I’ve spent the evening trying to get Spork to work with Rails 3 and RSpec 2. I’ve never felt the need for it before, but the Rails 3 start up time is fairly hefty and I’m crying out for the extra seconds more than ever.
It’s not that tricky, thankfully, and the following steps should see you running faster specs and features in no time.
Follow these instructions to get RSpec 2 working:
Install Spork into your Gemfile, and update rspec to 2.1:
You’ll need my fork of Spork for a quick patch to the latest release candidate of Spork.
--drb on a new line in your .rspec file:
If you don’t have the .rspec file, create it.
Modify your spec_helper.rb:
You could follow the installation instructions, but not everything is relevant to Rails 3 and Rspec 2. It’s pretty simple anyway: add “require ‘spork’” to the top of your spec_helper.rb file, and put everything else inside spec_helper.rb inside a Spork.pre_fork do … end block:
That should be it. To start up the server, run:
…and then try running a spec or two. The following command takes about a second on my machine now, whereas it used to take about ten seconds!
It’s important to note that for more than about 10-20 scenarios, Spork is slower than running cucumber normally. Therefore only turn it on for a few profiles, such as autotest (but not autotest-all), wip, etc.
Modify your cucumber.yml file:
Leave ‘autotest-all’ and ‘default’ alone.
Modify your features/support/env.rb:
This is just the same process as with the spec_helper.rb file for RSpec:
Again, that should be it. Run the follow to try it out:
Now try running a single feature in rerun or autotest mode. I’m getting 20% speedups for about 10 scenarios.
Using them together
The RSpec and Cucumber versions of spork use different ports, so there’s no problem running them together. Normally I run both in the same terminal window, one as a background process:
Then I run autotest in another window.
How do I use this?
I’m really liking this setup. It makes rapid TDD possible again, even when dealing with fairly slow tests.
Of course, we should be doing all we can to get the speed of our tests as high as possible: slow tests are a type of code smell. However, infrastructure load time is unavoidable and cutting it out is full of all kinds of win.
Use this setup with autotest and autotest-growl for maximum win. Autotest has come a long way recently: there’s a lightweight alternative to ZenTest now, and easy growl support. Cutting out even the ‘Oh, I should run my tests now step’ totally nails your debug cycle: not sure it gets much tighter than that.