It’s finally happening - I’m writing a book! Well ok, the remarkable David Chelimsky is writing a book. It’s called Behaviour Driven Development with RSpec, Cucumber and Friends and myself and a few other folks are contributing in varying degrees.
A friend of mine has a Far Side desk calendar that he describes as a barometer for how busy he is. Some days he finds himself tearing off a whole bunch of pages because he’s been too busy or distracted to tear one off each day.
Some ancient history
Back in 2003 I started work on a framework called JBehave. It was an experiment to see what JUnit might have looked like if it had been designed from the ground up for TDD rather than as a unit testing framework. I was also starting to use the phrase “behaviour-driven development” to describe what I meant. The jbehave.org domain was registered and the first lines of code written on Christmas Eve 2003, much to my wife’s bemusement. Over time JBehave grew a much more interesting aspect in the form of a framework for defining and running scenarios, or automated acceptance tests.
Should examples/tests/specs/whatever be DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself)? I’ve been thinking (and talking and arguing) about the value of test names recently and whether they are just unnecessary duplication, but that’s the subject of a future discussion. This is about the actual content of your examples. So, should your examples be DRY?
I was in a hotel in Stockholm recently and I noticed a bottle opener attached to the wall in the bathroom. There was a bilingual sign under it which got me thinking about the term “bottle opener” itself. (I was giving a talk about BDD the next day so I was already thinking about how language is used.)
It occurred to me that “bottle opener” is a great example of goal-oriented vocabulary. The device itself is actually a cap remover, and it only works on one particular design of metal cap. The reason I use it, however, is to enable me to get to the beer in the bottle. Hence “bottle opener” rather than “cap remover”.