Annotation of wikisrc/kyua.mdwn, revision 1.8

1.1       jmmv        1: [[!meta title="Kyua: An introduction for NetBSD users"]]
1.4       jmmv        2: [[!toc levels=2]]
1.1       jmmv        3: 
                      4: The [Automated Testing Framework](ATF), or ATF for short, is a software
                      5: package composed of two parts: the *ATF libraries* and the *ATF tools*.
                      6: The ATF libraries provide a toolkit for developers to implement test cases
                      7: in a variety of languages: C, C++ and POSIX shell.  The ATF tools provide
                      8: the utilities to run such test cases in an automated way and to generate
                      9: reports.
                     11: The ATF tools have some
                     12: [design and, particularly, implementation problems](
                     13: that make it hard to add support for highly desired features such as
                     14: parallel execution of test cases, unified dashboards covering multiple test
                     15: runs ([like this one](, the
                     16: ability to run legacy or third-party test programs that do not use the ATF
                     17: libraries, and the ability to tune the timeout of test cases.
                     19: *Kyua's current goal is to reimplement _only_ the ATF tools* while
                     20: maintaining backwards compatibility with the tests written with the ATF
                     21: libraries (i.e. with the NetBSD test suite).
                     23: Because Kyua is a replacement of some ATF components, the end goal is to
                     24: integrate Kyua into the NetBSD base system (just as ATF is) and remove the
                     25: deprecated ATF components.  Removing the deprecated components will allow
                     26: us to make the above-mentioned improvements to Kyua, as well as many
                     27: others, without having to deal with the obsolete ATF code base.
                     28: *Discussing how and when this transition might happen is out of the scope
                     29: of this document at the moment.*
                     31: This page provides instructions on how to use Kyua with the current NetBSD
                     32: test suite so that you can experiment with the tool, familiarize yourself
                     33: with it and provide feedback early on.
1.5       jmmv       35: **If you would like more details on how the import of Kyua into NetBSD will
1.6       jmmv       36:   happen, please see [[Kyua: The way into NetBSD|/kyua/import]].**
1.5       jmmv       37: 
1.2       jmmv       38: # What's in the name?
                     40: You should really think of Kyua as ATF 2.x.  Then, why isn't it just ATF
                     41: 2.x?
                     43: To be honest, I never liked the ATF name: it was picked for me as part of
                     44: the Google Summer of Code 2007 program and I did not think about changing
                     45: it at that time.  A year later, I learned that the ATF acronym is severely
                     46: overloaded, which makes it hard to find the project on popular search
                     47: engines, and has unpopular connotations in specific countries.
                     49: So, as part of the rewrite, I decided to choose a new name: a name that is
                     50: not an acronym and thus can be easily pronounced, and a name that is quite
                     51: unique in search results.  The name is Kyua, which is just a play on the
                     52: pronounciation of the Q.A. acronym.  Originally, my intention was to
                     53: pronounce Kyua as Q.A., but in reality this never happened.  Today, just
                     54: read the name as your instinct would: "Kyu-ah".
1.4       jmmv       56: # Why is Kyua a third-party project?
                     58: Kyua's main consumer is NetBSD.  One could argue that Kyua should be
                     59: developed within NetBSD and maintained in the NetBSD source tree.  However,
                     60: there is nothing in the Kyua project that inherently depends on NetBSD, and
                     61: maintaining it as a third-party package is a way to keep the developers
                     62: honest regarding portability.
                     64: Ideally, other projects (such as FreeBSD) would make use of Kyua too for
                     65: their testing needs, and if that happened we would be able to share tests
                     66: with them pretty easily.  Forcing a portable codebase in the upstream
                     67: repository helps in this.  (Be aware that different individuals from
                     68: FreeBSD and Minix have shown interest in adopting Kyua for their respective
                     69: systems!)
1.1       jmmv       71: # Main differences (aka "what to expect")
                     73: As of version 0.5, Kyua has (or is supposed to have) feature parity with
                     74: the ATF tools.  That said, having feature parity does not imply that they
                     75: are the same.  This section outlines a few of the differences that you
                     76: should be aware of before continuing.
                     78: ## Results database
                     80: Kyua collects the results of the execution of a test suite into an SQLite
                     81: database.  User-friendly reports are later generated by extracting data
                     82: from this same database.
                     84: In ATF, the results of the execution were written to an internal format
                     85: that only atf-report could understand.  Despite of the database, Kyua still
                     86: maintains the separation of "tests execution" from "report generation".
                     88: The contents of the database are immutable and incremental.  This means
                     89: that, in the future, the Kyua tools will be able to provide historical data
                     90: for particular test cases, or for whole test runs (which is what other
                     91: NetBSD developers have ended up implementing multiple times outside of ATF
                     92: because the framework did not provide such functionality by itself).
