Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'autopilot'

Carla Berkers

OpenStack is the leading open cloud platform, and Ubuntu is the world’s most popular operating system for OpenStack. Over the past two years we have created a tool that allows users to build an Ubuntu OpenStack cloud on their own hardware in a few simple steps: Autopilot.

This post covers the design process we followed on our journey from alpha to beta to release.

Alpha release: getting the basics right

We started by mapping out a basic Autopilot journey based on stakeholder requirements and designed a first cut of all the necessary steps to build a cloud:

  1. Choose the cloud configuration from a range of OpenStack optionsChoose cloud configuration
  1. Select the hardware the cloud should be built on
    Select the hardware
  1. View deployment status while the cloud is being built
    View deployment status
  1. Monitor the status and usage of the cloud
    Monitor Cloud

After the initial design phase Autopilot was developed and released as an alpha and a beta. This means that for over a year, there was a product to play around with, test and improve before it was made generally available.

Beta release: feedback and improvements

Providing a better overview: increased clarity in the dashboard

Almost immediately after the engineering team started building our new designs, we discovered that we needed to display an additional set of data on the storage graphs. On top of that, some guerilla testing sessions with Canonical engineers brought to light that the CPU and the storage graphs were easily misinterpreted.


After some more competitive research and exploratory sketching, we decided to merge the graphs for each section by putting the utilisation on a vertical axis and the time on the horizontal axis. This seemed to improve the experience for our engineers, but we also wanted to validate with users in usability testing, so we tested the designs with eight participants that were potential Autopilot users. From this testing we learned to include more information on the axes and to include detailed information on hover.

The current graphs are quite an evolution compared to what we started with:
Improved dashboard graphs

Setting users up for success: information and help before the process begins

Before a user gets to the Autopilot wizard, they have to configure their hardware, install an application called MAAS to register machines and install Landscape to get access to Autopilot. A third tool called Juju is installed to help Autopilot behind the scenes.

All these bits of software work together to allow users to build their clouds; however, they are all developed as stand-alone products by different teams. This means that during the initial design phase, it was a challenge to map out the entire journey and get a good idea of how the different components work together.

Only when the Autopilot beta was released, was it finally possible for us to find some hardware and go through the entire journey ourselves, step by step. This really helped us to identify common roadblocks and points in the journey where more documentation or in-app explanation was required.

Increasing transparency of the process: helping users anticipate what they need and when configuration is complete

Following our walk-through, we identified a number of points in the Autopilot journey where contextual help was required. In collaboration with the engineering team we gathered definitions of technical concepts, technical requirement, and system restrictions.

Autopilot walk-through

Based on this info, we made adjustments to the UI. We designed a landing page  with a checklist and introduction copy, and we added headings, help text, and tooltips to the installation and dashboard page. We also included a summary panel on the configuration page, to guide users through the journey and provide instant feedback.


GA release: getting Autopilot ready for the general public

Perhaps the most rewarding type of feedback we gathered from the beta release — our early customers liked Autopilot but wanted more features. From the first designs Autopilot has aimed to help users quickly set up a test cloud. But to use Autopilot to build a production cloud, additional features were required.

Testing without the hardware: try Autopilot on VMware

One of the biggest improvements for GA release was making it easy to try Autopilot, even for people that don’t have enough spare hardware to build a cloud. Our solution: try Autopilot using VMware!

Supporting customisation:  user-defined roles for selected hardware

In the alpha version a user could already select nodes, but in most enterprises users want more flexibility. Often there are different types of hardware for different roles in the cloud, so users don’t always want to automatically distribute all the OpenStack services over all the machines. We designed the ability to choose specific roles like storage or compute for machines, to allow users to make the most of their hardware.

Machine roles

Allowing users more control: a scalable cloud on monitored hardware

The first feature we added was the ability to add hardware to the cloud. This makes it possible to grow a small test cloud into a production sized solution. We also added the ability to integrate the cloud with Nagios, a common monitoring tool. This means if something happens on any of the cloud hardware, users would receive a notification through their existing monitoring system.


