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From Jason Dillon <>
Subject Re: Continuous TCK Testing
Date Thu, 09 Oct 2008 08:16:50 GMT
On Oct 8, 2008, at 11:05 PM, Jason Warner wrote:
> Here's a quick question.  Where does AHP come from?

(ever heard of google :-P)


> On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 1:18 PM, Jason Dillon  
> <> wrote:
> Sure np, took me a while to get around to writing it too ;-)
> --jason
> On Oct 6, 2008, at 10:24 PM, Jason Warner wrote:
>> Just got around to reading this.  Thanks for the brain dump,  
>> Jason.  No questions as of yet, but I'm sure I'll need a few more  
>> reads before I understand it all.
>> On Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 2:34 PM, Jason Dillon  
>> <> wrote:
>> On Oct 1, 2008, at 11:20 PM, Jason Warner wrote:
>> Is the GBuild stuff in svn the same as the anthill-based code or is  
>> that something different?  GBuild seems to have scripts for running  
>> tck and that leads me to think they're the same thing, but I see no  
>> mention of anthill in the code.
>> The Anthill stuff is completely different than the GBuild stuff.  I  
>> started out trying to get the TCK automated using GBuild, but  
>> decided that the system lacked too many features to perform as I  
>> desired, and went ahead with Anthill as it did pretty much  
>> everything, though had some stability problems.
>> One of the main reasons why I choose Anthill (AHP, Anthill Pro that  
>> is) was its build agent and code repository systems.  This allowed  
>> me to ensure that each build used exactly the desired artifacts.   
>> Another was the configurable workflow, which allowed me to create a  
>> custom chain of events to handle running builds on remote agents  
>> and control what data gets set to them, what it will collect and  
>> what logic to execute once all distributed work has been completed  
>> for a particular build.  And the kicker which help facilitate  
>> bringing it all together was its concept of a build life.
>> At the time I could find *no other* build tool which could meet all  
>> of these needs, and so I went with AHP instead of spending months  
>> building/testing features in GBuild.
>> While AHP supports configuring a lot of stuff via its web- 
>> interface, I found that it was very cumbersome, so I opted to write  
>> some glue, which was stored in svn here:
>> Its been a while, so I have to refresh my memory on how this stuff  
>> actually worked.  First let me explain about the code repository  
>> (what it calls codestation) and why it was critical to the TCK  
>> testing IMO.  When we use Maven normally, it pulls data from a set  
>> of external repositories, picks up more repositories from the stuff  
>> it downloads and quickly we loose control where stuff comes from.   
>> After it pulls down all that stuff, it churns though a build and  
>> spits out the stuff we care about, normally stuffing them (via mvn  
>> install) into the local repository.
>> AHP supports by default tasks to publish artifacts (really just a  
>> set of files controlled by an Ant-like include/exclude path) from a  
>> build agent into Codestation, as well as tasks to resolve artifacts  
>> (ie. download them from Codestation to the local working directory  
>> on the build agents system).  Each top-level build in AHP gets  
>> assigned a new (empty) build life.  Artifacts are always published  
>> to/resolved from a build life, either that of the current build, or  
>> of a dependency build.
>> So what I did was I setup builds for Geronimo Server (the normal  
>> server/trunk stuff), which did the normal mvn install thingy, but I  
>> always gave it a custom -Dmaven.local.repository which resolved to  
>> something inside the working directory for the running build.  The  
>> build was still online, so it pulled down a bunch of stuff into an  
>> empty local repository (so it was a clean build wrt the repository,  
>> as well as the source code, which was always fetched for each new  
>> build).  Once the build had finished, I used the artifact publisher  
>> task to push *all* of the stuff in the local repository into  
>> Codestation, labled as something like "Maven repository artifacts"  
>> for the current build life.
>> Then I setup another build for Apache Geronimo CTS Server (the  
>> porting/branches/* stuff).  This build was dependent upon the  
>> "Maven repository artifacts" of the Geronimo Server build, and I  
>> configured those artifacts to get installed on the build agents  
>> system in the same directory that I configured the CTS Server build  
>> to use for its local maven repository.  So again the repo started  
>> out empty, then got populated with all of the outputs from the  
>> normal G build, and then the cts-server build was started.  The  
>> build of the components and assemblies is normally fairly quick and  
>> aside from some stuff in the private tck repo won't download muck  
>> more stuff, because it already had most of its dependencies  
>> installed via the Codestation dependency resolution.   Once the  
>> build finished, I published to cts-server assembly artifacts back  
>> to Codestation under like "CTS Server Assemblies" or something.
>> Up until this point its normal builds, but now we have built the G  
>> server, then built the CTS server (using the *exact* artifacts from  
>> the G server build, even though each might have happened on a  
>> different build agent).  And now we need to go and run a bunch of  
>> tests, using the *exact* CTS server assemblies, produce some  
>> output, collect it, and once all of the tests are done render some  
>> nice reports, etc.
