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From George Harley <george.c.har...@googlemail.com>
Subject Re: [classlib] Testing conventions - a proposal
Date Thu, 20 Jul 2006 09:15:44 GMT
Richard Liang wrote:
> 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.
>        <groups>
>            <run>
>                <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" />
>            </run>
>        </groups>
> The groups I defined:
> @Test
> @Test(groups={"os.win.IA32"})
> @Test(groups={"os.win.IA32", "state.broken.win.IA32"})
> @Test(groups={"type.impl"})
> @Test(groups={"state.broken"})
> @Test(groups={"os.linux.IA32"})
> @Test(groups={"state.broken.linux.IA32"})
> Best regards,
> Richard.

Hi Richard,

Infuriating isn't it ?

The approach I have adopted so far is to aim for a single testng.xml 
file per module that could be used for all platforms that we run tests 
on. The thought of multiple testng.xml files for each module, with each 
XML file including platform-specific data duplicated across the files 
(save for a few platform identifiers) seemed less than optimal.

So how do we arrive at this single testng.xml file with awareness of its 
runtime platform ? And how can that knowledge be applied in the file to 
filter just the particular test groups that we want ? Well, the approach 
that seems to work best for me so far is to use the make use of some 
BeanShell script in which we can detect the platform id as a system 
property and then use that inside some pretty straightforward 
Java/BeanShell code to select precisely the groups we want to run in a 
particular test.

For example, in the following Ant fragment we use the testng task to 
launch the tests pointing at a specific testng.xml file 
(testng-with-beanshell.xml) and also setting the platform identifier as 
a system property hy.platform. In real life the value used to set the 
notional "hy.platform" property would be some agreed Ant property using 
a project-wide means of agreeing platform identities ...

        <testng jvm="${test.jre.home}/bin/java">
            <classpath location="${test.build.dir}"/>
            <jvmarg value="-showversion" />
            <jvmarg value="-Dhy.platform=win.IA32"/>
            <xmlfileset dir="${basedir}" 
            <classfileset dir="${test.build.dir}" 
includes="**/*Test.class" />

The testng-with-beanshell.xml file contains a suite with several tests 
defined. Let's consider just the test that will run all of the API tests 
specific to our current platform (I think that this is what you want to 
run in your setup)...

    <test name="current.platform.api">
                <script language="beanshell"><![CDATA[
        import apples.*;
        platform = System.getProperty("hy.platform", "null");
        if (platform.equals("null")) {
          System.out.println("Property hy.platform not set");
          return false;
        if ( !groups.containsKey("type.impl") &&
                  "os." + TestUtils.getPlatform()) &&
              !groups.containsKey("state.broken") &&
              !groups.containsKey("state.broken." + platform) ) {
          return true;
        return false;

            <package name="foo.bar"/>

There is some simple experimental code that I have omitted here (my 
apples.TestUtils class) that does some simple pattern matching stuff. 
Originally the code in the static "matchesAnyGroup" method was just 
defined in the CDATA script block as a BeanShell function.  I just moved 
it into a separate Java class because I saw some reuse opportunity. 
Likewise the code to set the "platform" string variable could be split 
out into a static TestUtils method called getPlatform().

Anyway, the point I guess that I am trying to make here is that it is 
possible in TestNG to select the methods to test dynamically using a 
little bit of scripting that (a) gives us a lot more power than the 
include/exclude technique and (b) will work the same across every 
platform we test on. Because BeanShell allows us to instantiate and use 
Java objects of any type on the classpath then the possibility of using 
more than just group membership to decide on tests to run becomes 
available to us. Please refer to the TestNG documentation for more on 
the capabilities of BeanShell and the TestNG API. I had never heard of 
it before never mind used it but still managed to get stuff working in a 
relatively short space of time.

I hope this helps. Maybe I need to write a page on the wiki or something ?

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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