Fluint 1.1.0 Released!

Brian LeGros | February 12th, 2009 | programming  

Over the last few months, I’ve been working with Michael Labriola on the next minor version release of Fluint. Well, this evening Michael and I put the finishing touches on release 1.1.0. This release brought all of the changes I made to get Fluint working at the office for our CI process to the community. There are a couple of cool little gems that I think will be helpful for some:

  • Separation of failures and errors in test reporting (visual and XML).
  • XML compliant output with most CI servers as well as the JUnitReport task in Ant and the Surefire Reporting plugin in Maven.
  • Support in the Ant task for truly headless executions of the AIR Test Runner via xvfb-run.
  • Support for relative paths in the Ant task and AIR Test Runner.
  • Better error handling for non-compliant modules loaded into the AIR Test Runner.
  • LogBook integration for debugging
  • A big folder re-organization and Ant scripts to support developers when they need specialty builds.
  • Agreed upon a branching and tagging strategy so the community can have stable snapshots of source to build.

We probably should put together a ChangeLog wiki page, so that may be available soon. We did a few updates to the wiki, so stop by the Google Code site and check out the changes. Also, provide feedback on the discussion list, if there are features you’d like to see implemented, bugs that you find, or just general questions you need help with. People are great about helping on the list, so don’t feel discouraged.

This is my first major release of an OSS project that I’ve had code go into, so thanks to everyone who helped with the release, especially my wife for putting up with a lot of late nights. There is a lot more to come with Fluint over the next year that is going to be really exciting. Look for announcements during my presentation at FlexCamp Miami and on the discussion mailing list. Hope you enjoy the new release!

Thanks for the invitation KSC

Brian LeGros | January 17th, 2009 | programming  

Big thanks to Doug, Bill, Jim, Mike, Don, Boss boss, and everyone else who joined me for my presentation on Continuous Integration and Flex at Kennedy Space Center. I ended up running around an hour and forty minutes giving an overview of the Adobe Flex domain and continuous integration as a whole. Thank you everyone for taking the time out of your busy schedules to tough through the presentation; I hope I have failed you all equally.

As promised, below are links to the materials from the presentation that I used as well as links to other resources you may find helpful.

Subversion – http://subversion.tigris.org/
Apache Ant – http://ant.apache.org/
Flex Ant Tasks – Use the libraries included in the Flex SDK 3.2 distribution
Fluint Library and Ant Tasks – http://code.google.com/p/fluint/
mock-as3 – http://code.google.com/p/mock-as3/
Hudson – https://hudson.dev.java.net/
Example Application and Component – http://brianlegros.com/blog/files/example_apps.zip
Slides – http://brianlegros.com/blog/files/slides.pdf

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate email @ me at brianlegros dot com.

NOTE: The Fluint test runners and reports that you saw in my presentation were using a code base that has yet to be released by the Fluint team, but will be hopefully soon. We have a lot of great working going on at the Fluint project, so I’d encourage you all to check out the Google Code site as well as the Fluint mailing list.

Continuous Integration with Maven, Flex, Fliunt, and Hudson

Brian LeGros | December 17th, 2008 | programming  

Recently I was tasked with streamlining our build process at work so we could get a continuous integration (CI) server up and running. We use the common stack of technologies found in most Flex shops (basic SDK, some libraries, and Flex Builder) as well as Maven. I ran into some challenges getting our CI process to work as we wanted, so I figured I’d go through some of the gotchas I encountered.

On the build side of things, when I came on, Maven was already in place using flex-mojos. Now I’m a big fan of the simplicity that Ant brings to the mix, but the issue of dependency management being baked into Maven makes it extremely appealing; I do like Ivy as an alternative when using Ant, but I wasn’t going to re-write the company’s build process. So we had flex-mojos building our source and producing artifacts for deployment to our team’s Maven repository, but we needed to integrate our unit tests into our build. We were using dpuint and were excited to see that fluint had been released with Ant support. Currently flex-mojos doesn’t support Fluint, although my colleagues tell me they’re working on it, so I knew I was going to have to use Ant. To start I had to get flex-mojos building my test SWF so I could use the Fluint Ant task. The Ant support in Fluint requires that you produce a module SWF that will work with their test runner written in AIR. After an hour of messing with flex-mojos, I was unable to get the compile, or test-compile, goal to do what I wanted, so I decided to use the maven-ant-run plugin to compile our tests as well.

Below is the snippet I was able to get working to compile our tests and execute the Fluint test runner:

                     <!-- Pull in Flex Ant Tasks -->
                     <taskdef resource="flexTasks.tasks" />
                     <property name="FLEX_HOME" location="${flex.home}" />
                     <!-- Create test-classes directory -->
                     <mkdir dir="${project.build.testOutputDirectory}" />
                     <mxmlc file="${project.build.testSourceDirectory}/AirRunner.mxml" 
                        <load-config filename="${FLEX_HOME}/frameworks/flex-config.xml" />
                        <source-path path-element="${FLEX_HOME}/frameworks"  />
                        <compiler.library-path dir="${FLEX_HOME}/frameworks" append="true">
                           <include name="libs" />
                        <compiler.library-path dir="${project.build.directory}/.." append="true">
                           <include name="libs" />
                        <compiler.library-path dir="${project.build.directory}" append="true">
                           <include name="*.swc" />
                     <!-- Pull in Fluint Ant Task -->
                     <taskdef name="fluint" classname="net.digitalprimates.ant.tasks.fluint.Fluint" />     
                     <property name="test.report.loc" location="${project.build.directory}/surefire-reports" />
                     <!-- Create reporting directory -->
                     <mkdir dir="${test.report.loc}" />
                     <fluint debug="true" 
                        <fileset dir="${project.build.testOutputDirectory}">
                           <include name="**/AirRunner.swf"/>

Couple of things to point out about the above snippet:

  • There are two dependencies on resources being available on the disk, the Flex SDK (flex.home property) and the Fluint Air Runner (fluint.testrunner property).
  • Using Ant I had to create the “test-classes” and “surefire-report” directory to stick with Maven conventions.
  • We adhered to the convention of naming our test runners for the Fluint Ant task “AirRunner.mxml” so we could use this snippet in a parent POM.
  • I had to change the dependency for the maven-ant-run plugin from Ant 1.6.5, which is the default, to Ant 1.7.0, which is required by the Fluint Ant task.

You may also notice that I’m using snapshot versions of the Fluint library and the Fluint Ant task. I ended up having to change the source of the Fluint library, Ant task, and AIR runner to get Fluint to work as I wanted it to with my build. Fluint is an awesome unit testing library, it just needed some tweaks. I made changes to fix the following:

  • The XML output from the Fluint AIR runner wasn’t compliant with what the Surefire Report plugin was expecting.
  • The name of output file from the Fluint AIR runner was in the convention “TEST-*.xml” which the SureFire reporting plugin expects.
  • Fluint had the notion of an error and failure being separate but it wasn’t implemented for the Flash or AIR test runners.
  • The Ant task didn’t allow the user to specify a working directory so that the AIR runner could be launched from the appropriate directory.

I later found out that AIR and relative paths don’t play nicely together (= at all, unless there is helper code), so we also had to re-factor our test suites to NOT rely on any assets unless they are embedded or referenced with absolute URIs. This made the change to the Fluint Ant task kinda worthless, but I kept it in anyway for when AIR works in the future. Additionally, it’s important to note, that the “headless” mode in the Fluint AIR runner is really just a minimized window that closes after the XML report is written; if you plan on running your CI build on an OS without a windowing solution, then FLuint will not work since AIR does not support running in a true headless mode. On a side note, my changes should address issues #5 and #22 on the Fluint Google Code site; issue #21 should be solved by the Ant dependency fix I spoke about above and issue #20 is just a matter of the fluintAnt15.jar being compiled with Java 1.6 instead of 1.5, I believe. I’ve submitted these fixes along with my code to the Fluint guys in an email, just haven’t heard anything back yet.

