Noel Rappin Writes Here

All Things Test Prescriptiony

Posted on May 12, 2014 rails test prescriptions

A lot of Test Prescription book news got finalized last week.

  • The title of the book is Rails 4 Test Prescriptions: Keeping Your Codebase Healthy. The publisher wanted the Rails version number in the name, and I want the publisher to be happy.
  • The tentative on-sale date for the beta is June 11. For those of you who were around last time, the beta period is expected to be much shorter. It will include 10 1/2 - 11 1/2 chapters out of 16 planned. My guess, backed up by nothing at all, is that we’ll be draft complete about 6 weeks after that and the print version will be another 6-8 weeks after. All that is subject to change.
  • There’s a cover. I think. I hope to be able to show it soon.
  • Meantime, I’m on a pretty strict 3-4 pages a day to get to the beta deadline.

Here are the changes, broadly speaking, between the first edition and the second. Very nearly all the book has been rewritten at least slightly, there’s almost no text that was copied over without any changes. But it goes a lot further than that. I’m quite confident that if you own the original version, you will find most of this new.

  • All tools upgraded to latest versions: Rails 4.1.x, Minitest 5.3.x, RSpec 3, and so on.
  • The opening tutorial was completely re-written. It’s an all new example to provide, I hope, a more gentle introduction to testing in Rails.
  • The code samples in general are better. In the first book, a lot of the samples after the tutorial were not part of distributed code. Most of the samples in this book will tie back to the tutorial, and are runnable.
  • The JavaScript chapter will be nearly completely new.
  • A new chapter on testing external services
  • A new chapter on testing for security (at least one of these three won’t be in the initial beta)
  • A new chapter on debugging and troubleshooting. (Not in the initial beta)
  • A new chapter on running tests more efficiently, looking at both the Spring/Zeus preloader option and the don’t load Rails, plain old Ruby object option. (These last two might get combined) (Not in the initial beta)
  • Somewhat more emphasis, I hope, on using testing in practice, somewhat less on duplicating reference information.
  • Some thing that were full chapters in the first book are de-emphasized, and covered sparingly if at all: Shoulda (since it’s not really used anymore), Rails core integration tests (in lieu of spending more time on Capybara), Rcov (may get mentioned, won’t get emphasis), Rails core performance testing (again, may get mentioned in one of the other chapters)

I’m really happy with how the book is coming along, and I hope you all like it in just one short month.



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