Boost logo

Boost Testing :

Subject: [Boost-testing] Testing direction (was: Request for funding - Test Assets)
From: Tom Kent (lists_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-12-13 09:59:25

On Sat, Dec 12, 2015 at 8:35 PM, Rene Rivera <grafikrobot_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> Not going to comment on the aspect of purchasing a machine. But will point
> out that the real benefit to having dedicated machines is that of having
> non-traditional setups (OS+toolset). I.e. dedicated machines give you
> coverage.
> On Sat, Dec 12, 2015 at 8:08 PM, 'Tom Kent' via Boost Steering Committee <
> boost-steering_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>> I also think that, like Niall said, we should move towards CI style
>> testing where every commit is tested, but that is going to be a *huge*
>> transition.
> I wouldn't say huge.. Maybe "big".
>> I would love to see direction on this in general from the steering
>> committee, and am encouraged that almost all new libraries already have
>> this.
> I can't speak for the committee. But as testing manager I can say moving
> Boost to CI is certainly something I work on a fair amount.
> Retrofitting it onto all the existing libraries will be an undertaking.
> Working on that. Getting closer and closer.

I didn't realize this was being actively pursued. How many of the existing
libraries have been setup for this? Is there a broader strategy for getting
the individual maintainers to take these changes? Any simple tasks I could
help with in my (very limited) spare time?

>> I would suggest that as an interim step, we update our existing
>> regression facility so that the runners just specify what their
>> configuration is (msvc-12.0, gcc-4.9-cpp14, clang-3.3-arm64-linux, etc) and
>> we have a centralized server that gives them a commit to test (and possibly
>> a specific test to run).
> Not sure what you mean by that.
>> They would also send their results back to this server (via http post, no
>> more ftp!) in a format (json) that can be immediately displayed on the web
>> without interim processing.
> It's not actually possible to eliminate the processing. Although it's
> possible to reduce it to a much shorter time span than what it is now. That
> processing is what adds structure and statistics that we see now in
> results. Without it theres considerably less utility in the results. And I
> can say that because..

Here's the idea I've been pondering for a while...curious what you (and
others) think of it....

Currently when a user starts the regression tests with, the specify
the branch that they want to run (master or develop) and then get the
latest commit from that branch. I would like to remove this from the
user's control. When they call, they just pass in their
configuration and their id string and goes out to a server to see
what needs to be run. By default this server could just alternate between
giving back the latest master/develop (or maybe only run master 1 in 3
times). That would give us uniform coverage of master and develop branches.

This would also enable us to have a bit more control around release time.
Once an RC is created, we could give each runner that commit to test
(allowing master's latest to have changes), then we could get tests of what
is proposed for the release (something that is a bit lacking right now,
although the fact that we freeze the master branch gets close to this).
After a release, we could save the snapshot of tests and archive that so
that future users of that release could have something documenting its

As far as processing the output, what I was envisioning was moving a lot
more of it to each test runner and the rest to the client side with some
javascript. To re-create the summary page, each runner could upload a json
file with all the data for their column: pass/fail, percent failed,
metadata. Then we could run a very lightweight php (or other) script on the
server that keeps track of which json files are available (i.e. all of the
ones uploaded, except those not white-listed on master) and whenever a user
opens that page, their browser is given that list of json files which the
browser then downloads, renders and displays. There would be a similar
pattern for each of the libraries' individual result summaries. Which could
link to separately uploaded results for each failure.

I'm not an expert on what the report runner actually does, but I think that
is the majority of it, right?

>> Even this kind of intermediate step would be a lot of development for
>> someone....and I don't have time to volunteer for it.
> I've been working on such a testing reporting system for more than 5 years
> now. This past year I've been working on it daily. Mind you only being able
> to devote a very limited amount of time daily. Recently I've been working
> on processing performance, in trying to get processing of 100 test results
> to happen in under 3 seconds (running the Google cloud infrastructure).

Thanks for all the amazing work you've done with the testing
infrastructure, you definitely don't get enough recognition for it!


Boost-testing list run by mbergal at