                     94: ## Support for multiple test interfaces
                     96: Kyua has support for different "test interfaces", which means that Kyua can
                     97: execute test programs written using different paradigms and collect their
                     98: results into a single report.  At the moment, two interfaces are supported:
                    100: * The "atf" interface provides compatibility with those test programs that
                    101:   use the ATF libraries.  This is the only interface currently used by the
                    102:   NetBSD test suite, as there is no way to run any other test program in an
                    103:   automated manner.
                    105: * The "plain" interface permits the execution of legacy test programs that
                    106:   do not use any testing library.  Such test programs are those that just
                    107:   return 0 or non-0 to indicate the success or failure of the test
                    108:   (respectively).  This feature will allow the NetBSD test suite to
                    109:   transparently execute third-party test suites (such as the IPF or GCC
                    110:   test suites) without having to implement ATF-based wrappers.  It will
                    111:   also lower the barrier of entry to writing test programs for NetBSD, as
                    112:   using the ATF libraries will become optional.
1.8     ! jmmv      114: These interfaces are implemented as independent binaries, called testers,
        !           115: that are fully scriptable.  The testers are provided in the `kyua-testers`
        !           116: package.  The idea behind having these as independent programs is to
        !           117: restrict the OS-specific code to a small subset of Kyua written in C, and
        !           118: thus to allow the higher-level layers to be written in other languages
        !           119: (possibly Lua).
        !           120: 
1.1       jmmv      121: ## Lua configuration files
                    123: Kyua has two kind of configuration files: the Kyuafiles, which are the
                    124: files shipped with a test suite that describe what test programs need to be
                    125: run; and the user configuration files, which specify the run-time settings
                    126: of Kyua and the test suites.  ATF had this same split of configuration
                    127: files, and they were written in a custom language, with a custom parser.
                    129: The Kyua configuration files are all Lua scripts.  The major advantage of
                    130: this at the moment is that their syntax will be familiar to end users, and
                    131: that the parser for these files is well-tested.  In the future, the use of
                    132: Lua will allow the implementation of more-intelligent test (and maybe even
                    133: build) scripts.
1.4       jmmv      135: ## Direct HTML output
                    137: All of the NetBSD continous build and testing systems provide status
                    138: reports through the releng web interface.  In the case of ATF, this has
                    139: traditionally been tricky because ATF cannot generate HTML contents
                    140: directly; instead, `atf-report` generates XML output which later must be
                    141: postprocessed with `xsltproc` to create the HTML pages.
                    143: Kyua has the ability to generate HTML reports straight from the tool,
                    144: without having to go through any XML toolchain.  This means that NetBSD,
                    145: out of the box, can generate such reports and publish them with the builtin
                    146: httpd(8) server.
1.1       jmmv      148: ## Heavier code base
                    150: If you take a look at the Kyua distribution file, you may notice that it is
                    151: about the same size as the distribution file of ATF, yet Kyua does not
                    152: currently replace the ATF libraries.  This may be surprising because it
                    153: seems to imply that the codebase of Kyua is bigger because it "just"
                    154: reimplements atf-run and atf-report: i.e. by just reimplementing parts of
                    155: ATF, it is already as big as the whole of ATF.
                    157: This is true, for two reasons.
                    159: The first is that Kyua is more featureful and flexible: the features
                    160: outlined above have a cost in terms of implementation, and the codebase of
                    161: Kyua is more carefully crafted to allow for later growth.  In particular,
                    162: all OS-specific details have been abstracted for easier portability, and
                    163: the SQLite and Lua libraries have been wrapped for safety.
                    165: The second is that Kyua is much better tested (which is very important for
                    166: a software package that you will rely on to validate your own software!).
                    167: To give you some numbers, ATF 0.16 contains around 400 test cases for both
                    168: atf-run and atf-report while Kyua 0.5 contains around 1100 test cases.
                    170: # Components
                    172: Kyua, as a project, is made up of a variety of components (which *include*
                    173: ATF, because the ATF libraries are *not* being rewritten).  All of these
                    174: components exist in pkgsrc, and are:
                    176: * pkgsrc/devel/atf-libs: The C, C++ and POSIX shell libraries provided by
                    177:   ATF.  These are *NOT* meant to be replaced by Kyua.
                    179: * pkgsrc/devel/atf: The ATF tools, namely atf-run and atf-report.  These
                    180:   are deprecated and this package should eventually disappear.
1.8     ! jmmv      182: * pkgsrc/devel/kyua-testers: The Kyua testers, which provide the
        !           183:   `kyua-atf-tester` and `kyua-plain-tester` helper binaries.  These
        !           184:   binaries implement the logic to execute test cases in an isolated manner
        !           185:   and to expose the test programs using a common and abstract command-line
        !           186:   interface.
        !           187: 
1.1       jmmv      188: * pkgsrc/devel/kyua-cli: The Kyua command-line interface, which provides a
                    189:   superset of the functionality of atf-run and atf-report.
