On Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 1:34 AM, aslak hellesoy
I actually just noticed that Cucumber has plenty good
- The homepage is badly designed as it doesn't really
outline an order
to read other pages
- It is impossible to make the difference between internal
links to the
wiki and links that will bring us some where else unless
we hover over
- Pages don't link to each other such as: read next page
page, or related pages
- Pages are just sorted alphabetically which is not a proper way of
Would it be possible to at least number the pages in the
order in which
we should read as if we were reading a book about cucumber?
The documentation seems excellent but is definitely not
for new comers :)
Oh, I totally agree. Add in the fact that the Rails stuff is
just a mess for non-Rails people to read, and we really have
two problems to solve. That's how I, at least, have been
My own solution is to build my own procedural outline. I'm
working on it today, in fact - sort of a "Cucumber for
dummies" document. In my conception, liberal use will be made
of links to existing pages, or to sections thereof, as there's
no need to attempt to redo what the experts have already done
well. I figure if I write what I wish I'd encountered when I
went to the wiki, and then see if I can get it there, it might
help other folks.
Your final sentence says it all - great documentation, but not
for newbies. Where's the starting point? Etc.
Where is the starting point! There is none! Haha. And the GitHub
Wiki Home page is probably the worst page in the whole Wiki.
1) Move a lot of the random stuff from Home to separate pages
* General Five Minute Introduction (Pure Cucumber/Ruby stuff - no
Rails) - Narrative, sequential style, link to other specific pages
- ideally most of them.
* Rails-specific Five Minute Introduction (to be read after the
other 5 minute one). Cucumber Backgrounder is a very good start
for this, but I think it's a little rambling :-)
I'd like to write these intros myself, so please don't start doing
massive edits. Instead, I'd love to get input of an outline for
these Introduction pages.
How does that sound?
Ok, I'll give a stab at what a 5 minute introduction might contain.
1) Who should use Cucumber, and what benefits can you get from it?
2) How Cucumber works (high level explanation without getting too
3) Learn the nomenclature - features, scenarios, steps (step
definitions later). Some style guidlines.
Totally agree. This is the "shoehorn" I was looking for - partly. Having
YOU write it would be far far better than anyone else, because of your
knowledge and communication skills. People like me can best serve by
giving feedback, as the writing proceeds.
4) What does a Cucumber feature look like (plain - no outlines or
tables). Learn how to write one in a simple text editor.
5) How to install and run Cucumber (using the one from 3
you mean "4"?
as example. No Rake yet - just the cucumber command)
Yeah. Keep it minimal, but something that will actually run and produce
results to study. Which leads us to...
6) What does the output from Cucumber mean? (Learn to read the
deafault console output. Colours and error messages. Mention other
yes yes yes
7) Learn to write step definitions (they are similar to defining
methods in most imperative languages like Ruby, Java, C, Pascal....).
Mention Regexps, Rubular.com.
Would be very very helpful.
8) How to implement the body of a step definition. Learn about RSpec's
#should and #should_not - and matchers
Man, could I use this. Things go really dark for me at this point. Just
haven't gotten there yet.
9) How to fix a failing (red) step definition by writing some code (in
lib for now since we're not doing any Rails)
Yes. Especially the part about excluding Rails. And this, to me looks
like the end of the beginning. What follows is very helpful, but by this
point the boat is launched. I DO dearly want the rest of what you've
written, however, so don't drop anything from the outline, if you have
the time to carry through to the end.
10) Mention DTSTTCPW and refactoring - with some external links. TDD basics.
11) Learn how to use Rake (useful when you have more than one feature
file). Mention RCov.
Nos. 10-11 look especially interesting to me.
12) Learn about the various command-line switches
13) Learn about more advanced Gherkin (Cucumber language) features
such as Tables, PyString, Scenario Outlines and Background (coming soon)
I'm not sure, but I'm thinking that Tables and Scenario Outlines (to the
extent that I understand them) might well come earlier in the outline.
On the other hand, those of us who want to could simple skip ahead to
grab the material when we need it.
14) Learn about hooks (Before, After etc)
15) Various other features (CUCUMBER_COLORS, AutoTest, cucumber.yml
From here on, I think we're into the "and it'd be nice if we had
something about..." territory. Dessert.
16) IDE support
Interesting. I work exclusively with the CLI, and love it. Used to work
with IDEs, but converted.
17) How to use other assertion tools like Test::Unit, Shoulda, etc.
18) How to use Cukes with non-Ruby platforms (Watir family, JRuby,
Terrific outline, I'd say. I cannot imagine not getting what I want,
from this material. It'll suck people like me into the process, and when
we get into trouble we can shout out, which will lead to possible
additions (but I don't think they'll be major).
I'll stay glued to me email inbox (and the wiki) to watch this develop.
This is a gift I simply didn't expect, and especially not right when I
most need it.
This is going to be very very helpful, and to an increasing number of
people, I'll predict.
I'm excited about this development. Thanks so much.
The reader will gradually learn about the recommended file layout structure.
Maybe this is more like a 10-15 minute intro. I'll try to keep it as
short as possible without skipping important concepts.
What's missing? What's in the wrong order? What should I remove?
Tom Cloyd, MS MA, LMHC - Private practice Psychotherapist
Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A: (360) 920-1226
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