Testing and CI strategy

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We evaluated a few different CI solutions (Travis, Cloudbees, drone.io) and currently CircleCI seems to be the best option for what we want to do.

  • opensource project can get up to 4 concurrent builds, for free
  • it is easy to setup and fully automated
  • it allows us to build, test and store the build results easily

Currently we can :

  • have automatic builds upon each commit in each branch of the repository
  • run automated routing tests using dbus, and capture a screenshot and gpx / geojson output of the result, and have that result archived in the CI resources and/or github
  • build binary packages ready for use. It's currently working for Android and Windows, for example.
  • push automatic updates to the Google Play Store

What is left to do ?

  • expand our set of test cases
  • build packages for more different platforms (iphone / wince / ubuntu ?)
  • push updates automatically to f-droid

Ressources available during a build

  • 32x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2670 v2 @ 2.50GHz
  • 4GB of RAM
  • ~ 550GB of disk space

Current limitations:

  • a single task cannot exceed 2 hours. This is causing issue for maptool. As a workaround, we have split the world in different zones, and had to sub-divide Europe in even smaller parts (each map is a branch so that it can be built individually). The list of maps and the latest generated map for this area is automatically updated and available here. These maps are usable for routing tests, but most of them are not available for real navigation because of the "flood" bug.


Proposed GIT + CI workflow

This example should explain a few possible use cases:

Git workflow.png


  • A blue arrow represents manual action
  • A small dashed arrow ( ... ) represents an automatic action triggered by a SVN hook
  • A long dashed arrow ( _ _ . _ _ . ) represents an automatic action manager by the CI server

Example (from the svn + git era, needs update) :

  • (1) A dev commits to SVN. The code is automatically merged into git, in the trunk branch, which triggers a build on the CI server. In this example, the tests (or build) fails, the workflow ends here. The git-master branch hasn't been updated, the code in this branch should still be functional.
  • (2) A dev commits a fix for the previous problem in SVN. The code is automatically merged into git, in the trunk branch, which triggers a build on the CI server. The tests succeed, the code is automatically merged into the 'master' branch, packages are built and translations templates are uploaded to launchpad. No action is required from the dev.
  • (3) A dev wants to work on an experimental feature. This could be a brand new functionality, a rewrite of a core component ( e.g. project "high five" ) or even a branch related to a specific ticket in trac. He forks the git trunk in a branch for his feature. He can benefit from having the CI test, and if configured, build packages for his feature.
 git clone https://github.com/navit-gps/navit.git
 git checkout trunk # The branch we will create needs to be based upon 'trunk'
 git checkout -b [name_of_your_new_branch] # We now create our own branch
  • (4) The feature is now mature and is ready to be merged into the trunk. As we currently keep the SVN trunk as the main repository, we can't just merge the code into git trunk, which should only get updates from svn trunk. The correct way to merge the feature is:
    • pull the latest code from git trunk to make sure that commits in svn trunk did not break the code in the branch, and merge that pull in the branch. This will trigger a CI test that will ensure the status of the branch
 git merge trunk
 git push
    • export that feature as a patch ( a diff between the branch, and git trunk).
 git diff trunk
    • patch svn trunk to merge the code. This will trigger another merge to git-trunk and a call to the CI workflow

Why do we want this?

The whole point of this workflow is :

  • to ensure that we have a branch, somewhere, where the code is tested, and which we should never break ( this is master here )
  • to benefit from automated steps. Each commit in trunk triggers a regression test, coverity code analysis and package build ( instead of a daily build as we have currently )
  • to rebuild a documented, publicly available workflow. Some of the scripts that were used for the SVN workflow have an unclear license and we can't publish them
  • to leverage 3-rd party services and resources ( CircleCI provides 4 containers for free for FLOSS projects ).

OK, I've pushed my commits, where is my CI output?

Completion of a CI run will be announced on IRC. You can also check at https://circleci.com/gh/navit-gps/navit to see if your CI build has completed.

But wait!

I already have my own awesome fork of Navit in github!

That's not a problem. Just add a remote pointing to navit-gps/trunk :

 git remote add navit-gps https://github.com/navit-gps/navit.git
 git remote update

Now, checkout the remote trunk :

 git checkout navit-gps/trunk

You will probably end up in a "detached head" state. It's ok, just create a local branch:

 git checkout -b trunk

Make sure that this branch is setup to track the remote :

 git branch --set-upstream-to=remotes/navit-gps/trunk trunk

Now, you have your own local copy of the trunk against which you can branch, merge and update at will.

Don't forget to push your new branch upstream :

 git push origin trunk

Now, if you want to get the latest updates from svn :

 git checkout trunk
 git pull

And you can merge/fork on up-to-date code.

It won't work, I get weird merge conflicts for files I've never touched!

The folder layout on github differs from that on SVN in one way: The root folder on github corresponds to the navit/ folder in SVN. Thus, if you have used git-svn to create your local repo, you won't be able to just add navit-gps/navit as another remote because folder layouts won't match and merges will create a mess.

To work around this issue, do the following:

Clone navit-gps/navit into a new folder. We'll refer to this as the navit-gps repo:

 git clone https://github.com/navit-gps/navit.git FOLDER_NAME

Check out trunk and pull:

 git checkout trunk
 git pull

In your git-svn repo, get the latest revision from SVN and merge it into your feature branch, so your feature branch will be based on the latest revision:

 git checkout master
 git svn rebase
 git checkout your-feature-branch
 git merge master

Now go back to the navit-gps repo. If you don't have a branch for your feature yet, create one and check it out:

 git branch your-feature-branch
 git checkout your-feature-branch

If your feature branch exists already, do the following instead:

 git checkout your-feature-branch
 git merge trunk

Now you have two options. Read them carefully and understand their limitations and side effects, then choose the one that works best for your sitation:

  • Create a patch in your git-svn repo and apply it to the navit-gps repo. This works well for a freshly forked branch, but if the branch has had other commits since it was forked from trunk, the patch may fail to apply.
  • Copy the contents of the navit/ folder in your git-svn repo into the root folder of the navit-gps repo, overwriting any existing files. This will work even for branches that had other commits since they were forked. However, any changes that did not originate either from SVN trunk or your feature branch would be overwritten by this. Also, this method will not catch any file deletions, and will create duplicates for moved files. If you decide to go this way, be sure to examine the changes in the git-svn repo before you stage them.

Now stage all changed files and commit.

Finally push your changes:

 git push

If you are updating an existing feature branch, you have pulled from trunk earlier, thus pushing the changes will trigger a CI build. When CircleCI detects that trunk has been merged into a branch, it will build that branch. The build will include everything that got pushed together with the merge, thus your changes will be included.

(to do: figure out how to trigger CI manually if I can't merge trunk because it hasn't changed since the last push to the feature branch...)

Using CircleCI for your own fork

You may wish to use CircleCI for your own fork, so you can test commits before you push them to the main repo. Thanks to the infrastructure already being in place, setting up CircleCI for this is easy.

  • You need to be logged in to CircleCI. Since CircleCI supports Github logins, it is easiest to just open CircleCI by clicking the check mark or cross next to a commit in the main repo, then click Log In.
  • Click the plus sign on the middle to add a new project.
  • Choose the github account which owns the repo you want to add. Usually this is your personal account.
  • You will get a list of your repos. Check "Show forks" to have your fork of Navit show up in the list.
  • Click "Build project" to start a first build.
  • That's it! CircleCI will build Navit once (this currently takes some 10–15 minutes). After that, every time you push to your repo, a CircleCI build will be triggered.
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