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From John Sisson <>
Subject Re: Geronimo build automation status (longish)
Date Mon, 04 Dec 2006 11:45:22 GMT
Hi Jason,

I had a quick look at the AntHill console and it looked pretty cool.  My 
initial thought was whether we would be discouraging potential ISVs to 
use Geronimo as a basis of their solutions by requiring them to license 
AntHill if they want to do their own automated builds/testing of 
Geronimo (e.g. so they can build and ship their own fix releases outside 
the Apache process).  The AntHill site does not list prices, so I can't 
comment on what licensing of AntHill for a non-open source version of 
Geronimo would cost.

If we are always going to be able to build Geronimo and test it manually 
(without AntHill), then maybe it isn't such a biggie.  Thought I'd raise 
it for discussion anyway.


Jason Dillon wrote:
> Sorry, this has been long overdue.  I've been working on some 
> automation systems for Geronimo builds, including the basic server 
> assemblies, cts assemblies, tck testsuite execution as well as soon to 
> run our own testsuite.
> I have used many different build automation platforms in the past... 
> but IMO they all have some deficiency.  Anyways, I elected to 
> implement a solution using AntHill, who's publisher, Urbancode, has a 
> policy to allow free usage for open-source projects (just like 
> Atlassian's JIRA & Confluence).
> I've set up the latest version of AntHill 3 on our gbuild hosts, and 
> have been working on a configuration to allow reliable builds of 
> Geronimo.  One of the nice aspects of AntHill3 is its distributed 
> agent system, which allows workload to be split up over a set of 
> nodes.  A downside to this is that it becomes more difficult to link 
> Maven builds, as Maven uses a local repository cache for all 
> integration points.  But, I have gotten around this issue by having AH 
> include all of the artifacts downloaded and produced by a build into a 
> clean local repo by the target project which is building.
> A nice side effect of this is that there is direct correlation between 
> one build to another.  And aside from any mystical SNAPSHOT mismatches 
> (which I hope to get fixed soon with my mvn patch 
> it is fairly safe to say 
> that artifacts generated/downloaded by one build will be used by a 
> dependent build.  The down side to this is that sometimes we have to 
> ship about ~512mb of dependencies for larger builds (like the 
> cts-server builds for the TCK which depend on all of the outputs of 
> the server builds, which is a local repo cache of ~512mb).
> An even nicer side effect to all of this, now that each build has a 
> set of artifacts which can be retrieved by another process... we can 
> then take a successful build of Geronimo and run our testsuite on 
> it... either automatically or manually.  And when the testsuite gets 
> bigger and bigger, we can split up each of the suites and run each one 
> a different system... or even on a different operating system or 
> architecture.
> Anyways... the options ahead of us are really interesting... and I 
> believe that right now that AntHill3 is the best tool available to our 
> community to build a really rich and powerful build automation system.
> I am however still working out some of the kinks...
> For example, to run our console-testsuite automatically on gbuild 
> hosts, we need to setup a virtual X server for Firefox to connect to, 
> which means we need to setup some tasks to execute Xfvb before tests 
> and shut it down afterwards, as well as put firefox-bin on the path, 
> etc.  Minor issues, but still work left to be done.
> If you'd like to take a peek, you can log into the AntHill console here:
> Username: guest
> Password: gbuild
> (NOTE: This user will not be able to see any of the CTS or TCK related 
> projects due to NDA mucky muck)
> I hope to have this wrapped up for the main G server builds over the 
> next few days, at which point I will enable the build status 
> notifications to be sent to dev@  But right now since I am testing its 
> probably not meaningful to send out those notifications.
> But, I have found several build related issues from testing this 
> system, which is usually performed off of a clean svn co with a clean 
> mvn repo... so I'm confident that once its going that we will catch 
> more errors faster, which will hopefully reduce build related errors 
> for the masses.
>  * * *
> Anyways, right now I have builds setup for:
>     Genesis - trunk
>     Specs - trunk
>     Geronimo Components (stage=bootstrap) - trunk & 1.2
>     OpenEJB 2 - trunk & 2.2
>     Geronimo Server (stage=assemble) - trunk & 1.2
>     Geronimo CTS 1.2
> As noted above, these builds use the exact outputs from one build in 
> another, not using a shared local repo, so there is less chance that 
> other builds will cause mvn to behave strangely (or stranger than it 
> already does).
> I have started working on a workflow to run the server/testsuite/* 
> modules on "Geronimo Server" outputs, which should be closer to being 
> finished early next week.
> Some of these projects, those that generate Surefire reports, will 
> have a "Surefire_Report" attached to the buildlife.  This is a 
> consolidated report of all the tests for that project.  For example 
> the last build of specs trunk, had 300 tests (all passed).
> NOTE: Screen shots attached, as currently the state of the install may 
> change as I configure to validate the setup.
> You can also see & download any of the outputs of the build.
>  * * *
> Anyways, as mentioned this all needs a little bit more love to be more 
> of the perfect build automation system which was what I have been 
> really trying to put together for our community.
> Should have at the very least, nightly deploys of SNAPSHOTs hooked up 
> for G projects by early next week.  Then nightly website updates, and 
> then automated testsuite & tck bits will follow shortly afterwards... 
> and eventually, we could also use AH to generate the RC and release 
> builds, so that all builds are generated from the same environment.  
> But probably sooner than that, we can promote G server builds that 
> pass the TCK or our Testsuite, so that the exact binaries used to 
> build the CTS server or run the testsuite can be used by others for 
> more validation.
> I will send out email again later, with some brief wiki docs on what 
> all this AH jargon is, and how to spin off builds with a few clicks.
> --jason

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