The benefits of early release

This month we are celebrating another  release of OpenStack Autopilot. In the two years since we started designing Autopilot, we have been able to add many improvements and it has been a great experience for us as designers to contribute to a maturing product.

We will continue to iterate and refine the features that are launched and we’re currently mapping the roadmap for the months ahead. Our goal remains for Autopilot to be a tool for users to maintain and upgrade an enterprise grade cloud that can be at the core of their operations.


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Nicholas Skaggs

Ubuntu SDK Autopilot Plugin

Those of you who have developed an application using the Ubuntu SDK understand how nice it is to have a tool to support your workflow for writing an application. You can code, build, run and iterate on your code easily right from inside the SDK. However, to test your application, it was necessary to open a terminal and execute some commands. Leaving the Ubuntu SDK is an interruption to your workflow! It's even enough to throw you off your coding zen! It certainly may have dissuaded you from running tests. Seeing as testing should be a positive experience, this certainly won't do!

Thankfully Akiva thought the same thing. Thus he created a new plugin for the SDK. I'd like to celebrate and thank him for making all of our lives easier. Thanks Akiva! A big thank you to Benjamin from the SDK team as well for reviewing and helping get the plugin in shape.

The plugin scans your project for autopilot tests, and then creates a run configuration for them. From there, it's as easy as hitting the run button to run the application. See for yourself!

To learn more about how to install the plugin, or how it works, checkout the documentation on running autopilot tests found on 

Go forth and test all the things! Try out using the plugin in your existing workflow. I'd love to hear feedback. If you are interested in making the plugin better, or expanding it to include other things, get in touch. As always, code is welcome!

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Nicholas Skaggs

It's never been easier to write tests for your application! I wanted to share some details on the new documentation and other tidbits that will help you ensure your application has a nice testsuite. If you've used the SDK in the past, you understand how nice it can make your development workflow. Writing code and running it on your desktop, device, or emulator is a snap.

Fortunately, having a nice testsuite for your application can also be just as easy. First, you will notice that now all of the wizards inside the SDK now come with nice testsuites already in place. They are ready for you to simply add-on more tests. The setup and heavy lifting is done. See for yourself!

Secondly, has a great section on every level of testing; no matter which language you use with the SDK. You'll find API references for the tools and technology used, along with helpful guides to get you in the proper mindset.

For autopilot itself, there's also API documentation for the various 'helpers' that will make writing tests much easier for you. In addition, there's a guide to running autopilot tests. This has been made even easier by the addition of Akiva's Autopilot plugin inside the SDK. I'll be sharing details on this as soon as it's packaged, but you can see a sneak peek in this video.

Finally, you will find a guide on how to structure your functional tests. These are the most demanding to write, and it's important to ensure you write your tests in a maintainable way. Don't forget about the guide on writing good functional tests either.

No matter what language or level you write tests for, the guides are there to help you. Why not trying adding a test or two to your project? If you are new, check out one of the wizards and try adding a simple testcase. Then apply the same knowledge (and templated code!) to your own project. Happy test writing!

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Nicholas Skaggs

Autopilot Feature Primer

Autopilot celebrated it's 2 year anniversary as an independent project this summer. During that time it has developed into a useful tool for testing application UI's for gtk and qt toolkits. Support has also been extended to MIR as well as phablet devices.

With this in mind, I thought it would be useful to bring attention to some new and under-used features of autopilot, along with providing a brief explanation of some companion tools you might find useful. Thus I present to you, an autopilot primer. Let's talk through some new features shall we?

Python3 Support
Autopilot started as a python2 tool but has since migrated to python3 and you should too! For now the entire source tree remains python2 compatible, but you really should migrate your tests to python3. You'll notice the autopilot3 binary in newer releases which should be used to run autopilot with python3.

Scenario Support
Scenarios are a wonderful way to keep your tests simple and easy to read while allowing you to test with many different inputs. In short, you might need to test several edge cases as part of your acceptance testing. This is most easily accomplished by keeping the test itself generic and utilizing a scenario to vary your inputs. You can check out more information on scenarios specific to autopilot in the autopilot documentation.

