensure_exclusion_of using in_array.

  • Allow testing of :foreign_key option for has_one relationships using the association matcher.

  • Fix bug where ensure_length_of would pass if the given string was too long.

  • allow_blank will now allow values such as: ' ', '\n', and '\r'.

  • Test outside values for ensure_inclusion_of when given an array.

  • Fix the output of the set_the_flash matcher.


  • validate_format_of will accept allow_blank(bool) and allow_nil(bool).

  • Prefer Test::Unit to MiniTest when loading integrations so that RubyMine is happy (#88).

  • validates_uniqueness_of will now create a record if one does not exist. Previously, users were required to create a record in the database before using this matcher.

  • Fix an edge case when where the matchers weren't loaded into Test::Unit when mixing RSpec and Test::Unit tests and also loading both the 'rspec-rails' gem and 'shoulda-matchers' gem from the same Gemfile group, namely [:test, :development].

  • controller.should_not render_partial now correctly matches render partial: "partial".


  • ensure_inclusion_of now has an in_array parameter: ensure_inclusion_of(:attr).in_array(['foo', 'bar']). It cannot be used with the .in_range option. (vpereira)

  • ensure_in_inclusion_of with in_array will accept allow_blank(bool) and allow_nil(false)

  • Test against Rails 3.2.

  • Fix ensure_length_of to use all possible I18n error messages.

  • have_db_index.unique(nil) used to function exactly the same as have_db_index with no unique option. It now functions the same as have_db_index.unique(false).

  • In 1.1.0, have_sent_email checked all emails to ensure they matched. It now checks that only one email matches, which restores 1.0.0 behavior.


  • Add only_integer option to validate_numericality_of: should validate_numericality_of(:attribute).only_integer

  • Add a query_the_database matcher:

    it { should query_the_database(4.times).when_calling(:complicated_method) } it { should query_the_database(4.times).or_less.when_calling(:complicated_method) } it { should_not query_the_database.when_calling(:complicated_method) }

  • Database columns are now correctly checked for primality. E.G., this works now: it { should have_db_column(:id).with_options(:primary => true) }

  • The flash matcher can check specific flash keys using [], like so: it { should set_the_flash[:alert].to("Password doesn't match") }

  • The have_sent_email matcher can check reply_to: it { should have_sent_email.reply_to([user, other]) }

  • Add validates_confirmation_of matcher: it { should validate_confirmation_of(:password) }

  • Add serialize matcher: it { should serialize(:details).as(Hash).as_instance_of(Hash) }

  • shoulda-matchers checks for all possible I18n keys, instead of just e.g. activerecord.errors.messages.blank

  • Add accept_nested_attributes matcher

  • Our very first dependency: ActiveSupport >= 3.0.0

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