>> AHP supports setting up builds which contain "parallel" tasks, each  
>> of those tasks is then performed by a build agent, they have fancy  
>> build agent selection stuff, but for my needs I had basically 2  
>> groups, one group for running the server builds, and then another  
>> for running the tests.  I only set aside like 2 agents for builds  
>> and the rest for tests.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I had 2 16x  
>> 16g AMD beasts all running CentOS 5, each with about 10-12 Xen  
>> virtual machines running internally to run build agents.  Each  
>> system also had a RAID-0 array setup over 4 disks to help reduce  
>> disk io wait, which was as I found out the limiting factor when  
>> trying to run a ton of builds that all checkout and download  
>> artifacts and such.
>> I helped the AHP team add a new feature which was an parallel  
>> iterator task, so you define *one* task that internally fires off n  
>> parallel tasks, which would set the iteration number, and leave it  
>> up to the build logic to pick what to do based on that index.  The  
>> alternative was a unwieldy set of like 200 tasks in their UI which  
>> simply didn't work at all.  You might have notice an  
>> "iterations.xml" file in the tck-testsuite directory, this was was  
>> was used to take an iteration number and turn it into what tests we  
>> actually run.  The <iteration> bits are order sensitive in that file.
>> Soooo, after we have a CTS Server for a particular G Server build,  
>> we can no go an do "runtests" for a specific set of tests (defined  
>> by an iteration)... this differed from the other builds above a  
>> little, but still pulled down artifacts, the CTS Server assemblies  
>> (only the assemblies and the required bits to run the geronimo- 
>> maven-plugin, which was used to geronimo:install, as well as used  
>> by the tck itself to fire up the server and so on).  The key thing  
>> here, with regards to the maven configuration (besides using that  
>> custom Codestation populated repository) was that the builds were  
>> run *offline*.
>> After runtests completed, the results are then soaked up (the stuff  
>> that javatest pukes out with icky details, as well as the full log  
>> files and other stuff I can recall) and then pushed back into  
>> Codestation.
>> Once all of the iterations were finished, another task fires off  
>> which generates a report.  It does this by downloading from  
>> Codestation all of the runtests outputs (each was zipped I think),  
>> unzips them one by one, run some custom goo I wrote (based some of  
>> the concepts from original stuff from the GBuild-based TCK  
>> automation), and generates a nice Javadoc-like report that includes  
>> all of the gory details.
>> I can't remember how long I spent working on this... too long (not  
>> the reports I mean, the whole system).  But in the end I recall  
>> something like running an entire TCK testsuite for a single server  
>> configuration (like jetty) in about 4-6 hours... I sent mail to the  
>> list with the results, so if you are curious what the real number  
>> is, instead of my guess, you can look for it there.  But anyway it  
>> was damn quick running on just those 2 machines.  And I *knew*  
>> exactly that each of the distributed tests was actually testing a  
>> known build that I could trace back to its artifacts and then back  
>> to its SVN revision, without worrying about mvn downloading  
>> something new when midnight rolled over or that a new G server or  
>> CTS server build that might be in progress hasn't compromised the  
>> testing by polluting the local repository.
>>  * * *
>> So, about the sandbox/build-support stuff...
>> First there is the 'harness' project, which is rather small, but  
>> contains the basic stuff, like a version of ant and maven which all  
>> of these builds would use, some other internal glue, a  fix for an  
>> evil Maven problem causing erroneous build failures due to some  
>> internal thread state corruption or gremlins, not sure which.  I  
>> kinda used this project to help manage the software needed by  
>> normal builds, which is why Ant and Maven were in there... ie. so I  
>> didn't have to go install it on each agent each time it changed,  
>> just let the AHP system deal with it for me.
>> This was setup as a normal AHP project, built using its internal  
>> Ant builder (though having that builder configured still to use the  
>> local version it pulled from SVN to ensure it always works.
>> Each other build was setup to depend on the output artifacts from  
>> the build harness build, using the latest in a range, like say  
>> using "3.*" for the latest 3.x build (which looks like that was  
>> 3.7).  This let me work on new stuff w/o breaking the current  
>> builds as I hacked things up.
>> So, in addition to all of the stuff I mentioned above wrt the G and  
>> CTS builds, each also had this step which resolved the build  
>> harness artifacts to that working directory, and the Maven builds  
>> were always run via the version of Maven included from the  
>> harness.  But, AHP didn't actually run that version of Maven  
>> directly, it used its internal Ant task to execute the version of  
>> Ant from the harness *and* use the harness.xml buildfile.