Screenshots / Video
Autopilot allows you to get a video recording of a test failure. To make sure autopilot records failures, install recordmydesktop and pass the -r argument to your autopilot3 run command. However, at the moment this requires X so for now it doesn't work with the MIR backend (which things like the ubuntu phone utilize). Fortunately a screenshot at the point of failure when combined with the log is generally sufficient to solving your issue. Getting those screenshots brings us to subunit support.

Subunit Support
By default autopilot generates the test output and logs straight to your console in a text format. However autopilot also supports outputting to xml and subunit. Subunit support is what I would like to highlight for a few reasons. When you set the output format as subunit, you get a few niceties. One of which is an easier to grok format for tools, and the other is screenshots of the application when failures occur. To get a subunit stream, pass the -f subunit argument to your autopilot3 run command. You will want to also pass -O with a filename to save the output to a file as the subunit stream contains binary data.

Test Result Viewer
So, with this subunit test results file, how can you enjoy all of it's goodness? Enter trv, a simple python ui that will let organize the test run in an easy to view manner, including screenshots. The tool is the creation of Thomi Richards who describes it as a quick hack (:p), and has a youtube video demonstrating it's use. It's perfect for viewing the subunit stream and visualizing your test results. For now, it's not packaged but can be easily obtained via launchpad. Grab it with bzr branch lp:trv.

autopilot3 vis
The vis tool allows you to visually interact with the introspection tree after launching an application using autopilot launch. What this means is you can visualize the application in the same way autopilot does at runtime, with live tree updates. It lets you see what autopilot sees, allowing you to interactively build your testcase.

I'll refer you the official tutorial for more information, as well as a youtube video by yours truly. It's from a livestream, but covers what you need to know. autopilot3 vis also contains a search box, and a highlight tool which didn't exist in the orignal version, so it's even nicer now than before. Give it a whirl!

I talked about this utility when I covered the test runners for autopilot. Still I would be remiss if I didn't mention it again. Everything I said in the test runners for autopilot post still applies, so go have a quick read about how to use the tool if you need more information. This tool enables you to easily run autopilot tests on the desktop in a nested xserver. What that means to you as a test author is that you can run tests without giving up your desktop session. No more waiting for autopilot to hand back control of your mouse after a test. If you are writing tests, you should be using this tool along with autopilot vis mentioned above during your test writing process.

Per test timeout
Although we all only write "good tests", sometimes you may find your test misbehaves. When this happens the test may even not exit cleanly or get stuck in a loop. The result is autopilot and the system under test to wait forever for the test to finish. To prevent a rouge test from killing a test suite run, autopilot is introducing support for per-test timeouts. This has landed in vivid; you'll need version 1.5.0+15.04.20141031-0ubuntu1 or later. To use the feature, add the --test-timeout argument to autopilot run and give is a timeout in seconds.

In conclusion
Autopilot has gotten many new features along the way, and these are but a few of the most recent and important ones. I hope this helps you take another look at what autopilot might be able to help you test. Happy Testing!

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Nicholas Skaggs

Autopilot Test Runners

In my last next post, I discussed will discuss notable autopilot features and talk about how autopilot has matured since it became an independent project.

In the meantime I would be remiss if I didn't also talk about the different test runners commonly used with autopilot tests. In addition to the autopilot binary which can be executed to run the tests, different tools have cropped up to make running tests easier.

This tool ships with autopilot itself and was developed as a way to run autopilot test suites on your desktop in a sane manner. Run the autopilot3-sandbox-run command with --help to see all the options available. By default, the tests will run in an Xvfb server, all completely behind the scenes with the results being reported to you upon completion. This is a great way to run tests with no interference on your desktop. If you are a visual person like me, you may instead wish to pass -X to enable the test runs to occur in a Xephyr window allowing you to see what's happening, but still retaining control of your mouse and keyboard.

