1.0 (released 2015-03-02)

1.0 has arrived! Finally (and some years late) the version number communicates what Spock users have known for ages - that Spock isn’t only useful and fun, but also reliable, mature, and here to stay. So please, go out and tell everyone who hasn’t been assimilated that now is the time to join the party!

A special thanks goes to all our tireless speakers and supporters, only a few of which are listed here: Andres Almiray, Cédric Champeau, David Dawson, Rob Fletcher, Sean Gilligan, Ken Kousen, Guillaume Laforge, NFJS Tour, Graeme Rocher, Baruch Sadogursky, Odin Hole Standal, Howard M. Lewis Ship, Ken Sipe, Venkat Subramaniam, Russel Winder.

What’s New In This Release

  • 17 contributors, 21 resolved issues, 18 merged pull requests, some ongoing work. No ground-breaking new features, but significant improvements and fixes across the board.

  • Minimum runtime requirements raised to JRE 1.6 and Groovy 2.0.

  • Improved and restyled reference documentation at http://docs.spockframework.org. Generated with Asciidoctor (what else?).

  • Maven plugin removed. Just let Maven Surefire run your Spock specs like your JUnit tests (see spock-example project).

  • Official support for Java 1.8, Groovy 2.3 and Groovy 2.4. Make sure to pick the groovy-2.0 binaries for Groovy 2.0/2.1/2.2, groovy-2.3 binaries for Groovy 2.3, and groovy-2.4 binaries for Groovy 2.4 and higher.

  • Improved infrastructure to allow for easier community involvement: Switch to GitHub issue tracker, Windows and Linux CI builds, pull requests automatically tested, all development on master branch (bye-bye groovy-x.y branches!).

Other News

What’s Up Next?

With a revamped build/release process and a reforming core team, we hope to release much more frequently from now on. Another big focus will be to better involve the community and their valuable contributions. Last but not least, we are finally shooting for a professional logo and website. Stay tuned for announcements!

Test Long And Prosper,

The Spock Team

New Third Party Extensions

These awesome extensions have been published or updated:

Ongoing Work

These great features didn’t make it into this release (but hopefully the next!):

0.7 (released 2012-10-08)

Snapshot Repository Moved

Spock snapshots are now available from http://oss.sonatype.org/content/repositories/snapshots/.

New Reference Documentation

The new Spock reference documentation is available at http://docs.spockframework.org. It will gradually replace the documentation at http://wiki.spockframework.org. Each Spock version is documented separately (e.g. http://docs.spockframework.org/en/spock-0.7-groovy-1.8). Documentation for the latest Spock snapshot is at http://docs.spockframework.org/en/latest. As of Spock 0.7, the chapters on Data Driven Testing and Interaction Based Testing are complete.

Improved Mocking Failure Message for TooManyInvocationsError

The diagnostic message accompanying a TooManyInvocationsError has been greatly improved. Here is an example:

Too many invocations for:

3 * person.sing(_)   (4 invocations)

Matching invocations (ordered by last occurrence):

2 * person.sing("do")   <-- this triggered the error
1 * person.sing("re")
1 * person.sing("mi")

Improved Mocking Failure Message for TooFewInvocationsError

The diagnostic message accompanying a TooFewInvocationsError has been greatly improved. Here is an example:

Too few invocations for:

1 * person.sing("fa")   (0 invocations)

Unmatched invocations (ordered by similarity):

1 * person.sing("re")
1 * person.say("fa")
1 * person2.shout("mi")


Besides mocks, Spock now has explicit support for stubs:

def person = Stub(Person)

A stub is a restricted form of mock object that responds to invocations without ever demanding them. Other than not having a cardinality, a stub’s interactions look just like a mock’s interactions. Using a stub over a mock is an effective way to communicate its role to readers of the specification.


Besides mocks, Spock now has support for spies:

def person = Spy(Person, constructorArgs: ["Fred"])

A spy sits atop a real object, in this example an instance of class Person. All invocations on the spy that don’t match an interaction are delegated to that object. This allows to listen in on and selectively change the behavior of the real object. Furthermore, spies can be used as partial mocks.

Declaring Interactions at Mock Creation Time

Interactions can now be declared at mock creation time:

def person = Mock(Person) {
    sing() >> "tra-la-la"
    3 * eat()

This feature is particularly attractive for Stubs.

