[pypy-dev] Nicolas Dudfield's GSoC project

Laura Creighton lac at openend.se
Fri May 2 08:04:13 CEST 2008


This showed up on the pygame mailing list.
Nicolas cc'd here.

------- Forwarded Message

Greetings all,

I am a participant in the Google Summer of Code. My application for
writing tests for pygame was accepted. The goal, over and above having
tests for their own sake, is to make pygame easier to port to new and
different platforms and versions of Python.

Py3k is due soon, and people have all sorts of ideas for pygame, such
as deploying on flash VMs using pypy. Really cool ideas. All of this
will be made much easier with more extensive testing in place. A rough
estimate for current unittest coverage is about 20%. Ideally, at least
95% would be covered.

A brief outline
===============

1.  Write unittests for pygame
2.  Develop a speed regression framework
3.  Develop an interactive testing framework.

1)  Write unittests for pygame
==============================

Being a student, the fact is that I don't have that much experience
writing tests. I haven't spent 10 years as a QA testing manager "in
the real world" for example. My planned approach, that seems to have
won endorsement from the PSF, is to do "breadth first"
testing. Obviously you want bang for your buck, but where to start? By
first getting a big picture view of pygame and becoming aware of the
interconnections I will be better prepared to go into the next
phase. That being that as time allows and with consultation from the
more experienced pygamers in the community I will dive into more
thorough pinpointed testing. Like all plans you can only really set
your sails and adjust accordingly to changing conditions.

2)  Develop a speed regression framework
========================================

"Ok, the change I made passes all the tests, great. Next....? "

As part of the tests I will also profile select areas so it's easy to
judge when performance regressions are introduced.

3)  Develop an interactive testing framework
============================================

I like to think of testing as ESP; extra-sensory programming. You use
the computer as an extra sense in the perception of "does it work like
it should". Instead of trying all the different permutations yourself
(haphazardly and slowly), you instruct your servant to do them
signalling the result in a condensed form. "Does all that work?" Your
computer signals "yes" (hopefully). The two of you zip through the
tasks.

Some times it is hard to instruct your faithful servant
though. "Jiles, Did you hear that mp3? Did it play twice?". Jiles can
only "hear" the other world. You have to "tell" Jiles to help you as
best he can; running through a batch of tests in a logical order,
asking you if they passed, and carefully recording your response.

I will develop a framework for interactive testing. At this stage I am
thinking it would be good to use pygame as the gui component but if
something else in the python opensource world allows the job to be
done faster I will probably use that. I have a little experience with
PyQt4.

Conclusion
==========

There is lot's of work ahead and I will appreciate any help and advice.

Thanks,

akalias, aka Nicholas Dudfield

ps. My blog is at blog.akalias.net and my irc handle: akalias.
------- End of Forwarded Message

My thoughts -- this is too ambitious a project for a summer.  Just getting
the unit tests into pygame may take the whole time.  But if you want a
speed regression framework, well, we sort of have a way to measure
the speed of pypy and graph the results.  See.
http://morepypy.blogspot.com/2007/12/various-performance-improvements.html

Whatever you want to do, Nicholas, you probably don't want to write a
whole new testing framework from scratch.  (We did that.  We know how
much work that is. ) but instead write  something so that people can
use their existing frameworks to measure performance.

Laura




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