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From Richard Liang <richard.lian...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [classlib] Testing conventions - a proposal
Date Thu, 20 Jul 2006 03:08:16 GMT

George Harley wrote:
> Richard Liang wrote:
>> George Harley wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> If annotations were to be used to help us categorise tests in order 
>>> to simplify the definition of test configurations - what's included 
>>> and excluded etc - then a core set of annotations would need to be 
>>> agreed by the project. Consider the possibilities that the TestNG 
>>> "@Test" annotation offers us in this respect.
>>> First, if a test method was identified as being broken and needed to 
>>> be excluded from all test runs while awaiting investigation then it 
>>> would be a simple matter of setting its enabled field like this:
>>>    @Test(enabled=false)
>>>    public void myTest() {
>>>        ...
>>>    }
>>> Temporarily disabling a test method in this way means that it can be 
>>> left in its original class and we do not have to refer to it in any 
>>> suite configuration (e.g. in the suite xml file).
>>> If a test method was identified as being broken on a specific 
>>> platform then we could make use of the groups field of the "@Test" 
>>> type by making the method a member of a group that identifies its 
>>> predicament. Something like this:
>>>    @Test(groups={"state.broken.win.IA32"})
>>>    public void myOtherTest() {
>>>        ...
>>>    }
>>> The configuration for running tests on Windows would then 
>>> specifically exclude any test method (or class) that was a member of 
>>> that group.
>>> Making a test method or type a member of a well-known group 
>>> (well-known in the sense that the name and meaning has been agreed 
>>> within the project) is essentially adding some descriptive 
>>> attributes to the test. Like adjectives (the groups) and nouns (the 
>>> tests) in the English language. To take another example, if there 
>>> was a test class that contained methods only intended to be run on 
>>> Windows and that were all specific to Harmony (i.e. not API tests) 
>>> then  one could envisage the following kind of annotation:
>>> @Test(groups={"type.impl", "os.win.IA32"})
>>> public class MyTestClass {
>>>    public void testOne() {
>>>        ...
>>>    }
>>>    public void testTwo() {
>>>        ...
>>>    }
>>>    @Test(enabled=false)
>>>    public void brokenTest() {
>>>        ...
>>>    }
>>> }
>>> Here the annotation on MyTestClass applies to all of its test methods.
>>> So what are the well-known TestNG groups that we could define for 
>>> use inside Harmony ? Here are some of my initial thoughts:
>>> * type.impl  --  tests that are specific to Harmony
>>> * state.broken.<platform id>  --  tests bust on a specific platform
>>> * state.broken  --  tests broken on every platform but we want to 
>>> decide whether or not to run from our suite configuration
>>> * os.<platform id>  --  tests that are to be run only on the 
>>> specified platform (a test could be member of more than one of these)
>>> What does everyone else think ? Does such a scheme sound reasonable ?
>> Just one question: What's the default test annotation? I mean the 
>> successful api tests which will be run on every platform. Thanks a lot.
>> Best regards,
>> Richard
> Hi Richard,
> I think that just the basic @Test annotation on its own will suffice. 
> Any better suggestions are welcome.
Just thinking about how to filter out the target test groups :-)

I tried to use the following groups to define the win.IA32 API tests, 
but it seems that the tests with the default annotation @Test cannot be 
selected. Do I miss anything? Thanks a lot.

                <include name=".*"  />
                <include name="os.win.IA32"  />
                <exclude name="type.impl" />
                <exclude name="state.broken" />
                <exclude name="state.broken.win.IA32" />
                <exclude name="os.linux.IA32" />

The groups I defined:
@Test(groups={"os.win.IA32", "state.broken.win.IA32"})

Best regards,
> Best regards,
> George
>>> Thanks for reading this far.
>>> Best regards,
>>> George
>>> George Harley wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> Just seen Tim's note on test support classes and it really caught 
>>>> my attention as I have been mulling over this issue for a little 
>>>> while now. I think that it is a good time for us to return to the 
>>>> topic of class library test layouts.
>>>> The current proposal [1] sets out to segment our different types of 
>>>> test by placing them in different file locations. After looking at 
>>>> the recent changes to the LUNI module tests (where the layout 
>>>> guidelines were applied) I have a real concern that there are 
>>>> serious problems with this approach. We have started down a track 
>>>> of just continually growing the number of test source folders as 
>>>> new categories of test are identified and IMHO that is going to 
>>>> bring complexity and maintenance issues with these tests.
>>>> Consider the dimensions of tests that we have ...
>>>> API
>>>> Harmony-specific
>>>> Platform-specific
>>>> Run on classpath
>>>> Run on bootclasspath
>>>> Behaves different between Harmony and RI
>>>> Stress
>>>> ...and so on...
>>>> If you weigh up all of the different possible permutations and then 
>>>> consider that the above list is highly likely to be extended as 
>>>> things progress it is obvious that we are eventually heading for 
>>>> large amounts of related test code scattered or possibly duplicated 
>>>> across numerous "hard wired" source directories. How maintainable 
>>>> is that going to be ?
>>>> If we want to run different tests in different configurations then 
>>>> IMHO we need to be thinking a whole lot smarter. We need to be 
>>>> thinking about keeping tests for specific areas of functionality 
>>>> together (thus easing maintenance); we need something quick and 
>>>> simple to re-configure if necessary (pushing whole directories of 
>>>> files around the place does not seem a particularly lightweight 
>>>> approach); and something that is not going to potentially mess up 
>>>> contributed patches when the file they patch is found to have been 
>>>> recently pushed from source folder A to B.
>>>> To connect into another recent thread, there have been some posts 
>>>> lately about handling some test methods that fail on Harmony and 
>>>> have meant that entire test case classes have been excluded from 
>>>> our test runs. I have also been noticing some API test methods that 
>>>> pass fine on Harmony but fail when run against the RI. Are the 
>>>> different behaviours down to errors in the Harmony implementation ? 
>>>> An error in the RI implementation ? A bug in the RI Javadoc ? Only 
>>>> after some investigation has been carried out do we know for sure. 
>>>> That takes time. What do we do with the test methods in the 
>>>> meantime ? Do we push them round the file system into yet another 
>>>> new source folder ? IMHO we need a testing strategy that enables 
>>>> such "problem" methods to be tracked easily without disruption to 
>>>> the rest of the other tests.
>>>> A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the TestNG framework [2] 
>>>> seemed like a reasonably good way of allowing us to both group 
>>>> together different kinds of tests and permit the exclusion of 
>>>> individual tests/groups of tests [3]. I would like to strongly 
>>>> propose that we consider using TestNG as a means of providing the 
>>>> different test configurations required by Harmony. Using a 
>>>> combination of annotations and XML to capture the kinds of 
>>>> sophisticated test configurations that people need, and that allows 
>>>> us to specify down to the individual method, has got to be more 
>>>> scalable and flexible than where we are headed now.
>>>> Thanks for reading this far.
>>>> Best regards,
>>>> George
>>>> [1] 
>>>> http://incubator.apache.org/harmony/subcomponents/classlibrary/testing.html

>>>> [2] http://testng.org
>>>> [3] 
>>>> http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-harmony-dev/200606.mbox/%3c44A163B3.6080005@googlemail.com%3e

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Richard Liang
China Software Development Lab, IBM 

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