A Semi-Intelligent Watchr Script For Rails And RSpec

I’m using Watchr in my current Rails 3 project, instead of Autotest, to run my Cucumber and RSpec tests whenever I save a file. It makes life so much easier than having to manually run them. Yesterday, I decided to put a little more intelligence in my rspec script, and have it run the tests for the file that i’m working with – whether it’s a spec file or a model, controller, or whatever else.

Here’s what I came up with as a starting point:</p>

Run it via “watchr rspec.watchr” from the command line / terminal. The first thing it does is run all specs in the /spec folder – a quick sanity check or smoke test to make sure everything is working before you start on new specs or code changes.

What It Does

When you save any file in the /app folder – whether it’s a model, a controller, sass file, or anything else anywhere under that folder, it will try to find the corresponding _spec file in the /spec folder. For example, if you save /app/models/user.rb it will try to find the /spec/models/user_spec.rb specs, and run them.

Running Specs: /spec/models/user_spec.rb

Followed by the usual RSpec output. If the spec file that it is looking for is not found, it tells you which file was saved and what _spec.rb file it was expecting to find.

Specs Not Found For:

Looking For Spec File:

It searches as deep as you want to go within your models folder, as well. If you have a model at


then the script will attempt to run specs at


And lastly, whenever you save a file in the /spec folder directly, it runs that file.

It will Probably Do More, In The Future

It’s fairly basic, but it gets the job done for now. I’m sure I’ll add to it over time, too. What features do you have in your watchr script? What am I missing that you would like to see? I have a few ideas, but I’m not sure if they are feasible, yet.

An Interesting “Feature” In Ruby’s DateTime.Parse