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Basic Tests for Forum Implementation

In this second part of a four-part series on setting up a forum in Ruby on Rails, you'll learn how to unit test a model, generate a forum controller and view, and more. This article is excerpted from chapter six of the book Practical Rails Projects, written by Eldon Alameda (Apress; ISBN: 1590597818).

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By: Apress Publishing
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May 21, 2010
  1. · Basic Tests for Forum Implementation
  2. · Generating the Controller and View
  3. · Implementing the User Stories
  4. · Creating the Integration Test

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Basic Tests for Forum Implementation
(Page 1 of 4 )

Unit Testing the Model

It is a good idea to have proper unit tests in place, even if you're using an external plugin that has been tested thoroughly. The plugin API might change in later releases, and this would probably go unnoticed until one of your customers informs you about the problem.

We'll create a basic test that verifies that you can create a post and also create a reply to it. Remember that the generate script has already created an empty unit test for us. All we need to do is add the code shown in Listing 6-2 to test/unit/forum_post_test.rb .

Listing 6-2. Unit Test for the ForumPost Model

require File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/../test_helper'

class ForumPostTest < Test::Unit::TestCase
  fixtures :authors

  def test_create_post_and_reply
post = ForumPost.new( :name => 'George',
      :subject => 'Subject',
      :body => 'Body text')

    assert post.save
    assert_not_nil ForumPost.find_by_name('George')

    reply = ForumPost.new(:name => 'Jill',
      :subject => 'Reply',
      :body => 'Reply body text',
      :parent_id => post.id)

    assert reply.save
    assert reply.child?


    assert post.root?
    assert_equal 1, post.all_children().size
    assert_equal reply, post.all_children()[0]

Notice that the test uses the authors fixture that we created in Chapter 2. First, the unit test creates a new post, which is the root post of a new thread. Then it saves the post and verifies that it was successfully saved to the database with an assert . Recall that the save method returns false if the object was not saved successfully. We double-check that the post can be found with the find_by_name dynamic finder method (introduced in Chapter 3). The unit test also verifies that the first post is the root post by calling root? . This method returns true if the post has no parent posts.

We also want to be sure that someone can reply to the post, which is why we create a reply to the root post. This is done by creating a new post and setting the parent_id column to the id of the root post. After saving the reply post, we verify that the post really is a reply to the first post by calling the child? method. This method returns true if the post is a child, or reply, of another post.

At the end of the unit test, we verify that the root post has exactly one child post, and that the first post returned by all_children returns the reply.

Before running the tests, clone the development database structure to the test database by executing the following command:

rake db:test:clone_structure

Next, run the unit test as follows:

$ ruby test/unit/forum_post_test.rb

Loaded suite test/unit/forum_post_test Started
Finished in 0.101902 seconds.

1 tests, 7 assertions, 0 failures, 0 errors

Now we are ready to create the controller and view.

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