Groovy Mocks

Spock now offers specialized mock objects for spec’ing Groovy code:

def mock = GroovyMock(Person)
def stub = GroovyStub(Person)
def spy = GroovySpy(Person)

A Groovy mock automatically implements groovy.lang.GroovyObject. It allows stubbing and mocking of dynamic methods just like for statically declared methods. When a Groovy mock is called from Java rather than Groovy code, it behaves like a regular mock.

Global Mocks

A Groovy mock can be made global:

GroovySpy(Person, global: true)

A global mock can only be created for a class type. It effectively replaces all instances of that type and makes them amenable to stubbing and mocking. (You may know this behavior from Groovy’s MockFor and StubFor facilities.) Furthermore, a global mock allows mocking of the type’s constructors and static methods.

Grouping Conditions with Same Target Object

Inspired from Groovy’s Object.with method, the Specification.with method allows to group conditions involving the same target object:

def person = new Person(name: "Fred", age: 33, sex: "male")

with(person) {
    name == "Fred"
    age == 33
    sex == "male"

Grouping Interactions with Same Target Object

The with method can also be used for grouping interactions:

def service = Mock(Service)
app.service = service


with(service) {
    1 * start()
    1 * act()
    1 * stop()

Polling Conditions

spock.util.concurrent.PollingConditions joins AsyncConditions and BlockingVariable(s) as another utility for testing asynchronous code:

def person = new Person(name: "Fred", age: 22)
def conditions = new PollingConditions(timeout: 10)

Thread.start {
    person.age = 42
    person.name = "Barney"

conditions.within(2) {
    assert person.age == 42

conditions.eventually {
    assert person.name == "Barney"

Experimental DSL Support for Eclipse

Spock now ships with a DSL descriptor that lets Groovy Eclipse better understand certain parts of Spock’s DSL. The descriptor is automatically detected and activated by the IDE. Here is an example:

// currently need to type variable for the following to work
Person person = new Person(name: "Fred", age: 42)

with(person) {
    name == "Fred" // editor understands and auto-completes 'name'
    age == 42      // editor understands and auto-completes 'age'

Another example:

def person = Stub(Person) {
    getName() >> "Fred" // editor understands and auto-completes 'getName()'
    getAge() >> 42      // editor understands and auto-completes 'getAge()'

DSL support is activated for Groovy Eclipse 2.7.1 and higher. If necessary, it can be deactivated in the Groovy Eclipse preferences.

Experimental DSL Support for IntelliJ IDEA

Spock now ships with a DSL descriptor that lets Intellij IDEA better understand certain parts of Spock’s DSL. The descriptor is automatically detected and activated by the IDE. Here is an example:

def person = new Person(name: "Fred", age: 42)

with(person) {
    name == "Fred" // editor understands and auto-completes 'name'
    age == 42      // editor understands and auto-completes 'age'

Another example:

def person = Stub(Person) {
    getName() >> "Fred" // editor understands and auto-completes 'getName()'
    getAge() >> 42      // editor understands and auto-completes 'getAge()'

DSL support is activated for IntelliJ IDEA 11.1 and higher.

Splitting up Class Specification

Parts of class spock.lang.Specification were pulled up into two new super classes: spock.lang.MockingApi now contains all mocking-related methods, and org.spockframework.lang.SpecInternals contains internal methods which aren’t meant to be used directly.

Improved Failure Messages for notThrown and noExceptionThrown

Instead of just passing through exceptions, Specification.notThrown and Specification.noExceptionThrown now fail with messages like:

Expected no exception to be thrown, but got 'java.io.FileNotFoundException'

Caused by: java.io.FileNotFoundException: ...


Class spock.util.matcher.HamcrestSupport has a new expect method that makes Hamcrest assertions read better in then-blocks:

def x = computeValue()

expect x, closeTo(42, 0.01)


Recently introduced classes and methods may be annotated with @Beta, as a sign that they may still undergo incompatible changes. This gives us a chance to incorporate valuable feedback from our users. (Yes, we need your feedback!) Typically, a @Beta annotation is removed within one or two releases.

Fixed Issues

See the issue tracker for a list of fixed issues.

0.6 (released 2012-05-02)

Mocking Improvements

The mocking framework now provides better diagnostic messages in some cases.

Multiple result declarations can be chained. The following causes method bar to throw an IOException when first called, return the numbers one, two, and three on the next calls, and throw a RuntimeException for all subsequent calls:

foo.bar() >> { throw new IOException() } >>> [1, 2, 3] >> { throw new RuntimeException() }

It’s now possible to match any argument list (including the empty list) with foo.bar(*_).

