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You Might Learn Something at the Back of the Train

Posted by Thu, 19 Apr 2007 15:13:00 GMT

I love to look at other peoples code. Initially, that’s what got me excited about Open Source software. Otherwise, I was looking at small snippets on various developer sites and really not getting the complete picture for how everything tied together.

Last night, I finally had a chance to checkout the sample caboose application, which was created as a way for people to get an idea for how some of developers in are putting together their applications.

Some things that you might want to check out it’s using…

It’s definitely worth taking 15 or so minutes to check it out and get some fresh ideas.

There are a few things that I’m not quite sure that didn’t quite make sense, so… perhaps I’ll submit a patch. :-)

svn co svn://

Have fun!

BDD is still kinky

Posted by Tue, 10 Apr 2007 20:51:00 GMT

Be Careful that you don't Stub your Big Toe

Posted by Tue, 13 Feb 2007 06:09:00 GMT

In a project that I’m currently working on, we’re handling recurring payments for subscribers. I’ve decided to play with a different payment service API on this project (TrustCommerce), which supposedly has one of the easier systems to handle recurring payments as well as one-time charges to the same credit cards. They store all the credit card data so that our delivered product to the client is CISP-compliant.

I came across the TrustCommerce Subscription plugin for Rails, which does just everything that I need to do in this first product release… as well as things that aren’t requirements just yet.

Well, I got my test account from TrustCommerce and was working on some RSpecs to test my new subscription and noticed that it was failing. After some snooping around the error responses, I realized that… test accounts don’t give you the ability to test the Citadel features of TrustCommerce. It’ll be another week or so before finish getting our account setup, so what am I to do? I really want to finish writing these specs and move on to the other portions that are dependent upon this working.

Suppose that you were going to perform something like this in an AR callback.

class BillingDetail < ActiveRecord::Base

  # validations    

  before_create :store_credit_card_data_with_trust_commerce


    def store_credit_card_data_with_trust_commerce
      # some of this is still test data... prettyu much copied from the README
      # TODO: refactor... but keep me out of controllers!
      response = TrustCommerceGateway::Subscription.create(
          :cc =>  self.credit_card_number, 
          :exp => '0412', 
          :name => self.customer_name,
          :amount => 1,
          :cycle => '1y',
          :demo => 'y'

      if response['status'] == 'approved'
          self.billing_id = response['billingid']
        # handle failure

Enter Mock Objects

Since I am unable to succesfully use the TrustCommerceGateway::Subscription.create method until I get our real account, I needed a simple way to emulate the interaction with the web service.

This can be done by using a Mock object, which RSpec provides for you.

TrustCommerceGateway::Subscription.stub!(:create).and_return( {expected response} )

Let’s look at the following spec file (much of it removed to protect the innocent).

module ValidBillingDetail
  def valid_attributes
    { # a hash of valid key/values for this model }

  def approved_trust_commerce_subscription
    { 'status' => 'approved', 'billingid' => '1093423' } 

context "A new billing detail" do
  include ValidBillingDetail

  setup do
    TrustCommerceGateway::Subscription.stub!(:create).and_return( approved_trust_commerce_subscription )

  # bunch of other specs

  specify "should store new billing info with 3rd party API and store the billingid" do
    @billing_detail = BillingDetail.create( valid_attributes )
    @billing_detail.billing_id.should_not_be nil

You’ll notice a few things. First, you’ll see that I’ve stubbed the create method and when it is called in the method in my model, it’ll return the hash that I’ve specified.

TrustCommerceGateway::Subscription.stub!(:create).and_return( approved_trust_commerce_subscription )

In the spec, you will see that I am checking that that the .billing_id.should_not_be nil. If you look back in the method in the model above, you will notice that an approved subscription returns a billing_id, which is set when the transaction is successful.

This is working out great for me and because the documentation is fairly easy to follow, I’m going to be able to mock much of the behavior that I’ll be using in the application, without needing to even connect to their API.

If you’re using RSpec, I highly encourage you to read more about mocks objects.

RSpec Bundle for TextMate

Posted by Mon, 12 Feb 2007 12:58:00 GMT

Just a quick follow up to my post last night, Sharing Custom TextMate Bundles with Subversion. It appears that I missed the RSpec bundle for TextMate, which is listed on the RSpec webpage.

Install the RSpec Bundle

Installation is quite simple, just change directories to your TextMate bundle directory.

    $ cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/TextMate/Bundles/

Check out the RSpec bundle from the subversion repository.

    $ svn co svn://
    # lots of files...
    A    RSpec.tmbundle/Support/spec/fixtures/example_failing_spec.rb
    A    RSpec.tmbundle/Support/spec/fixtures/example_passing_spec.rb
    A    RSpec.tmbundle/Support/spec/spec_mate_spec.rb
    Checked out revision 1489.

Now, just reload your bundles in TextMate and you’re good to go!

