Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Really Neat Test Reusability Situation

I had something happen yesterday which makes me think there might be hope. For my brain and how I sometimes fail to keep track of things. I was asked, in a bug I filed a while back, if the failure was reproducible.

I do not why it was not reproducible earlier. I hardly ever find out why people do not see the bugs I see. I filed the bug and it got the usual responses: "works for me", "what are the running? are you sure?", "i see something weird", "why are we checking this?", "can you attach more information?", "did you configure the thingamagig to build the whatamacallit?", "can you attach a lot more information?". It just gets really ... exhausting. Actually, this particular bug was not as bad as some others. And it is nice when someone can actually reproduce something I filed.

But right now, if you look in my ~/mo directory, you see 3 different builds of the browser, a half-dozen nightlies (some a few months old), a couple of calendar builds, a few xulrunners, an nspr build (what the heck was I doing with that?), a re-usable profile directory, and other random stuff. So, do I still see my bug? I look in the directory and and it is, again, exhausting, even to just think about.

Then I saw something.


You know, I was talking about a re-usable test product, wasn't I? Oh, yeah.

% cd tests_20080106_160400
% ls
dist/ runReftests* testing/ xpcshell-simple/
% ./runReftests ~/mo/browser_20080327_235255/dist/ ~/mo/debug.mozilla_20080106_173138_PST

Holy test failures, Batman! It worked! I just gave it a fairly recent build and that re-usable profile directory I mentioned and there it is. Lots of failures.

Now, I am thinking again of that standalone test product I was mentioning. Once again, the buzzing in my head is beginning. There is apparently a new way to build a product out of the Mozilla build system. Create a directory, put some stuff in it, and voila! A new product. Now, to find the documentation for this wonderful new capability. Ok, I am sure that people are busy. Is it fair to ask them to document things? Should I ask a question in the newsgroups? I will just get that response that I really hate so much: "what exactly are you trying to do?". I think I was trying to ask a question. Again, it can just be exhausting. I even created an MDC page. Seeing a place for something like this to to be documented, someone who knows what is going on might, you know, document something. Not even a nibble on that yet. O well. You can lead them to water....

And, finally, I have to do homework today. My Stats and PDE homework is not doing itself. And why don't I get more Mozilla stuff done?

1 comment:

Mark Finkle said...

For a simple tutorial on building XUL based applications see: