RSpec 2.14 is released!

We’ve just released RSpec 2.14. It will be the last 2.x feature release and is a recommended upgrade for all users. We’re getting started on RSpec 3. I’ll be blogging about our plans for RSpec 3 next week, so check back soon :).

Thanks to all the contributors who helped make this RSpec release happen.

Notable New Features

Core: Profiler now profiles example groups, too

RSpec has long had the --profile option for dumping the top N slowest examples at the end. In RSpec 2.14, this has been enhanced so that it prints the groups with the largest mean example time. For example, here’s the output from using --profile 5 on rspec-core’s suite:

Top 5 slowest examples (0.38945 seconds, 10.8% of total time):
  RSpec::Core::Formatters::TextMateFormatter produces HTML identical to the one we designed manually
    0.10471 seconds ./spec/rspec/core/formatters/text_mate_formatter_spec.rb:64
  ::DRbCommandLine --drb-port without RSPEC_DRB environment variable set sets the DRb port
    0.07461 seconds ./spec/rspec/core/drb_command_line_spec.rb:39
  RSpec::Core::Runner#run with --drb or -X and a DRb server is running builds a DRbCommandLine and runs the specs
    0.0744 seconds ./spec/rspec/core/runner_spec.rb:47
  command line when a custom order is configured orders the groups and examples by the provided strategy
    0.06924 seconds ./spec/command_line/order_spec.rb:169
  RSpec::Core::ConfigurationOptions#configure sends pattern before files_or_directories_to_run
    0.06649 seconds ./spec/rspec/core/configuration_options_spec.rb:48

Top 5 slowest example groups:
    0.05861 seconds average (0.05861 seconds / 1 example) ./spec/rspec/core/formatters/html_formatter_spec.rb:9
    0.05713 seconds average (0.1714 seconds / 3 examples) ./spec/rspec/core/formatters/text_mate_formatter_spec.rb:9
  command line
    0.05218 seconds average (0.31307 seconds / 6 examples) ./spec/command_line/order_spec.rb:3
    0.02016 seconds average (0.16127 seconds / 8 examples) ./spec/rspec/core/drb_command_line_spec.rb:4
    0.01822 seconds average (0.10931 seconds / 6 examples) ./spec/rspec/core/runner_spec.rb:5

Core: New --warnings flag to enable Ruby’s warning mode

You can now pass the --warnings or -w flag to enable ruby’s warning mode.

Core: Shared example groups are scoped to the context they are defined in

Before 2.14, shared example groups were stored in a global hash, could be defined in any context, and could be used from any context. In 2.14, this has changed: shared example groups are now scoped to the context they are defined in. That means you can now do this:

describe MySinatraApp1 do
  shared_examples_for "error handling" do
    # some examples would go here

  context 'GET to /foo' do
    include_examples "error handling"

  context 'GET to /bar' do
    include_examples "error handling"
describe MySinatraApp2 do
  shared_examples_for "error handling" do
    # some different examples would go here

  context 'GET to /foo' do
    include_examples "error handling"

  context 'GET to /bar' do
    include_examples "error handling"

Here there are two different "error handling" shared example groups, each scoped to (and used from) a different example group. As demonstrated here, shared example groups are available from the context they are defined in or from any nested context. In 2.14, shared example groups declared in sibling contexts are still available to maintain backwards compatibility, but will print a deprecation warning. In 3.0, you will not be able to use a shared example group that was defined in a sibling context.

Core: Deprecation output now configurable

RSpec 2.14 has deprecated a number of things in preparation for removal in 3.0. To help reduce the noisiness of the increased number of deprecations, there’s a new option that can direct deprecation warnings to a file:

RSpec.configure do |rspec|
  rspec.deprecation_stream = 'log/deprecations.log'
  # or
  rspec.deprecation_stream ="/path/to/file", "w")

Normally, deprecation warnings get printed to stderr. When you configure this, it’ll send deprecation warnings to the configured file instead, and at the end of the spec run it will print out a message like:

2 deprecations logged to log/deprecations.log

Mocks: New message expectation syntax

In RSpec 2.11, we added a new syntax to rspec-expectations that removes a reliance on monkey-patching, avoiding certain kinds of problems related to proxy objects. In RSpec 2.14, we’ve extended that same syntax to rspec-mocks:

mailer = double("Mailer")

# old syntax:

# new syntax
allow(mailer).to receive(:deliver_welcome_email)
expect(mailer).to receive(:deliver_welcome_email).with(an_instance_of(User))

For more details, read Sam Phippen’s announcement blog post from the 2.14.0.rc1 release.

