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Project: RSpec Rails 3.3


Controller specs wrap Rails controller tests, which expose a few different ways
to access cookies:


rails-3.0.x and 3.1 handle these slightly differently, so to avoid confusion, we recommend
the following guidelines:

Recommended guidelines for rails-3.0.0 to 3.1.0

  • Access cookies through the request and response objects in the spec.
    • Use request.cookies before the action to set up state.
    • Use response.cookies after the action to specify outcomes.
  • Use the cookies object in the controller action.
  • Use String keys.
# spec
request.cookies['foo'] = 'bar'
get :some_action
expect(response.cookies['foo']).to eq('modified bar')

# controller
def some_action
  cookies['foo'] = "modified #{cookies['foo']}"

Why use Strings instead of Symbols?

The cookies objects in the spec come from Rack, and do not support
indifferent access (i.e. :foo and "foo" are different keys). The cookies
object in the controller does support indifferent access, which is a bit

This changed in rails-3.1, so you can use symbol keys, but we recommend
sticking with string keys for consistency.

Why not use the cookies method?

The cookies method combines the request and response cookies. This can
lead to confusion when setting cookies in the example in order to set up state
for the controller action.

# does not work in rails 3.0.0 > 3.1.0
cookies['foo'] = 'bar' # this is not visible in the controller
get :some_action

Future versions of Rails

There is code in the master branch in rails that makes cookie access more
consistent so you can use the same cookies object before and after the action,
and you can use String or Symbol keys. We'll update these docs accordingly when
that is released.

Last published over 7 years ago by myronmarston.