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From Mathias Bauer <Mathias_Ba...@gmx.net>
Subject Re: Anybody interested in TestTool? I wrote a Java lib to replace it.
Date Fri, 18 Nov 2011 11:21:13 GMT
On 16.11.2011 08:21, Raphael Bircher wrote:
> Hi Liu
>
> Am 16.11.11 03:29, schrieb Zhe Liu:
>>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Vcl TestTool is used by GUI automated testing for OpenOffice.org, but it
>> has many drawbacks. Too many errors, difficult to debug, maintain and
>> execute parallelly. I found many people mentioned this problem.
>> Libreoffice
>> has abondoned the tool. But I think GUI automated testing still is
>> valuable. It can test the product more like the actual users.
> The problems with the VCLTestTool are well known. But to write a new one
> is not trivial too. It needs a load of work to bring a new tool to the
> productiv use. Well, we can maybe use the old testscripts as guide for
> new testscripts. But the VCLTestTool as is works fine, and you can find
> errors realy quick. Mainly not working dialoges, crashs and freese.
> VCLTestTool is not so buggy as many people say. But yes, it needs
> aditional work to bring it to a productive tool for the community.

And here's the problem: to work on the testtool, you need the source 
code. And the source code is not available, at least not here at Apache. 
It is based on a very old version of OOo's source code that was written 
years ago. To build it, you will need large parts of the OOo source code 
in that old revision - no good idea, moreover, it's totally unclear if 
this old revision is covered by Oracle's code grant. At least it would 
require and additional IP review.

Of course some testtool source code also exists in the current release, 
but it is unused and untested since years. I remember that even the 
latest larger code rework in that area (help IDs becoming Strings 
instead of integer numbers) was not done for the testtool, only for the 
testtool library that is loaded in OOo when tests are executed. Instead 
of that larger parts of the testtool source code where just commented 
out to please the compiler ("nobody needs that code, why invest time 
into it"). Sigh.

Besides that, the available Linux version of the testtool does not run 
on at least Ubuntu 64Bit (with 32Bit libs installed), but probably also 
on other Linux versions. Sooner or later it won't run on more an more 
Linux and probably MacOS versions.

For me the VCLTesttool is dead. We shouldn't invest time there if we had 
an alternative GUI testing option with available source code. So we 
definitely should give the Java lib a try, if it could be made available 
under a suitable license.

Until then we should concentrate on writing integration tests in C++ or 
Java. We already have some of them (called "complex tests") and they 
have proven to be the most effective tool for bug hunting that we have.

Some reasons why they are more helpful, at least ATM:

- they run much faster than the UI based tests
- they can be executed in parallel (as much as you want)
- the gbuild build system supports them, so they can be automated 
without additional tooling (no "test launcher" necessary)
- they are nearer to the code they test, so the root cause of a bug 
usually is found faster
- they don't require to learn a strange Basic dialect, developers can 
write them in the same language that they use daily
- it's common sense that testing through the UI should be done only if 
you want to test the UI itself, but not the code behind it

Regards,
Mathias

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