Announcing spect, a helping library for Test::Unit

We've tried out a lot of test frameworks for Ruby here at the Lab. I have been a big fan of test/spec in the past, and like shoulda's nested contexts. test/spec's wrapped assertions - like instead of assert_not_nil user - are a particular feature I dig.

I wanted to use these with shoulda, and started to extend shoulda to have its own set of wrapped assertions, but when I looked in the test/spec code, I saw this beauty:

module Test::Spec class Should ... def add_assertion $TEST_SPEC_TESTCASE && $TEST_SPEC_TESTCASE.__send__(:add_assertion) end ... end class TestCase ... module InstanceMethods def setup # :nodoc: $TEST_SPEC_TESTCASE = self super call_methods_including_parents(:setups) end ... end ... end end 

I don't want to put down a piece of code I've used a lot and enjoyed, and I think this is a practical way for test/spec to handle increasing the assertion count for its wrapped assertions, since they all start with a method on Object. I, however, couldn't bring myself to use a global variable to handle this task. I thought for a while, and after being inspired by JDave, I decided to start with a method on Test::Unit::TestCase.

Announcing spect

I released my test library today as a Ruby gem called spect. It's very simple to use. Once you require spect, you can use the method expect in Test::Unit::TestCase or any derived classes, like a shoulda should block or a test/spec specify block. expect sets up expectations like the following:

expect(user).responds_to admin? expect(user) expect( /mr_jenkins/ expect(user) User.find(:first) expect(user).is.not.not.not.not user expect(ZeroDivisionError).raised_by do / 0 end 

Most of the Test::Unit assertions are wrapped, with the following mappings:

  • assert_equal is equal
  • assert_in_delta is close_to
  • assert_match is match
  • assert_nil is nil
  • assert_respond_to is respond_to
  • assert_same is same
  • assert_raise is raised_by
  • assert_throws is thrown_by

In addition, all predicates on an object can be tested for truth by calling them per normal (admin?) or by dropping the question mark (admin.)

There are several methods used solely for grammatical purposes. to, an, and a are no-ops and just return self. is and be are no-ops unless they are passed an argument, in which case they assert equality between the original object and this argument. not reverses assertions, but also can be passed an argument to assert inequality.

I am sure there are a lot of improvements to make. I thought of one writing this blog post (equal_to should be an alias for equal.) I invite you to check out the code at our GitHub repository and submit patches.

Clinton R. Dreisbach

Posted in Article Category: #Code