Bundles > Bundle Editor > Reload Bundles

I’d like to thank Aslak Helles√ły for pointing me to this and for also providing me with the correct subversion URL, which is currently outdated on the RSpec page until the next release.

Sharing Custom TextMate Bundles with Subversion

Posted by Mon, 12 Feb 2007 04:35:00 GMT

Early last year, I began to start creating a bunch of snippets and such for TextMate, all of which were lost several months ago due to Hurricane iSight. I recently decided to start building some again, especially some that sped up my RSpec writing. After creating a few, I wondered, “would anybody else on my team want to help me write some?” So, I thought that it was time to figure out how to share my bundle with others and allow them to add stuff to it… which seems like a good job for Ms. Subversion.

I couldn’t find a quick walk-through online and found myself in the #textmate IRC channel getting proper instructions. (thank you Allan!)

Create Your Bundle

In TextMate, you can open up the Bundle Editor and create a new bundle. Let’s call our custom bundle, RSpec. Go ahead and begin adding some snippets, commands, etc to your new custom bundle. Once you have something in your Bundle, you’ll want to reload your bundles, by going to Bundles > Bundle Editor > Reload Bundles. This will write your new bundle to disk to ~/Library/Application\ Support/TextMate/Bundles/.

    $ ls -al ~/Library/Application\ Support/TextMate/Bundles/
    total 0
    drwxr-xr-x   5 robbyrus  robbyrus  170 Feb 11 21:10 .
    drwxr-xr-x   4 robbyrus  robbyrus  136 Feb 11 20:11 ..
    drwxr-xr-x   5 robbyrus  robbyrus  170 Jan 12 16:58 PLANET ARGON.tmbundle
    drwxr-xr-x   3 robbyrus  robbyrus  102 Feb 11 21:10 RSpec.tmbundle
    drwxr-xr-x   4 robbyrus  robbyrus  136 Oct 21 13:38 Robby Russell???s Bundle.tmbundle

Importing your Bundle into Subversion

You’ll want to first import your new bundle into Subversion.

    $ cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/TextMate/Bundles/
    $ svn import RSpec.tmbundle/ -m "Initial import of RSpec (test) bundle" http://{respository_url}/{repository_name}/RSpec.tmbundle/
    Adding         RSpec.tmbundle/info.plist
    Adding         RSpec.tmbundle/Snippets
    Adding         RSpec.tmbundle/Snippets/new specification.tmSnippet

Great, now it’s in Subversion. Now, you’ll want to check it back out so that TextMate is running off of the version from Subversion.

The simplest way to do this is to delete your local copy and checkout the latest from Subversion.

    $ rm -rf RSpec.tmbundle/; svn co http://{respository_url}/{repository_name}/RSpec.tmbundle/
    A    RSpec.tmbundle/Snippets
    A    RSpec.tmbundle/Snippets/new specification.tmSnippet
    A    RSpec.tmbundle/info.plist
    Checked out revision 5.

All that you need to do now, is relaod your bundles again. Now that you know where the bundle files are stored, you can commit any changes as they are made.

Committing Bundle Changes

When you make changes to your TextMate bundle, you can do the following to commit your updates to the Subversion repository.

See Your Pending Changes

You can change directories to your custom bundle and run svn status.

    $ cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/TextMate/Bundles/RSpec.tmbundle/
    $ svn status
    ?      Snippets/new context.tmSnippet

You’ll see that the new snippet that I created needs to be added to Subversion.

    $ svn add Snippets/new\ context.tmSnippet 
    A         Snippets/new context.tmSnippet

Now, let’s commit it to the repository.

$ svn ci -m "Adding new context snippet" 
Adding         Snippets/new context.tmSnippet
Transmitting file data .
Committed revision 6.

At this point, all Subversion tips and tricks apply… so… it’s time to leave it to you to figure out the rest. :-)

TIP: Always reload your bundles before and after running svn update or svn commit

...and there you have it! You and your friends can (with a little work) share and develop your own custom bundles for TextMate. I’m hoping to get my teammates at PLANET ARGON to help me build a bunch for RSpec, which I’ll try to release into the wild soon. If anybody is already working on RSpec snippets and other TextMate hacks, please let me know.


Aslak kindly commented on this post and has pointed me to bundle available in the RSpec subversion repository, which I blogged about.) :-)

Happy hacking!

Is BDD kinkier than TDD?

Posted by Thu, 08 Feb 2007 18:20:00 GMT

If you’re in need of a compelling reason to switch from Test-Driven Development to Behavior-Driven Development... consider this.

“BDD sounds kinkier.” -Michael K. Loukides, Book Editor for O’Reilly

...on that bombshell... I am going to suggest that this be used as the official BDD logo.

There you have it. Deep down… the biggest reason that I switched from Test::Unit to RSpec... was the sex appeal. ;-)

What was your reason?

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