Bob Silva posted Testing Gotchas in Rails in mid-October. I had fallen across this error myself a few times.

Well, today I had a huge code base I needed to check. I wrote the following Rake task:

 1 # Find missing fixtures declarations from Rails tests
 2 # Code by Francois Beausoleil (
 3 # Released in the public domain.  Do as you wish.
 4 desc "Finds missing fixtures declarations from your tests"
 5 task :find_missing_fixtures do
 6   state = :find_test_case
 7   test_case = nil
 9   Dir['test/*/*_test.rb'].each do |file|
10, 'r') do |f|
11       f.each do |line|
12         case state
13         when :find_fixture
14           case line
15           when /def test_/
16             printf "%s: %s\n", file, test_case
17             state = :find_test_case
18           when /fixtures/
19             state = :find_test_case
20           when /class (\w+) < Test::Unit::TestCase$/
21             test_case = $1
22             state = :find_test_case
23           end
25         when :find_test_case
26           case line
27           when /class (\w+) < Test::Unit::TestCase$/
28             test_case = $1
29             state = :find_fixture
30           end
31         end
32       end
33     end
34   end
35 end

Run it like this:

1 $ rake find_missing_fixtures
2 (in D:/wwwroot/
3 test/unit/name_test.rb: NameTest
4 test/unit/application_helper_test.rb: ApplicationHelperTest
5 test/unit/application_helper_test.rb: ApplicationHelperTruncationTest

Why do I report both the file and TestCase name ? Because I put more than one TestCase per test file, as I reported in Test fixtures and behavioral testing

Of course, if I could do away with fixtures altogether…


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I am François Beausoleil, a Ruby on Rails and Scala developer. During the day, I work on Seevibes, a platform to measure social interactions related to TV shows. At night, I am interested many things. Read my biography.

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