IntegratingTestSuitesInCheckboxUsingFilters

Summary

Integrating external test suites should be simplified by using the filter pattern instead of plugins.

Release Note

This section should include a paragraph describing the end-user impact of this change. It is meant to be included in the release notes of the first release in which it is implemented. (Not all of these will actually be included in the release notes, at the release manager's discretion; but writing them is a useful exercise.)

It is mandatory.

Rationale

This should cover the _why_: why is this change being proposed, what justifies it, where we see this justified.

User stories

Assumptions

Design

You can have subsections that better describe specific parts of the issue.

Implementation

This section should describe a plan of action (the "how") to implement the changes discussed. Could include subsections like:

UI Changes

Should cover changes required to the UI, or specific UI that is required to implement this

Code Changes

Code changes should include an overview of what needs to change, and in some cases even the specific details.

Migration

Include:

  • data migration, if any
  • redirects from old URLs to new ones, if any
  • how users will be pointed to the new way of doing things, if necessary.

Test/Demo Plan

It's important that we are able to test new features, and demonstrate them to users. Use this section to describe a short plan that anybody can follow that demonstrates the feature is working. This can then be used during testing, and to show off after release. Please add an entry to http://testcases.qa.ubuntu.com/Coverage/NewFeatures for tracking test coverage.

This need not be added or completed until the specification is nearing beta.

Unresolved issues

This should highlight any issues that should be addressed in further specifications, and not problems with the specification itself; since any specification with problems cannot be approved.

BoF agenda and discussion

Problems Integrating Third-Party Tests into Checkbox

Some tests are not pass/fail only as Checkbox expects; integrator needs to parse test results and figure out how to send these to Checkbox. This keeps the barrier to entry on some tests pretty high, as it requires exposure of Checkbox structure.

Use Cases/Goals

  • Allow people who are writing/using test cases to more easily integrate them with Checkbox
  • Integrate existing test cases (e.g. LDTP) that return multiple test results in a single executable
  • Speed development/integration of test suites by allowing developers/integrators to test filter without having to perform an entire run of Checkbox

Current Checkbox Design

  • Tests are defined in 'suite' files
    • key/value pairs, arranged in paragraphs, where each paragraph is a test
    • some keys are required
      • plugin
      • test name
      • description
    • other keys are optional
  • All tests are executed/interpreted by plugins
  • Default plugins are 'shell' (for executing scripts) and 'manual' (for prompting the user)

Proposed Pattern for Integration: Filters

  • Parallel to plugins
  • Interpret output of commands or scripts
  • Would use Unix pipes to transform test suite output to a standard text format
    • e.g. if suite uses XML, we could use XSLT to convert it to the text format
    • text format should be as simple as possible
    • filter would read from the pipe and die if invalid input is received

Possible Implementation: Simplified Plugins
  • Assume all tests output a standard format
  • Tests no longer have the concept of a plugin
  • Plugins would need to convert their output to the standard format
    • E.g. use an ldtp_split_results script called from the shell to convert LDTP plugin results to the singular standard format
  • Checkbox will provide a standard wrapper filter that assumes output of 1/0
    • Other plugins can be written to use other values

Questions
  • Should filters expect tests to set up their own environment, etc. or should they allow this to be specified in the test definition?
  • Can we assume that all tests return a streamable format?
  • What should be done in the plugin vs. what should be done in the filter?
  • What is the best approach to extending Checkbox? If we install, say, a checkbox-ldtp package, do we need to be able to run "vanilla checkbox" without the LDTP plugins, or can the checkbox-ldtp package affect the existing Checkbox install?

Action Items

  • Document Checkbox (Marc Tardif)
    • Particularly relationships between plugins, proper event sequence
      • Perhaps a walkthrough of steps or "day in the life" of a test run
    • Also need general documentation
    • Document (and maybe strongly type?) messages and message passing


CategorySpec

QATeam/Specs/IntegratingTestSuitesInCheckboxUsingFilters (last edited 2009-05-26 13:58:57 by fader)