Mocks: Spies

Joe Ferris from Thoughtbot implemented this new feature. Traditionally, rspec-mocks has required that you set a message expectation before the message is received:

mailer = double("Mailer")
expect(mailer).to receive(:deliver_welcome_email).with(an_instance_of(User))

In some situations, this ordering feels backwards (particularly if you try to organize your tests using an arrange/act/assert pattern). Spies allow you to assert that a message was received after the fact:

mailer = double("Mailer", deliver_welcome_email: nil)
expect(mailer).to have_received(:deliver_welcome_email).with(an_instance_of(User))

Note that you first have to stub the message you will later expect so that rspec-mocks can spy on it. (There’s no feasible performant way for rspec-mocks to automatically spy on all method calls). Alternately, you can create your test double as a null object, (using double().as_null_object) which has the effect of auto-spying on all messages sent to that object:

mailer = double("Mailer").as_null_object
expect(mailer).to have_received(:deliver_welcome_email).with(an_instance_of(User))



Cucumber Features

Release Notes

rspec-core 2.14.0

Full Changelog


  • Improved Windows detection inside Git Bash, for better --color handling.

  • Add profiling of the slowest example groups to --profile option. The output is sorted by the slowest average example groups.

  • Don’t show slow examples if there’s a failure and both --fail-fast and --profile options are used (Paweł Gościcki).

  • Rather than always adding spec to the load path, add the configured --default-path to the load path (which defaults to spec). This better supports folks who choose to put their specs in a different directory (John Feminella).

  • Add some logic to test time duration precision. Make it a function of time, dropping precision as the time increases. (Aaron Kromer)

  • Add new backtrace_inclusion_patterns config option. Backtrace lines that match one of these patterns will always be included in the backtrace, even if they match an exclusion pattern, too (Sam Phippen).

  • Support ERB trim mode using the - when parsing .rspec as ERB (Gabor Garami).

  • Give a better error message when let and subject are called without a block. (Sam Phippen).

  • List the precedence of .rspec-local in the configuration documentation (Sam Phippen)

  • Support {a,b} shell expansion syntax in --pattern option (Konstantin Haase).

  • Add cucumber documentation for –require command line option (Bradley Schaefer)

  • Expose configruation options via config:

    • config.libs returns the libs configured to be added onto the load path
    • full_backtrace? returns the state of the backtrace cleaner
    • debug? returns true when the debugger is loaded
    • line_numbers returns the line numbers we are filtering by (if any)
    • full_description returns the RegExp used to filter descriptions (Jon Rowe)
  • Add setters for and RSpec.configuration (Alex Soulim)

  • Configure ruby’s warning behaviour with --warnings (Jon Rowe)

  • Fix an obscure issue on old versions of 1.8.7 where Time.dup wouldn’t allow access to (Jon Rowe)

  • Make shared_examples_for context aware, so that keys may be safely reused in multiple contexts without colliding. (Jon Rowe)

  • Add a configurable deprecation_stream (Jon Rowe)

  • Publish deprecations through a formatter (David Chelimsky)

  • Apply focus to examples defined with fit (equivalent of it "description", focus: true) (Michael de Silva)

Bug fixes:

  • Make JSON formatter behave the same when it comes to --profile as the text formatter (Paweł Gościcki).
  • Fix named subjects so that if an inner group defines a method that overrides the named method, subject still retains the originally declared value (Myron Marston).
  • Fix random ordering so that it does not cause rand in examples in nested sibling contexts to return the same value (Max Shytikov).
  • Use the new backtrace_inclusion_patterns config option to ensure that folks who develop code in a directory matching one of the default exclusion patterns (e.g. gems) still get the normal backtrace filtering (Sam Phippen).
  • Fix ordering of before hooks so that before hooks declared in RSpec.configure run before before hooks declared in a shared context (Michi Huber and Tejas Dinkar).
  • Fix Example#full_description so that it gets filled in by the last matcher description (as Example#description already did) when no doc string has been provided (David Chelimsky).
  • Fix the memoized methods (let and subject) leaking define_method as a public method. (Thomas Holmes and Jon Rowe) (#873)
  • Fix warnings coming from the test suite. (Pete Higgins)
  • Ensure methods defined by let take precedence over others when there is a name collision (e.g. from an included module). (Jon Rowe, Andy Lindeman and Myron Marston)


  • Deprecate Configuration#backtrace_clean_patterns in favor of Configuration#backtrace_exclusion_patterns for greater consistency and symmetry with new backtrace_inclusion_patterns config option (Sam Phippen).
  • Deprecate Configuration#requires= in favor of using ruby’s require. Requires specified by the command line can still be accessed by the Configuration#require reader. (Bradley Schaefer)
  • Deprecate calling SharedExampleGroups defined across sibling contexts (Jon Rowe)

rspec-expectations 2.14.0

Full Changelog


  • Enhance yield_control so that you can specify an exact or relative number of times: expect { }.to yield_control.exactly(3).times, expect { }.to yield_control.at_least(2).times, etc (Bartek Borkowski).
  • Make the differ that is used when an expectation fails better handle arrays by splitting each element of the array onto its own line. (Sam Phippen)
  • Accept duck-typed strings that respond to :to_str as expectation messages. (Toby Ovod-Everett)