                    191: * pkgsrc/devel/kyua-atf-compat: Drop-in replacements for atf-run and
                    192:   atf-report that use kyua-cli in the backend.
                    194: # Running the NetBSD test suite
                    196: There are two ways to run the NetBSD test suite with Kyua.  The easy (or
                    197: trivial) way is to use the backwards compatibility ATF tools, and the more
                    198: sophisticated way is to convert the test suite to Kyua and use the native
                    199: Kyua binary.  This section explains both approaches.
                    201: ## Using the ATF compatibility tools
                    203: The easiest (but also the least "future-proof") way to run the NetBSD test
                    204: suite with Kyua is to use the backwards compatibility ATF tools provided by
                    205: the kyua-atf-compat module.  First of all, install the package:
1.7       riz       207:     $ cd /usr/pkgsrc/devel/kyua-atf-compat
1.1       jmmv      208:     $ make install && make clean
                    210: And then, running the test suite is as easy as:
                    212:     $ cd /usr/tests
                    213:     $ /usr/pkg/bin/atf-run | /usr/pkg/bin/atf-report
                    215: Please be aware that if the atf-run and atf-report tools provided by
                    216: kyua-atf-compat appear in your PATH before the real atf-run and atf-report
                    217: tools shipped by NetBSD, you will experience test failures for all the
                    218: tests in /usr/tests/atf/atf-run and /usr/tests/atf/atf-report.  This is
                    219: expected: while the compatibility tools behave similarly to the real tools
                    220: from a user's perspective, they are not fully interchangeable.  (For
                    221: example, the serialization format between atf-run and atf-report is
                    222: different.)
                    224: One property of the atf-run wrapper is that it uses the default results
                    225: database in ~/.kyua/store.db to record the execution of the tests.  This
                    226: means that, once the execution of the tests is done with the compatibility
                    227: tools, you can still use the native Kyua binary to poke at the results
                    228: database.  More on this below.
                    230: ## Using the native Kyua command-line interface
                    232: The preferred way to run the NetBSD test suite with Kyua is to use the
                    233: native Kyua command-line binary.  This is the preferred method because it
                    234: trains you to use the new interface rather than relying on the old pipeline
                    235: and because it exposes you to all the new features of Kyua.  Regardless,
                    236: this and the previous approach will yield the same results for a particular
                    237: execution.
                    239: Using the native command-line interface is a multi-step process because
                    240: the existing NetBSD test suite is not prepared for Kyua.  Let's take a look
                    241: at these steps.
                    243: To get started, install the Kyua packages:
1.7       riz       245:     $ cd /usr/pkgsrc/devel/kyua-cli
1.1       jmmv      246:     $ make install && make clean
1.7       riz       247:     $ cd /usr/pkgsrc/devel/kyua-atf-compat
1.1       jmmv      248:     $ make install && make clean
                    250: Once this is done, configure Kyua in the same way ATF is configured "out of
                    251: the box" in NetBSD.  Create the /usr/pkg/etc/kyua/kyua.conf file with these
                    252: contents:
1.3       jmmv      254:     syntax('config', 1)
1.1       jmmv      255:     unprivileged_user = '_tests'
                    257: The next step is to populate /usr/tests with Kyuafiles, as Kyua is unable
                    258: to read existing Atffiles.  This is easy to do with the atf2kyua(1) tool
                    259: shipped in the kyua-atf-compat package:
                    261:     # atf2kyua /usr/tests
                    263: And that is it.  You can now execute the test suite using Kyua with any of
                    264: the following two forms:
                    266:     $ cd /usr/tests && kyua test
                    267:     $ kyua test -k /usr/tests/Kyuafile
                    269: Note that none of these will generate "pretty" reports.  These commands
                    270: will only record the results of the execution into the database.  In order
                    271: to generate reports, keep reading.
                    273: # Generating reports
                    275: Once you have ran the NetBSD test suite with any of the mechanisms above,
                    276: the results of the execution have been stored in the "Kyua store", which is
                    277: a database located in ~/.kyua/store.db by default.  (This path can be
                    278: changed at any time with the --store flag.)
                    280: To extract a report from the database using the results of the latest tests
                    281: run, you can run any of the following:
                    283:     $ kyua report -o my-report.txt
                    284:     $ kyua html-report -o /var/www/results/
                    286: # Support and feedback
                    288: The Kyua manual is available in the GNU Info format and can be accessed by
                    289: running:
                    291:     $ info kyua
                    293: Alternatively, use the help subcommand to get built-in documentation.  The
                    294: following invocation will print all the available subcommands:
                    296:     $ kyua help
                    298: And an invocation like this will show you all the possible options for a
                    299: given subcommand:
                    301:     $ kyua help report-html
                    303: If you have gone through the instructions above and started playing with
                    304: Kyua, please do not hesitate to report your experiences (either good or
                    305: bad) to [Julio Merino](!  Any comments will be
                    306: highly appreciated and will be taken into account for the near future of
                    307: Kyua.

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