KDevelop unit-tests run regularly

September 23, 2008 at 11:52 pm | Posted in KDE, KDevelop | 7 Comments

So we’re living in the year 2008 and test-driven development has reached open source communities since some time now. KDE4, especially kdelibs comes with quite a bunch of unit-tests (though still to few I guess, at least for some parts) which gives us a kind of “we’re safe” feeling.

Unfortunately that feeling is treacherous. Because writing unit-tests is only 33% of the whole thing, the other 66% are running them regurlarly and publishing the results of running. A million unit-tests don’t help anybody if they’re not run and thus nobody catches the introduced regressions early on. Ideally running unit-tests would be a pre-commit-thing, but unfortunately due to the size of our code-base thats not feasible. Also you’d need to run all of them, because a little change in kdecore might trigger a bug in kdeui which you wouldn’t see if you ran only kdecore unit-tests.

So far kdelibs unit-tests aren’t run on a regular basis – at least not to my knowledge and the results are also not published. Its not quite nice, but building kdelibs every night is a pretty expensive thing. Apart from that some of the automated tests even need an X11 server running.

For KDevPlatform and KDevelop I was able to “solve” the problem. The unit-tests are now being run every night on my machine and the summary of that run is posted to the kdevelop-devel list. Unfortunately we already have 3 failing tests in kdevplatform, not the best start. But we’ll get around to that.

PS: Using a KDE4 release build didn’t improve performance – SCNR 🙂

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