Bug fixes:

  • Fix differ to not raise errors when dealing with differently-encoded strings (Jon Rowe).
  • Fix expect(something).to be_within(x).percent_of(y) where x and y are both integers (Sam Phippen).
  • Fix have matcher to handle the fact that on ruby 2.0, Enumerator#size may return nil (Kenta Murata).
  • Fix expect { raise s }.to raise_error(s) where s is an error instance on ruby 2.0 (Sam Phippen).
  • Fix expect(object).to raise_error passing. This now warns the user and fails the spec (tomykaira).
  • Values that are not matchers use #inspect, rather than #description for documentation output (Andy Lindeman, Sam Phippen).
  • Make expect(a).to be_within(x).percent_of(y) work with negative y (Katsuhiko Nishimra).
  • Make the be_predicate matcher work as expected used with expect{...}.to change... (Sam Phippen).


  • Deprecate expect { }.not_to raise_error(SpecificErrorClass) or expect { }.not_to raise_error("some specific message"). Using these was prone to hiding failures as they would allow any other error to pass. (Sam Phippen and David Chelimsky)

rspec-mocks 2.14.0

Full Changelog


  • Refactor internals so that the mock proxy methods and state are held outside of the mocked object rather than inside it. This paves the way for future syntax enhancements and removes the need for some hacky work arounds for any_instance dup’ing and YAML serialization, among other things. Note that the code now relies upon __id__ returning a unique, consistent value for any object you want to mock or stub (Myron Marston).
  • Add support for test spies. This allows you to verify a message was received afterwards using the have_received matcher. Note that you must first stub the method or use a null double. (Joe Ferris and Joël Quenneville)
  • Make at_least and at_most style receive expectations print that they were expecting at least or at most some number of calls, rather than just the number of calls given in the expectation (Sam Phippen)
  • Make with style receive expectations print the args they were expecting, and the args that they got (Sam Phippen)
  • Fix some warnings seen under ruby 2.0.0p0 (Sam Phippen).
  • Add a new :expect syntax for message expectations (Myron Marston and Sam Phippen).
  • Document test spies in the readme. (Adarsh Pandit)
  • Add an array_including matcher. (Sam Phippen)
  • Add a syntax-agnostic API for mocking or stubbing a method. This is intended for use by libraries such as rspec-rails that need to mock or stub a method, and work regardless of the syntax the user has configured (Paul Annesley, Myron Marston and Sam Phippen).

Bug Fixes:

  • Fix any_instance so that a frozen object can be dup‘d when methods have been stubbed on that type using any_instance (Jon Rowe).
  • Fix and_call_original so that it properly raises an ArgumentError when the wrong number of args are passed (Jon Rowe).
  • Fix double on 1.9.2 so you can wrap them in an Array using Array(my_double) (Jon Rowe).
  • Fix stub_const and hide_const to handle constants that redefine send (Sam Phippen).
  • Fix Marshal.dump extension so that it correctly handles nil. (Luke Imhoff, Jon Rowe)
  • Fix isolation of allow_message_expectations_on_nil (Jon Rowe)
  • Use inspect to format actual arguments on expectations in failure messages (#280, Ben Langfeld)
  • Protect against improperly initialised test doubles (#293) (Joseph Shraibman and Jon Rowe)
  • Fix double so that it sets up passed stubs correctly regardless of the configured syntax (Paul Annesley).
  • Allow a block implementation to be used in combination with and_yield, and_raise, and_return or and_throw. This got fixed in 2.13.1 but failed to get merged into master for the 2.14.0.rc1 release (Myron Marston).
  • Marshal.dump does not unnecessarily duplicate objects when rspec-mocks has not been fully initialized. This could cause errors when using spork or similar preloading gems (Andy Lindeman).


  • Deprecate stub and mock as aliases for double. double is the best term for creating a test double, and it reduces confusion to have only one term (Michi Huber).
  • Deprecate stub! and unstub! in favor of stub and unstub (Jon Rowe).
  • Deprecate at_least(0).times and any_number_of_times (Michi Huber).

rspec-rails 2.14.0


  • Preliminarily support Rails 4.1 by updating adapters to support Minitest 5.0. (Andy Lindeman)

Bug fixes:

  • Rake tasks do not define methods that might interact with other libraries. (Fujimura Daisuke)
  • Reverts fix for out-of-order let definitions in controller specs after the issue was fixed upstream in rspec-core. (Andy Lindeman)
  • Fixes deprecation warning when using expect(Model).to have(n).records with Rails 4. (Andy Lindeman)
  • rake stats runs correctly when spec files exist at the top level of the spec/ directory. (Benjamin Fleischer)
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