BDD Style test runner
0.1.8 Latest release released


BDD Style spec runner for Crystal. This project is fairly experimental and was written in a day so will be gradually improved over time. Please raise any feature requests or bugs.


  1. Add the dependency to your shard.yml:

        github: sushichain/spinach
  2. Run shards install


require "spinach"

The basic concept is that you write executable specifications in an HTML file that has a companion supporting crystal file. You then execute the crystal file and it will execute a spec and produce an augmented HTML file with the results.

You put your html file and supporting crystal file in the spec folder.

There are 3 directives:

  • scenario
  • table_scenario
  • assert_equals
  • set
  • execute
  • status

In your HTML you use these to write the specs. See below. See also the specs of this project for examples.

For each scenario the directives are located and then executed. The order in which directives are located is as follows:

  1. table_scenario
  2. scenario
  3. set
  4. execute
  5. assert_equals
  6. status


<div spinach:scenario="#scenario1">
  If my name is <b spinach:set="#username">Chuck Norris</b>.<br/>
  Then my username should be <b spinach:assert_equals="#username">Chuck Norris2</b>.

Each spec file must contain at least one scenario. A scenario is used to provide scope for the commands. When a spec runs the variables used in the scenario are scoped to that specific scenario. So a scenario MUST be placed on a Div HTML element that is a parent and then all the spec commands should go on HTML nodes that are children of this parent node. See the specs folder for examples

Table Scenario

  <table spinach:table_scenario="scenario 1" class="table table-striped">
      <thead class="thead-dark">
          <th spinach:set="firstname">First name</th>
          <th spinach:set="lastname">Last name</th>
          <th spinach:assert_equals="greeting.login_greeting">Greeting</th>
          <th spinach:assert_equals="greeting.login_message">Message</th>
          <th spinach:execute="greeting = greeting_for(firstname, lastname)"></th>
            <td>Hello Bob!</td>
            <td>Your last name is Bobbington!</td>

You add spinach:table_scenario to the table and then define your directives in the first row of the thead. You must use the thead and tbody elements. Also you must NOT put any directives on the first tr in the thead and instead only put directives on the th nodes. This is because each tr will be turned into a scenario and the appropriate directives dynamically added.

Set Variable

  If my username is <b spinach:set="#username">Chuck Norris</b>.
  Then the system should greet me with <b spinach:assert_equals="greeting_for(#username)">Hello Chuck Norris</b>.

This will set the value Chuck Norris onto a variable called #username which you can use in a later assert_equals to assert a value.

Assert Equals

  The greeting should be <b spinach:assert_equals="get_greeting()">Hello World!</b>.

This will assert the value returned by the method get_greeting with the supplied text: Hello World!

The return type of get_greeting MUST be a String

A second way to use assert_equals is when there is just a variable being asserted - either that has been set in the html or that is the result of an execute.

  If my name is <b spinach:set="#username">Chuck Norris</b>.<br/>
  Then my username should be <b spinach:assert_equals="#username">Chuck Norris</b>.


<p spinach:execute="#greeting = greeting_for(#firstname, #lastname)">
  The greeting <b spinach:assert_equals="#greeting.login_greeting">Hello Bob!</b><br/>
  And the message <b spinach:assert_equals="#greeting.login_message">Your last name is Bobbington!</b><br/>
  should be given to user <b spinach:set="#firstname">Bob</b> <b spinach:set="#lastname">Bobbington</b><br/>
  when he logs in.

This will store the result of the method greeting_for in a result HashMap which you can then use in later asserts.

When returning a result in an execute you MUST return a HashMap

Implementation Status

<div spinach:scenario="#scenario 2" spinach:status="expected_to_fail">
    (expected_to_fail) The failed greeting should be <b spinach:assert_equals="failed_greeting()">Hello World!</b>.

You can add the status directive to either the node with spinach:scenario to apply it to the whole scenario or you can add it to a specific assert_equals node.


To run a spec you can do the following:

NOTE - if you get a compiler crash while running then use the --no-debug flag when running and report the crash to the Crystal devs. Depending on what you put in the mapping Proc might cause the compiler to crash.

e.g crystal run --no-debug spec/*.cr or crystal run spec/individual_file.cr

but in general:

crystal run spec/*.cr or crystal run spec/individual_file.cr

if you want to put your specs somewhere else you can also do this:

crystal run spec/spinach/*.cr -- -l "spec/spinach"

There is a basic command line report:

  • a green dot is passed
  • a red F is failed
  • a green F is failed but expected to fail
  • a yellow I is ignored
  • a blue P is pending

Writing Specs

In the spec folder of your project you write 2 files:

  1. assert_something.cr
  2. assert_something.html

The names of the files must be the same. Also the name of the class in the crystal file must be the camel case equivalent of the file name. e.g. assert_something.cr must have a class called AssertSomething

here is an example of the files:

class AssertEquals < SpinachTestCase

  def get_greeting(args)
    "Hello World!"


You must extend from SpinachTestCase. You must also annotate any methods that will be used by the spec from the html file. This will add the method to a mapping of method_name => Proc of method.

The annotated method MUST always take a single argument of args. The args are passed to the method from the html where required. See the spec folder of this project for examples.


  <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://stackpath.bootstrapcdn.com/bootswatch/4.3.1/spacelab/bootstrap.min.css">

  <div class="container">
    <h1>Assert Equals</h1>
    <h4>This is an example of a basic assertion using <b>assert_equals</b>.</h4>
        The greeting should be <b spinach:assert_equals="get_greeting()">Hello World!</b>.



When running the specs locally in the project use this:

crystal run --no-debug spec/*.cr -- -l "./projects/spinach/spec"


  1. Fork it (https://github.com/sushichain/spinach/fork)
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request


  github: sushichain/spinach
  version: ~> 0.1.8
License MIT
Crystal 0.30.1


Dependencies 1

Development Dependencies 0

Dependents 1

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