Method arguments can now be constrained with Hamcrest matchers:

import static spock.util.matcher.HamcrestMatchers.closeTo


1 * foo.bar(closeTo(42, 0.001))

Extended JUnit Rules Support

In addition to rules implementing org.junit.rules.MethodRule (which has been deprecated in JUnit 4.9), Spock now also supports rules implementing the new org.junit.rules.TestRule interface. Also supported is the new @ClassRule annotation. Rule declarations are now verified and can leave off the initialization part. I that case Spock will automatically initialize the rule by calling the default constructor. The @TestName rule, and rules in general, now honor the @Unroll annotation and any defined naming pattern.

See Issue 240 for a known limitation with Spock’s TestRule support.

Condition Rendering Improvements

When two objects are compared with the == operator, they are unequal, but their string representations are the same, Spock will now print the objects' types:

enteredNumber == 42
|             |
|             false
42 (java.lang.String)

JUnit Fixture Annotations

Fixture methods can now be declared with JUnit’s @Before, @After, @BeforeClass, and @AfterClass annotations, as an addition or alternative to Spock’s own fixture methods. This was particularly needed for Grails 2.0 support.

Tapestry 5.3 Support

Thanks to a contribution from Howard Lewis Ship, the Tapestry module is now compatible with Tapestry 5.3. Older 5.x versions are still supported.

IBM JDK Support

Spock now runs fine on IBM JDKs, working around a bug in the IBM JDK’s verifier.

Improved JUnit Compatibility

org.junit.internal.AssumptionViolatedException is now recognized and handled as known from JUnit. @Unrolled methods no longer cause "yellow" nodes in IDEs.

Improved @Unroll

The @Unroll naming pattern can now be provided in the method name, instead of as an argument to the annotation:

def "maximum of #a and #b is #c"() {
    Math.max(a, b) == c

    a | b | c
    1 | 2 | 2

The naming pattern now supports property access and zero-arg method calls:

def "#person.name.toUpperCase() is #person.age years old"() { ... }

The @Unroll annotation can now be applied to a spec class. In this case, all data-driven feature methods in the class will be unrolled.

Improved @Timeout

The @Timeout annotation can now be applied to a spec class. In this case, the timeout applies to all feature methods (individually) that aren’t already annotated with @Timeout. Timed methods are now executed on the regular test framework thread. This can be important for tests that rely on thread-local state (like Grails integration tests). Also the interruption behavior has been improved, to increase the chance that a timeout can be enforced.

The failure exception that is thrown when a timeout occurs now contains the stacktrace of test execution, allowing you to see where the test was “stuck” or how far it got in the allocated time.

Improved Data Table Syntax

Table cells can now be separated with double pipes. This can be used to visually set apart expected outputs from provided inputs:

a | b || sum
1 | 2 || 3
3 | 1 || 4

Groovy 1.8/2.0 Support

Spock 0.6 ships in three variants for Groovy 1.7, 1.8, and 2.0. Make sure to pick the right version - for example, for Groovy 1.8 you need to use spock-core-0.6-groovy-1.8 (likewise for all other modules). The Groovy 2.0 variant is based on Groovy 2.0-beta-3-SNAPSHOT and only available from http://m2repo.spockframework.org. The Groovy 1.7 and 1.8 variants are also available from Maven Central. The next version of Spock will no longer support Groovy 1.7.

Grails 2.0 Support

Spock’s Grails plugin was split off into a separate project and now lives at http://github.spockframework.org/spock-grails. The plugin supports both Grails 1.3 and 2.0.

The Spock Grails plugin supports all of the new Grails 2.0 test mixins, effectively deprecating the existing unit testing classes (e.g. UnitSpec). For integration testing, IntegrationSpec must still be used.

IntelliJ IDEA Integration

The folks from JetBrains have added a few handy features around data tables. Data tables will now be layed out automatically when reformatting code. Data variables are no longer shown as "unknown" and have their types inferred from the values in the table (!).

GitHub Repository

All source code has moved to http://github.spockframework.org/. The Grails Spock plugin, Spock Example project, and Spock Web Console now have their own GitHub projects. Also available are slides and code for various Spock presentations (such as this one).

Gradle Build

Spock is now exclusively built with Gradle. Building Spock yourself is as easy as cloning the Github repo and executing gradlew build. No build tool installation is required; the only prerequisite for building Spock is a JDK installation (1.5 or higher).

Fixed Issues

See the issue tracker for a list of fixed issues.