I need this tool!
sudo apt-get install python3-autopilot

I want to run tests on my desktop without losing control of my mouse!
autopilot3-sandbox-run my_testsuite_name

I want to run tests on my desktop without losing control of my mouse, but I still want to see what's happening!
autopilot3-sandbox-run -X my_testsuite_name

Autopkgtest was developed as a means to automatically test Debian packages, "as-installed". Recently support was added to also test click packages and to run on phablet devices. Autopkgtest will take care of dependencies, setting up autopilot, and unlocking the device. You can literally plug in a device and wait for the results. You should really checkout the README pages, including those on running tests. That said, here's a quick primer on running tests using autopkgtest.

I need this tool!
sudo apt-get install autopkgtest
If you are on trusty, grab and install the utopic deb from here.

I want to run tests for a click package installed on my device!
Awesome. This one is simple. Connect the device and then run:
adt-run --click --- ssh -s adb

For example,
adt-run --click --- ssh -s adb

will run the tests for the installed version of the music app on your device. You don't need to do anything else. For the curious, this works by reading the manifest file all click packages have. Read more here.

I want to run the tests I wrote/modified against an installed click package!
For this you need to also pass your local folder containing the tests. You will also want to make sure you installed the new version of the click package if needed.

adt-run my-folder/ --click --- ssh -s adb

Autopkgtest can also run in a lxc container, QEMU, a chroot, and other fun targets. In the examples above, I passed --- ssh -s adb as the target, instructing autopkgtest to use ssh and adb and thus run the tests on a connected phablet device. If you want to run autopilot tests on a phablet device, I recommend using autopkgtest as it handles everything for you.

This tool is part of the greater phablet-tools package. It was originally developed as an easy way to execute tests on your phablet device. Note however that copying the tests and any dependencies to the phablet device is left to you. The phablet-tools package provides some other useful utilities to help you with this (checkout phablet-click-test-setup for example).

I need this tool!
sudo apt-get install phablet-tools

I want to run the tests I wrote/modified against an installed click package!
First copy the tests to the device. You can use the ubuntu sdk or click-buddy for this, or even do it manually via adb. Then run phablet-test-run. It takes the same arguments as autopilot itself.

phablet-test-run -v my_testsuite

Note the tools looks for the testsuite and any dependencies of the testsuite inside the /home/phablet/autopilot folder. It's up to you to make sure everything that is needed to run your tests are located there or else it will fail.

other ways
There are of course other possible test runners that wrap around autopilot to make executing tests easier. Perhaps you've written a script yourself. Just remember at the end of the day the autopilot binary will be running the tests. It simply needs to be able to find the testsuite and all of it's dependencies in order to run. For this reason, don't be afraid to execute autopilot3 and run the tests yourself. Happy test runs!

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Nicholas Skaggs

We're having our first hackfest of the utopic cycle this week on Tuesday, July 15th. You can catch us live in a hangout on starting at 1900 UTC. Everything you need to know can be found on the wiki page for the event.

During the hangout, we'll be demonstrating writing a new manual testcase, as well as reviewing writing automated testcases. We'll be answering any questions you have as well about contributing a testcase.

We need your help to write some new testcases! We're targeting both manual and automated testcase, so everyone is welcome to pitch in.

We are looking at writing and finishing some testcases for ubuntu studio and some other flavors. All you need is some basic tester knowledge and the ability to write in English.

If you know python, we are also going to be hacking on the toolkit helper for autopilot for the ubuntu sdk. That's a mouthful! Specifically it's the helpers that we use for writing autopilot tests against ubuntu-sdk applications. All app developers make use of these helpers, and we need more of them to ensure we have good coverage for all components developers use. 

Don't worry about getting stuck, we'll be around to help, and there's guides to well, guide you!

Hope to see everyone there!

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Nicholas Skaggs

Recently the ubuntu core app developers and myself have been on an adventure towards adopting cmake for the all the core applications. While some of the applications are pure qml it's still been useful to embark on adopting a singular build system for all of the projects. Now that (most) of the pain of transitioning is gone, I'm going to talk about one of the useful features of setting up cmake for your project; click-buddy!

