Yehuda Katz is a member of the Ember.js, Ruby on Rails and jQuery Core Teams; his 9-to-5 home is at the startup he founded, Tilde Inc.. There he works on Skylight, the smart profiler for Rails, and does Ember.js consulting. He is best known for his open source work, which also includes Thor and Handlebars. He travels the world doing open source evangelism and web standards work.

Merb 1.0 Spec change

When we released 1.0, we also copied the existing 1.0 specs into a directory marked spec10 and added a rake task called spec:oneoh. This allows us to make sure that new versions of Merb still run against the same API as Merb 1.0, and that we’re not accidentally breaking working 1.0 APIs (to the extent that our 1.0 specs can make such an assertion).

The rule is that those specs must not be changed, with one exception. Specifically, we’re allowed to modify the 1.0 specs if the spec itself broke for reasons unrelated to the thing it was attempting to spec, and the breakage does not indicate a breakage in the 1.0 API. Additionally, any such change requires a public announcement, to minimize the number of such changes.

As a result, I’m announcing a small change in spec10, and the rationale for that change.

Many people have accidentally overridden core Merb::Controller methods in their controllers, with unpredictable (and confusing) results. From my Rails days, I remember this happening as well. As a result, Merb, starting with 1.0.2 and 1.1, will raise an error if you attempt to override a Merb::Controller method.

One of our tests had a controller which used the “method” action. Of course, “method” is already a method on all objects, so our new code caused it to raise an error. However, the test was not asserting that it was legal to override “method”; it was the same sort of accident that caused us to add this feature in the first place. As a result, we have gone into the spec10 directory and modified the action name to “request_method” instead of “method”, allowing 1.0.2 to pass the 1.0 specs.

And that requires this public post.

I hope that these posts will be few and far between, but at the very least, they show a commitment to the public API from the Merb core team that I hope you find reassuring. Thanks!

2 Responses to “Merb 1.0 Spec change”

Hey Yehuda,

What about a news post in the mailing list?

Looks like more and more the lists has been neglected and all these announcements are happening on twitter, blog posts or #irc…

@luis good call!

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