>> The harness.xml stuff is some more goo which I wrote to help mange  
>> AHP configurations.  With AHP (at that time, not sure if it has  
>> changed) you had to do most everything via the web UI, which  
>> sucked, and it was hard to refactor sets of projects and so on.  So  
>> I came up with a standard set of tasks to execute for a project,  
>> then put all of the custom muck I needed into what I called a  
>> _library_ and then had the AHP via harness.xml invoke it with some  
>> configuration about what project it was and other build details.
>> The actual harness.xml is not very big, it simply makes sure that */ 
>> bin/* is executable (codestation couldn't preserve execute bits),  
>> uses the Codestation command-line client (invoking the javaclass  
>> directly though) to ask the repository to resolve artifacts from  
>> the "Build Library" to the local repository.  I had this artifact  
>> resolution separate from the normal dependency (or harness)  
>> artifact resolution so that it was easier for me to fix problems  
>> with the library while a huge set of TCK iterations were still  
>> queued up to run.  Basically, if I noticed a problem due to a code  
>> or configuration issue in an early build, I could fix it, and use  
>> the existing builds to verify the fix, instead of wasting an hour  
>> (sometimes more depending on networking problems accessing remote  
>> repos while building the servers) to rebuild and start over.
>> This brings us to the 'libraries' project.  In general the idea of  
>> a _library_ was just a named/versioned collection of files, where  
>> you could be used by a project.  The main (er only) library defined  
>> in this SVN is system/.  This is the groovy glue which made  
>> everything work.  This is where the entry-point class is located  
>> (the guy who gets invoked via harness.xml via:
>>    <target name="harness" depends="init">
>>        <groovy>
>>            <classpath>
>>                <pathelement location="${library.basedir}/groovy"/>
>>            </classpath>
>>            gbuild.system.BuildHarness.bootstrap(this)
>>        </groovy>
>>    </target>
>> I won't go into too much detail on this stuff now, take a look at  
>> it and ask questions.  But, basically there is stuff in  
>> gbuild.system.* which is harness support muck, and stuff in  
>> gbuild.config.* which contains configuration.  I was kinda mid- 
>> refactoring of some things, starting to add new features, not sure  
>> where I left off actually. But the key bits are in  
>> gbuild.config.project.*  This contains a package for each project,  
>> with the package name being the same as the AHP project (with " " - 
>> > "_"). And then in each of those package is at least a  
>> Controller.groovy class (or other classes if special muck was  
>> needed, like for the report generation in Geronimo_CTS, etc).
>> The controller defines a set of actions, implemented as Groovy  
>> closures bound to properties of the Controller class.  One of the  
>> properties passed in from the AHP configuration (configured via the  
>> Web UI, passed to the harness.xml build, and then on to the Groovy  
>> harness) was the name of the _action_ to execute.  Most of that  
>> stuff should be fairly straightforward.
>> So after a build is started (maybe from a Web UI click, or SVN  
>> change detection, or a TCK runtests iteration) the following  
>> happens (in simplified terms):
>>  * Agent starts build
>>  * Agent cleans its working directory
>>  * Agent downloads the build harness
>>  * Agent downloads any dependencies
>>  * Agent invoke Ant on harness.xml passing in some details
>>  * Harness.xml downloads the system/1 library
>>  * Harness.xml runs gbuild.system.BuildHarness
>>  * BuildHarness tries to construct a Controller instance for the  
>> project
>>  * BuildHarness tries to find Controller action to execute
>>  * BuildHarness executes the Controller action
>>  * Agent publishes output artifacts
>>  * Agent completes build
>> A few extra notes on libraries, the JavaEE TCK requires a bunch of  
>> stuff we get from Sun to execute.  This stuff isn't small, but is  
>> for the most part read-only.  So I setup a location on each build  
>> agent where these files were installed to.  I created AHP projects  
>> to manage them and treated them like a special "library" one which  
>> tried really hard not to go fetch its content unless the local  
>> content was out of date.  This helped speed up the entire build  
>> process... cause that delete/download of all that muck really slows  
>> down 20 agents running in parallel on 2 big machines with stripped  
>> array.  For legal reasons this stuff was not kept in  
>>'s main repository, and for logistical reasons wasn't  
>> kept in the private tck repo on either.  Because  
>> there were so many files, and be case the httpd configuration on  
>> kicks out requests that it thinks are *bunk* to help  
>> save the resources for the community, I had setup a private ssl  
>> secured private svn repository on the old machines to  
>> put in the full muck required, then setup some goo in the harness  
>> to resolve them.  This goo is all in gbuild.system.library.*  See  
>> the gbuild.config.projects.Geronimo_CTS.Controller for more of how  
>> it was actually used.
>>  * * *
>> Okay, that is about all the brain-dump for TCK muck I have in me  
>> for tonight.  Reply with questions if you have any.
>> Cheers,
>> --jason
>> -- 
>> ~Jason Warner
> -- 
> ~Jason Warner

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