What is Spek

In case you’ve not come across Spek before, Spek is a specification framework written in Kotlin which allows you to write your specifications (i.e. tests that describe behaviour) in Kotlin. The SUT can be either Kotlin or Java.

If you’re new to Kotlin, make sure you check out the Getting Started tutorials.

Spek goes 1.0

We’ve finally reached the 1.0 mark! There have been quite a few changes leading to 1.0 in terms of the API, but we’re hoping that it will now remain stable moving forward. Below is a summary of features and changes that this first version brings with it.

JUnit Support

Spek has always relied on JUnit under the covers for test discovery and execution. The choice was made so as to provide a certain level of functionality without having to reinvent the wheel from day one. This includes but not limited to integration with IDE’s and build servers, ability to run tests from the command line, etc.

When preparing for Spek 1.0, we decided to make two fundamental changes:

New API’s

describe, describe, describe

Spek was initially designed with the given, on, it syntax. And this API still remains. However, at some point we also added support for more Jasmine style describe syntax. Essentially, this means that you have the option to use either.

Context and Subjects, beforeEach and afterEach

We’ve introduced the concepts of contexts and subjects, along with finally fixing the beforeEach and afterEach directives.

fdescribe dropped

At some point, an (f) for focused API was introduced to allow running of individual tests. While this was useful, it was also a little bit problematic as it required modifying the code every time you want to run a specific test. This API has now been dropped. We’ve addressed the issue of running individual tests via the IntelliJ IDEA plugin.

xdescribe introduced

You can ignore tests using the x prefix. Note: this might actually be changed for annotations in the future.

Annotations are gone

Unless you’re using JUnit 4 runner, you no longer need to use JUnit annotations for indicating tests. If you’re using JUnit 4 runner, you’ll need to add the following annotation to your tests


IntelliJ IDEA Plugin

We finally have an IntelliJ IDEA plugin for running Spek, thanks to Ranie. It should work with IntelliJ IDEA as well as Android Studio.

Spek Plugin

Please note that the IntelliJ IDEA plugin requires JUnit 5

In summary

It’s been a very long road to get to here, and at times too dormant. But we made it, and it would not have been possible without the contributions of everyone including Laura Kogler, Ilya Ryzhenkov, Eugene Petrenko. But a special mention to Ranie Jade de Ramiso. He put in a lot of hours and work to bring Spek to a 1.0.

This is just the start of Spek. We still have many things planned, so please give us your feedback.

Thank you!