So at this point I had the build process working as I wanted such that I could run “mvn clean deploy site” and find a snapshot in our team’s maven repository and site documentation generated. On to CI. I have used CruiseControl many times in the past, but the idea of being entrenched in XML, especially with all the Maven and Ant fun, was discouraging so I decided to give Hudson a try this time around. Wow … Hudson is amazing improvement over CruiseControl. Completely UI driven, I have yet to find myself digging through XML and best of all. The post-build support feel a little lighter than CruiseControl’s, but I think that’s just because I haven’t come across an X10 plugin so we can get a stop light or glowing orb setup. Hudson provides trend reporting on builds and unit tests as well as embedded reporting for unit tests and xdoclet-like documentation; it also has tons of Groovy integration which I really like (not that we’re using it … yet). Initially I chose to go with the pure Maven build for our projects, but I then decided to switch back to the free-style build; I couldn’t get trend reporting for unit tests to work with the pure Maven build, so I think my conventions are off for the Fluint reporting. In the free-style build I set the “site” directory as the Javadoc location and the “surefire-report” directory as the test report directory. Even though there is more configuration in a free-style build, it was simpler in the short run to get what I wanted in Hudson running. If unit test trend reporting isn’t as important to your CI needs, then the pure maven build may be more along the lines of what you’d like to use so that you can get the additional build trigger “Build whenever a SNAPSHOT dependency is built”. On a side note, I’m working towards using the FlexCover support in flex-mojos to make our site reports complete, but haven’t had a chance to dive in yet.

I hope some of the hurdles I encountered can help if you’re trying to get your CI process working with Flex. The flex-mojos, Fluint, and Hudson guys have some good walkthroughs/tutorials to cover the details I left out. I’m always up for suggestions, so definitely feel free to rip into my solutions. :)

October IECFUG Presentation Complete

Brian LeGros | October 12th, 2007 | news  

Well after 1:45 I was able to complete my Connect presentation for the IECFUG on “Common Revision Control Practices using SVN”. You can get to the presentation using this link. If you would like to view the presentation file, you can find the link here. I think it ran way too long, and by the time I came out of PowerPoint, I had lost like 4 of the 6 in the chat. I was however able to finish everything but 3 slides of my presentation and all of my examples, so I guess that is good for me (just not the attendees).

Thanks again to the IECFUG for putting up with me as their presenter for October. I’m always available for long, drawn out presentations when you need me.


Presenting at the IECFUG October Meeting

Brian LeGros | October 7th, 2007 | news  

Luis Majano has asked me to do my “Common Revision Control Practices with Subversion” presentation at the October meeting of the IECFUG. If anyone is interested in seeing the original presentation, you can find the recording on the Adogo “Meetings” page under September. I’m looking forward to giving the presentation again in an attempt to give examples, instead of just talking too long and saying I have these really cool examples that I can’t show you.

Thanks for the opportunity Luis. I hope to disappoint ;)

Revision Control Presentation @ Adogo 09/2007 Meeting

Brian LeGros | September 3rd, 2007 | news  

Well, I’ve got the slide portion of my presentation ready for tomorrow night’s Adogo meeting. I still have to prep some of the SVN examples, but if anyone is looking for ideas on how to implement “version control”, definitely come to the presentation. I may end up talking more than showing examples, but I’ll do my best to balance it out.

On that note, don’t miss the next Adogo meeting tomorrow at 7:00 PM at Devry. Adam will be giving a presentation on ColdCourse as well, so it should be a good night. We don’t have a sponsor so I may try to pick up some cookies, but we’ll have some t-shirts to raffle off, so definitely come out.

See ya there!