I realize there are people who don’t buy into the RSpec philosophy. To them it’s just another take on unit testing. I do buy into RSpec. From day one RSpec’s goal has been to be a BDD tool that tries to get the words right. Can you use xUnit libraries in a way to achieve the same affect? Yes you can, but most of those usages have been heavily influenced by RSpec which was built on the ideas and motivation for BDD and “getting the words right”.
Without this focus many of the high level test/unit style add-ons (especially in the ruby world like context, shoulda, test/spec, etc.) wouldn’t exist. So to me, this makes the subtle differences very important as it changed how everyone wrote their tests.
For me personally, testing is an activity after you write code. I find it refreshing to talk about writing code examples to drive design and tests to talk about actual testing. Perhaps it could be phrased as, you start with examples and when you’re done you end up with tests. Similar to starting with user stories and ending up with features. Right now that works in my head, but it’s late and I may need to revisit that thought after a few hours of sleep.
Example is just a better word then test to. When you talk to someone and you don’t understand what they’re talking about you don’t say, “give me a test”, you say, “give me an example”. Well, that language is more natural. You are providing an example of how something should work. This example ends up providing regression (test) value once its implemented, but you didn’t start with a test, you started with an example of the code you wanted.
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