Click-buddy is an evolving tool that helps you build and deploy click packages to your phablet device. In addition, it has the ability to setup the device to run your autopilot test suite. So, rather than writing anything further, let's cover an example. You are going to need phablet-tools installed for this to work. I'm going to branch the clock app, build the click package, install it on my device, and finally run the tests.

bzr branch lp:ubuntu-clock-app
cd ubuntu-clock-app
click-buddy --dir . --provision
phablet-test-run -v ubuntu_clock_app

Click-buddy is also gaining the ability to build your project, even it involves a plugin and you are interested in building for your phablet device (armhf). Once landed you will be able to run something like this for non-qml applications.

sudo click chroot -a armhf create
click-buddy --arch armhf --provision

This will setup a chroot automagically for you and compile and build your application. Give it a try!

Note, as of this writing, emulator support for the ubuntu-ui-toolkit emulator is not yet built in. If your tests fail with a module import, run this line from your connected pc. It will copy over the ubuntu-ui-toolkit emulator (provided you have it installed on your pc :-) ) and your tests should now properly run.

adb push /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/ubuntuuitoolkit /home/phablet/autopilot/ubuntuuitoolkit

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Today’s autopilot release provides a new feature for test case writers. Unless the widget you want to test has a direct object name (GtkBuilder ID/Qt objectName), it is often not that easy to find a widget in a deeply nested hierarchy in autopilot vis.

With the new version, if you have some parent widget (like the containing dialog) w in your test, you can now call w.print_tree() to dump the paths and properties of that widget and all its children to stdout. That’s easy enough to grep, so provides a “poor man’s full tree search”. You can also specify a different output sink, like a file object or a file name: w.print_tree('/tmp/dump.txt').

This is a first step towards making it easier to find widgets and properties you are interested in. Arguably this is mostly just a crutch, but I found it to be rather effective. Before this feature I often wrote little snippets like in LP#1241312, now this becomes much easier. A better solution for this would certainly be a “full tree search” in vis itself, but that’s not that easy to implement. It is on the roadmap for this cycle, though.

I am also currently working on a real-time property change monitor for autopilot-gtk, which may also help in some cases. Unfortunately we cannot build such a thing for autopilot-qt, as due to the nature of Qt object properties, changes of them cannot be monitored.

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Nicholas Skaggs

Autopilot Sandboxing

Autopilot has continued to change with the times, and the pending release of 1.4 brings even more goodies; including some performance fixes. But today I wanted to cover a newly landed feature from the minds of Martin and Jean-Baptiste (thanks guys!).

If you've developed autopilot tests in the past you will have noticed how cumbersome it can be to run the tests. If you run a test on your desktop, you lose control of your mouse and keyboard for the duration, and you might even accidentally cause a test to fail. This can be especially noticeable when you are iterating over getting your test to run "just right" while wanting to keep your introspection tree in vis open, or reviewing someone else's code while wanting to verify the tests run. Enter sandbox mode.

A new command called autopilot-sandbox-run lets you easily run a testsuite inside your choice of two sandboxes; Xvfb by default, or if you want to visually see the output, Xephyr. Have a quick look at the command options below as of this writing:

Usage: autopilot-sandbox-run [OPTIONS...] TEST [TEST...]
Runs autopilot tests in a 'fake' Xserver with Xvfb or Xephyr. autopilot runs
in Xvfb by default.
    TEST: autopilot tests to run

    -h, --help           This help
    -d, --debug          Enable debug mode
    -a, --autopilot ARG  Pass arguments ARG to 'autopilot run'
    -X, --xephyr         Run in nested mode with Xephyr
    -s, --screen WxHxD   Sets screen width, height, and depth to W, H, and D respectively (default: 1024x768x24)

The next time you want to get your hands dirty with some autopilot tests, try out the sandbox. I'm sure you'll find a very nice use for it in your workflow; after all wouldn't it be handy to run multiple testsuites at once?

