What I want from view specs

16 Mar 2007

I got an email today from a friend asking me about specifying views in RSpec in which he admitted he hadn’t done it much and first reaction was “I know what you mean!” Because it’s hard to spec views when you’re not hitting the database. You have to mock or stub out so many calls to your object just to get at the one or two lines you want to spec. And then I realized why I hate specifying views so much: It’s exactly like specifying a huge method. There’s all this stuff going on and you only care about one little bit and so you end up with 10 lines of mocking/stubbing to get to 3 lines of what you really want to say. Now with a ginormous method I have the option of pulling out little pieces of functionality into smaller methods and going straight at them. Then I can stub out those smaller methods when I’m specifying the big one. I can do this a little by creating a bunch of partials and specifying them individually, but when I want to spec the parent of all those partials I need to be able to stub them out. But I can’t figure out how to do that. The same goes for helper methods. I spec those individually already so I don’t want to spec them again but I can’t figure out how to stub them out. If I could do these two things I think specifying views would be much less painful.

Off to the internet for answers!