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In this talk from FutureRuby, Joseph Wilk gives an introduction to the BDD framework Cucumber and gives valuable tips for getting it adopted and used by customers and developers.


Joseph Wilk is a member of the core development team for Cucumber along with Aslak Hellesøy. He has been developing for the web for 10 years in both big and small companies and as an entrepreneur. After stints working with Java and Python he found Ruby. He now spends his time having more fun than is healthy working as a Software Gardener building web systems and working on open source projects.

About the conference

FutureRuby isn't a Ruby conference, but a conference for Rubyists. This is a call to order - a congress of the curious characters that drew us to this community in the first place. We have a singular opportunity to express a long-term vision, a future where Ruby drives creativity and prosperity without being dampened by partisan politics.

Recorded at:

Oct 08, 2009

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Community comments

  • Comparison with other tools?

    by Vijay Nathani,

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    How would Cucumber compare with Concordion? I think both offer very similar features.
    Both are different from tools like Fit / Fitnesse, which (primary use tables and) do not offer description that is totally decoupled from the implementation.

  • Re: Comparison with other tools?

    by Joseph Wilk,

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    Cucumber takes the perspective that the specification should just be plain text that can be edited by anyone (non-technical people included). Concordion uses HTML in the specifications along with method calls/test logic. So the specifications require either editor tools or some pre-defined knowledge of HTML and programming. Cucumber keeps this logic out of the specification by using regular expressions to provide mappings to the test logic.

    So Cucumbers Gherkin grammar has been built up around expressing specifications and functionality through something everyone can understand, plain text. Concordion hands this task over to programming code and HTML.

    That feels like the key difference between the two.

  • Re: Comparison with other tools?

    by Wes Williams,

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    I have been working on a tool to make FitNesse have a bit more of a Cucumber feel. Cucumber was the inspirations for the tool. It is called GivWenZen and is hosted at google code. I work with a lot of teams that use FitNesse and it is easier to let them stay in that tool then trying to convince them to move to Cucumber.

    I agree that Cucumber frees you up to express the specification and functionality better that the more technical type tools. With the GivWenZen tool it is a bit of hybrid. You are still bound to tables but I simplified it a bit.

    |give|some sentence that describes your functionality|

    With a small CSS change you can make the table borders go away and have it more readable. It is not perfect but it does help. There is another tool with a similar goal called NarrativeFixure.

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