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From Mark Hindess <mark.hind...@googlemail.com>
Subject test excludes (was [proposal] For future milestones, expect zero test failures)
Date Wed, 26 May 2010 09:59:18 GMT

In message <201005250742.o4P7g1wt019461@d06av01.portsmouth.uk.ibm.com>,
Mark Hindess writes:
> In message <AANLkTikh3nV56QB8HXSXfzLnI9jrtU-C2cRF1shElZVt@mail.gmail.com>,
> Nathan Beyer writes:
> >
> > For future milestone votes, I'd like to propose that we set the
> > expectation of zero test failures. Every time we do a milestone and I
> > run the build and tests I find myself looking at the test failures
> > (there are ALWAYS failures) and ask 'are these expected'? If the
> > failures are expected, they should be excluded and the tests should
> > just pass.
> > 
> > If this proposal is workable, immediately after this upcoming release,
> > all 'expected' failures will be pulled into the exclusion lists.
> I was thinking this too.  The problem for me is that:
> 1) Our test coverage isn't brilliant so we need a way to exclude
> individual tests not the tests for a whole class.  We have too many
> excluded tests already[0].
> 2) The JDWP test framework seems to pass most of the time on the 5.0
> code base but seems to fail quite often on the 6.0 branch.  I normally
> resort to doing 10 test runs and comparing the results of all runs. I
> typically see every test pass on at least one run.  This leads me to
> believe that the improved jdwp in the 6.0 branch is merely exposing race
> conditions in the test framework.  It would be great to fix the test
> framework so that these are avoided.  If we tried to exclude tests that
> fail regularly on java6 jdwp we would probably end up removing most of
> the tests. ;-(
> I think solving 1 is really a pre-requisite to moving forward with your
> (excellent) goal.  We should make that a priority after this release.  I
> don't care if the solution is something fancy with junit 4 annotations
> or something simple like adding:
>   if (Support_Excludes.isExcluded()) {
>     return;
>   }
> to problematic tests where the support class just looks up the
> class/method name of the caller in the exclude lists.  (I actually
> quite like the idea of doing the exclude list processing lazily at
> run time rather than generating the list with ant.)

Last night I decided to try to implement this simple exclude list
mechanism in my build-improvement branch.  I've checked in my changes at

I've automatically added isExcluded() checks to all the test methods
in previously excluded tests (though this was automated and more
complicated than you might think, and definitely not 100% accurate
but should be close enough).  The next job would be to remove/move
the isExcluded() checks to be as fine-grained as possible so as just
to exclude the failing tests (or individual asserts).  As I commented
previously many of the excludes probably just need to be removed

New excludes can be added as before by adding tests names to the lists
but you also need to add an appropriate isExcluded()-if check to the
test code as well.  Hopefully this will maximize coverage will still
allowing us to have only passing tests running by default.

If different exclude conditions apply to different platforms you can


to exclude tests - though I'd avoid the final one unless it is something
really broad like a VM not supporting concurrent (like the IBM v4 VMEs).

To see what is happening, you can run the tests with:


(though this is too verbose I might make the load method less verbose
or use a hy.excludes.debug=true flag for that output).

To ignore excludes and run all tests use:


Rather than using test-jre-vm-info in ant the vm name for the exclude
file selection is a trivial guess based on system properties. If you
are using a custom vm and exclude lists then you can use:


to set it explicitly.

I'm tempted to do away with the isExcluded() checks/lists are replace
them with more readable:

  if (Support_Excludes.isRI()) {


  if (Support_Excludes.isLinux() && Support_Excludes.is64bit()) {

etc.  To make the Excludes more self-contained but that requires
looking at the excluded tests in more detail to understand the
requirements better and as I said I wanted to make this a simple
step from what we had today.

I'd like to merge this to trunk/java6 after the code freeze but I'd
like some feedback first.  I don't necessarily see this as a final
solution but I just wanted to do something since this topic has been
discussed for far to long and I wanted something that we could move to
from where we are today without to much effort.  On the other hand,
I'm not convinced that annotations are a good solution either since
they don't give you fine-grained control so every distinction has to be
represented by a separate method.

Comments very welcome.


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