Marrying Autotest with RSpec on Gnome

Written on 5:54:00 PM by S. Potter

For those that don't know marrying Autotest with RSpec is a God send and I highly recommend it for pure Ruby as well as Rails application development. On the Mac OS X and KDE desktop environments there are builtin Autotest extensions that visually flag erroneous or successful RSpec runs with a standard desktop notification message. For Gnome users on Linux running Autotest with RSpec you may have seen a couple of ${HOME}/.autotest customizations out there that don't work with RSpec v1.x+. Below is my ${HOME}/.autotest that works with RSpec 1.0.5:


module Autotest::GnomeNotify

  # Time notification will be displayed before disappearing automatically
  ERROR_STOCK_ICON = "gtk-dialog-error"
  SUCCESS_STOCK_ICON = "gtk-dialog-info"

  RE_RSPEC_SUMMARY =\d+) examples, (\d+) failure/)

  class << self
    # Convenience method to send an error notification message
    # [stock_icon]   Stock icon name of icon to display
    # [title]        Notification message title
    # [message]      Core message for the notification
    def notify(stock_icon, title, message)
      options = "-t #{EXPIRATION_IN_SECONDS * 2500} -i #{stock_icon}"
      system "notify-send #{options} '#{title}' '#{message}'"

    def compose_message(at)
      specs, failures = 0, 0
      at.results.scan(RE_RSPEC_SUMMARY) do |s, f|
        specs = s.to_i
        failures = f.to_i
      "#{specs} specs, #{failures} failures"

  Autotest.add_hook :red do |at|
    notify ERROR_STOCK_ICON, "Some specs failed.", compose_message(at)

  Autotest.add_hook :green do |at|
    notify SUCCESS_STOCK_ICON, "All specs passed.  Have a beer!", compose_message(at)
I assume there this will work with RSpec 1.x, but I have only tested with RSpec 1.0.5. Enjoy!

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1 Comment

  1. Ikai Lan |

    Hey, this ROCKS! Why should OS X users have all the fun?


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