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From Misagh Moayyed <>
Subject Reorganizing Travis CI with build stages
Date Mon, 09 Sep 2019 09:37:21 GMT
Hello all,

In discussing git workflows with Francesco, I have learned that the Travis CI process is not
actually running a comprehensive set of tests and checks (such as checkstyle, etc) that would
be valuable for pull requests and contributors, possibly because such jobs take a long time,
more than what is allowed by Travis CI. I'd like to propose to reorganize the CI build process
to take advantage of the build stages feature [1]. This [2] demonstrates an example where
a given build is broken down into multiple stages, each of which has numerous jobs.

A key thing to note in this configuration, as I understand, is that a given CI build can have
an *unlimited* number of stages, each with an unlimited number of jobs. While each job cannot
exceed a certain timeout value [3], the collective overall build stage can go on forever in
theory. Also, stages do depend on each other such that failures in one would halt the build.
A typical example would be: "Run the build, and if everything compiles, run tests, then publish
snapshots, etc".

I think this is quite valuable for contributors who, specially, work on multiple JIRAs at
the same time. A sample workflow is to add a change, do some sanity tests and then push to
let CI run the full build suite. While it's busy kicking off the build, one could switch to
the next JIRA to repeat the same process, and as such hop back and forth between branches
and JIRAs to parallelize work activity. Ultimately, the CI is the canonical reference for
all changes and this would avoid the problem of "but it works on my machine" and of course,
saves quite a bit of time. (A full build for me takes about 20-30 minutes, if the stars align).

How do folks feel about this proposal?

[3] The good folks at Travis CI in the past have been kind enough to increase the timeout
from 50 minutes to 180 minutes and they might be willing to make the same change for syncope.
Larger tasks need to be broken down to separate jobs, of course.


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