Yehuda Katz is a member of the Ember.js, Ruby on Rails and jQuery Core Teams; he spends his daytime hours at the startup he founded, Tilde Inc.. Yehuda is co-author of best-selling jQuery in Action and Rails 3 in Action. He spends most of his time hacking on open source—his main projects, along with others, like Thor, Handlebars and Janus—or traveling the world doing evangelism work. He can be found on Twitter as @wycats.
Merb 1.0 Spec change
November 23rd, 2008
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!