RSpec 3.8 has been released!

Myron Marston and Jon Rowe

Aug 4, 2018

RSpec 3.8 has just been released! Given our commitment to semantic versioning, this should be an easy upgrade for anyone already using RSpec 3, but if we did introduce any regressions, please let us know, and we’ll get a patch release out with a fix ASAP.

We’re also happy to announce that Benoit Tigeot has joined the RSpec team since the last release. Welcome to the team, Benoit! We know you’ll do great things :).

RSpec continues to be a community-driven project with contributors from all over the world. This release includes 369 commits and 98 merged pull requests from 52 different contributors!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this release happen!

Notable Changes

Core: Performance of –bisect has been significantly improved

RSpec has supported a --bisect feature since RSpec 3.3. This feature is useful when your test suite has an ordering dependency–that is, the suite only fails when the tests are run in a specific order. --bisect will repeatedly run smaller and smaller subsets of your suite in order to narrow it down to the minimal set of specs needed to reproduce the failures.

Since 3.3, this feature has been implemented by shelling out to the rspec command to run each subset. While simple and effective, we realized this approach was also quite inefficient. Each time the rspec command runs, it must boot RSpec and your application environment (which may include Rails and many other gems) from scratch. The cost of this can vary considerably from a couple hundred milliseconds to 30+ seconds on a large Rails app. In extreme cases, the runtime of --bisect can be dominated by the time it takes to boot your application environment over and over and over.

In RSpec 3.8, we’ve improved bisect’s performance by using forking on platforms that support it rather than shelling out. That way, we can boot your application environment once, and then fork a subprocess in which to run each subset of the test suite, avoiding the need to boot your application many times.

The actual improvement you’ll see in practice will vary widely, but in our limited testing it improved the runtime of --bisect by 33% in one case and an order-of-magnitude (108.9 seconds down to 11.7 seconds) in another.

If you’re looking to maximize the benefit of this change, you may want to pass some additional --require options when running a bisection in order to pre-load as much of your application environment as possible.

Core: Support the XDG base directory spec for configuration

RSpec, like many command line tools, supports the use of options files, which can live at .rspec (for team project options) ~/.rspec (for global personal options) or at .rspec-local (for personal project options – this file should not be under source control). In RSpec 3.8, we’ve expanded this feature to support the XDG Base Directory Specification, which defines a standard way for tools to locate the global personal options file. This gives users complete control over where this file is located rather than forcing it to live in their home directory.

To use this feature, simply set the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable and put your RSpec options at $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/rspec/options.

For more info, read the spec or check out the pull request.

Thanks to Magnus Bergmark for implementing this feature!

Expectations: Formatted output length is now configurable

When setting expectations on large objects their string representations can become rather unwieldy and can clutter the console output. In RSpec 3.6, we started truncating these objects to address this issue, but did not make it easily configurable.

In RSpec 3.8, you can now configure it:

RSpec.configure do |config|
  config.expect_with :rspec do |expectations|
    expectations.max_formatted_output_length = 200

You can also disable the truncation entirely by setting the config option to nil.

Rails: have_http_status matcher upgraded to support Rails 5.2

A change in Rails 5.2 caused RSpec’s have_http_status matcher to issue deprecation warnings. In RSpec 3.8, these warnings have been removed.

Rails: View specs stub_template performance improved.

Thanks to Simon Coffey for implementing caching for stub_template that prevents unnecessary recreation of templates. This improves performance by reducing the amount of allocation and setup performed.

Rails: rails_helper.rb improvements

Thank you to Koichi ITO and Alessandro Rodi for improving our generated rails_helper.rb with improved messages when migrations are pending, and bringing us in line with Rails standards.









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