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Nicholas Skaggs

As of today, we are exactly one month away from the release of Saucy Salamander. As part of that release, ubuntu is committed to delivering an image of ubuntu-touch, ready to install on supported devices.

And while folks have been dogfooding the images since May, many changes have continued to land as the images mature. As such, the qa team is committing to test each of the stable images released, and do exploratory testing against new features and specific packagesets.

If you have a device, I would encourage you to join this effort! Everything you need to know can be found upon this wiki page. You'll need a nexus device and a little time to spend with the latest image. If you find a bug, report it! The wiki has links to help. Testing doesn't get anymore fun than this; flash your phone and try to break it! Go wild!

And if you don't own a device? You can still help! As bugs are found and fixed, the second part of the process is to create automated tests for them so they don't occur again. Any bug you see on the list is a potential candidate, but we'll be marking those we especially think would be useful to write an autopilot tests for with a " touch-needs-autopilot" tag.

Join us in testing, confirming bugs, or testwriting autopilot tests. We want the ubuntu touch images to be the best they can be in 1 month's time. Happy Testing!

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I recently created a test for digicam photo import for Shotwell (using autopilot and umockdev), and made that run as an autopkgtest. It occurred to me that this might be interesting for other desktop applications as well.

The community QA team has written some autopkgtests for desktop applications such as evince, nautilus, or Firefox. We run them regularly in Jenkins on real hardware in a full desktop environment, so that they can use the full desktop integration (3D, indicators, D-BUS services, etc). But of course for those the application already needs to be in Ubuntu.

If you only want to test functionality from the application itself and don’t need 3D, a proper window manager, etc., you can also call your autopilot tests from autopkgtest with a wrapper script like this:

set -e

# start X
(Xvfb :5 >/dev/null 2>&1 &)
export DISPLAY=:5

# start local session D-BUS
eval `dbus-launch`
export XAUTHORITY=/dev/null

# change to the directory where your autopilot tests live, and run them
cd `dirname $0`
autopilot run autopilot_tests

This will set up the bare minimum: Xvfb and a session D-BUS, and then run your autopilot tests. Your debian/tests/control should have Depends: yourapp, xvfb, dbus-x11, autopilot-desktop, libautopilot-gtk for this to work. (Note: I didn’t manage to get this running with xvfb-run; any hints to how to simplify this appreciated, but please test that it actually works.)

Please note that this does not replace the “run in full desktop session” tests I mentioned earlier, but it’s a nice addition to check that your package has correct dependencies and to automatically block new libraries/dependencies which break your package from entering Ubuntu.

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Nicholas Skaggs

Autopilot best practices

I've now had the pleasure of writing autopilot tests for about 9 months, and along the way I've learned or been taught some of the things that are important to remember.

Use Eventually
The eventually matcher provided by autopilot is your best friend. Use it liberally to ensure your code doesn't fail because of a millisecond difference during your runtime. Eventually will retry your assert until it's true or it times out. When combined with examining an object or selecting one, eventually will ensure your test failure is a true failure and not a timing issue. Also remember you can use lambda if you need to make your assert function worthy.

Assert more!
Every test can use more asserts -- even my own! Timing issues can rear there ugly head again when you fail to assert after performing an action.

  • Everytime you grab an object, assert you received the object
    • You can do this by asserting the object NotEquals(None); remember to use eventually Eventually(NotEquals(None))!
  • Everytime you interact with the screen, try an assert to confirm your action
    • Click a button, assert
    • Click a field to type, assert you have focus first
      • You can do this by using the .focus property and asserting it to be True
      • Finished typing?, assert your text matches what you typed
        • You can do this by using the .text property and asserting it to be Equal to your input
Don't use strings, use objectNames
We all get lazy and just issue selects with English label names. This will break when run in a non-English language. They will also break when we decide to update the string to something more verbose or just different. Don't do it! That includes things like tab names, button names and label names -- all common rulebreakers.

