Michael MacDonald

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Pickle Tables

In Rails, Testing on November 26, 2009 at 12:12 am

Following on from my original and followup articles on using Pickle with Cucumber, a brand new version of Pickle is now available. Version 0.2.0 now gives you the ability to use Pickle with Cucumber’s multiline step argument tables. This means you can now do the following with Pickle:

Given a company exists
And another company: "rubyflare" exists
And the following people exist:
  | name  | age | employed | company              |
  | Digby | 13  | false    | the first company    |
  | Ethyl | 27  | true     | company: "rubyflare" |
Then the following people should exist:
  | name  | age |
  | Digby | 13  |
  | Ethyl | 27  |
And the 2nd person should be one of company: "rubyflare"'s employees

You can quickly create multiple objects in an easy to read fashion rather than filling your scenarios with multiple lines of “an another user exists …”. As an added bonus you can also use Pickle references within these tables. In the example above, we are creating new people objects and associating them to the companies using the Pickle references for these company objects.

Again, I’ll just point out that the above example required no custom step definitions. I didn’t have to write any step definitions! Pickle takes care of the grunt work leaving you free to focus on your domain specific scenario steps.

Other recent improvements with Pickle include:

  • an email helper for mapping names to email addresses similar to paths
  • its own separate configuration file (pickle.rb) – pickle no longer adds code to features/support/env.rb

I’ve also updated my pickle_example project to the latest version and have added the above example scenario. Feel free to clone it and use it to explore the benefits of using Pickle.


More Pickle Action

In Rails, Testing on November 3, 2009 at 8:00 am

In a previous blogpost I championed the benefits of using Pickle with Cucumber to speed up your BDD. Recently, I was able to contribute back to Pickle in a small way with the following two changes:

This means you can do things like this in your plain text cucumber steps:

Given a user exists with name: "Digby", bank_balance: -43.25

And if you need to, you can also be explicit with the positive sign:

And another user exists with name: "Miranda", bank_balance: +86.50

The extra step definitions allow you to do the following:

Then a user should not exist with name: "Maya"
And the first user should not be one of the last user's debtors
And the last user should not be the first user's creditor

These are the “not” versions of some of the existing default step definitions. I found that I was needing these in my Rails projects and thought they would be good to have in the standard Pickle. Ian White, the creator of Pickle, agreed.

It feels good to contribute back to an open source project, even in a small way, and I encourage you all to try to do so as well.