Appraisal integrates with bundler and rake to test your library against different versions of dependencies in repeatable scenarios called “appraisals.” Appraisal is designed to make it easy to check for regressions in your library without interfering with day-to-day development using Bundler.
You can install it as a gem:
gem install appraisal
or add it into a Gemfile (Bundler):
Note that gems must be bundled in the global namespace. Bundling gems to a local location or vendoring plugins is not supported. If you do not want to pollute the global namespace, one alternative is RVM’s Gemsets - http://rvm.io/gemsets.
Setting up appraisal requires an Appraisals file (similar to a
Gemfile) in your project root, named “Appraisals” (note the case), and some slight changes to your project’s Rakefile.
Appraisals file consists of several appraisal definitions. An appraisal definition is simply a list of gem dependencies. For example, to test with a few versions of Rails:
The dependencies in your Appraisals file are combined with dependencies in your Gemfile, so you don’t need to repeat anything that’s the same for each appraisal. If something is specified in both the Gemfile and an appraisal, the version from the appraisal takes precedence.
Once you’ve configured the appraisals you want to use, you need to install the dependencies for each appraisal:
bundle exec appraisal install
This will resolve, install, and lock the dependencies for that appraisal using bundler. Once you have your dependencies set up, you can run any command in a single appraisal:
bundle exec appraisal rails-3 rake test
This will run rake test using the dependencies configured for Rails 3. You can also run each appraisal in turn:
bundle exec appraisal rake test
If you want to use only the dependencies from your Gemfile, just run rake test as normal. This allows you to keep running with the latest versions of your dependencies in quick test runs, but keep running the tests in older versions to check for regressions.
In the case that you want to run all the appraisals by default when you run rake, you can override your default Rake task by put this into your Rakefile:
if !ENV["APPRAISAL_INITIALIZED"] && !ENV["TRAVIS"]
APPRAISAL_INITIALIZED environment variable when it runs your process. We put a check here to ensure that appraisal rake command should run your real default task, which usually is your test task.)
Note that this may conflict with your CI setup if you decide to split the test into multiple processes by Appraisal and you are using rake to run tests by default. Please see Travis CI Integration for more detail.
appraisal clean # Remove all generated gemfiles and lockfiles from gemfiles folder
Under the hood
Running appraisal install generates a Gemfile for each appraisal by combining your root Gemfile with the specific requirements for each appraisal. These are stored in the
gemfiles directory, and should be added to version control to ensure that the same versions are always used.
When you prefix a command with
appraisal, the command is run with the appropriate Gemfile for that appraisal, ensuring the correct dependencies are used.
Removing Gems using Appraisal
It is common while managing multiple Gemfiles for dependencies to become deprecated and no longer necessary, meaning they need to be removed from the Gemfile for a specific appraisal. To do this, use the
remove_gem declaration within the necessary appraise block in your
Using the Appraisals file defined above, this is what the resulting
Gemfile will look like:
When using Appraisal, we recommend you check in the Gemfiles that Appraisal generates within the gemfiles directory, but exclude the lockfiles there (*.gemfile.lock).