Use object properties
They will help you add more asserts about what's happening. For instance, you can use the .animating property or .moving property (if they exist) to wait out animations before you continue your actions! I already mentioned the .focus property above, and you might find things like .selected, .state, .width, .height, .text, etc to be useful to you while writing your test. Check out your objects and see what might be helpful to you.

Interact with objects, not coordinates
Whenever possible, you should ensure your application interactions specify an object, not coordinates. If the UI changes, the screen size changes, etc, your test will fail if your using coordinates. If your interaction is emulating say something like a swipe, drag, pinch, etc action, ensure you utilize relative coordinates based upon the current screen size.

Use the ubuntusdk emulator if you are writing a ubuntusdk application
It will save you time, and ensure your testcase gets updated if any bugs or changes happen to the sdk; all without you having to touch your code. Check it out!

Read the documentation best practices
Yes, I know documentation is boring. But at least skim over this page on writing good tests. There is a lot of useful tidbits lurking in there. The gist is that your tests should be self-contained, repeatable and test one thing or one idea.

Looking over this list many of the best practices I listed involve avoiding bugs related to timing. You know the drill; run your testcase and it passes. Run it again, or run it in a virtual machine, a slower device, etc, and it fails. It's likely you have already experienced this.

Why does this happen? Well, it's because your test is clicking and interacting without verifying the changes occurring in the application. Many times it doesn't matter, and the built in delay between your actions will be enough to cover you. However that is not always the case.

So, adopt these practices and you will find your testcases are more reliable, easier to read and run without a hitch day in and day out. That's the sign of a good automated testcase.

Got more suggestions? Leave a comment!

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Nicholas Skaggs

This month has been all about dogfooding, and part of that has been the drive to automate the testing of the functionality found in the core applications. Nothing will replace true user testing, but we can certainly do a lot to help prevent bugs and regressions. So, during my "test all the things" series we went through each of the core applications and highlighted areas for testing. So the question is, how are we doing as this month draws to a close?

Well, fortunately, I've setup this wiki page as a reflection of where we stand.
As you can see, we've come a long way on many of the applications, but I wanted to especially point out where we still need help.

Dropping Letters
Adrian has been working on Dropping Letters and could use some help in finishing the testcases. Leo has proposed a merge that brings the testsuite up to date with the new sdk, so it's ready for you to add tests!

RSS Reader
RSS Reader, aka shorts, just went through some large UI changes and is now ready for us to add tests again. Carla has begun working on updating her old tests for adding and editing a feed, but there's more work to do!

Calendar is currently undergoing some drastic changes, and it's testcases will need to be re-written once that's complete. Hang tight if your keen to help in this area!

Music has come a long way in a couple weeks and we have tests to prove it! Thanks to Daniel and Victor, we can test play, pause and library load. But there are still more tests needed. John is also volunteering on this application to help get the tests in shape. Thanks guys!

The following applications are very close to completion:

Nekhelesh has hacked together most of the tests, but I know he won't complain if you help him finish. Review the list and help bring it over the line!

As of this morning, the final calculator testcase has been written, testing tear-off. Pending a bugfix in the sdk, the testcase will get merged. Fingers crossed. Thanks Riccardo!

100% DONE!
Congratulations to the following teams and folks who helped us reach 100% status on the following core apps:

terminal, weather, sudoku, stock ticker, file manager

Remember though, as we move forward it's important to keep the tests aligned with new features :-)

Still reading this? What are you waiting for? Jump in and help! Happy Automated Testing!

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Nicholas Skaggs

A little over a month ago, I posted about creating an autopilot emulator for
ubuntu sdk applications. Thanks to some hard work by Leo Arias and the ubuntu sdk team, I'm happy to announce the little side project from my +junk branch is all grown up and even more ready for your consumption. Leo has made the emulator a proper part of the sdk, complete with tests for all of it's functions!  You can now easily install it and incorporate it into your project. Here's how to snag your copy.

1) Add the ubuntu sdk team ppa if you haven't already

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa

2) Install the ubuntu-ui-toolkit-autopilot package

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-ui-toolkit-autopilot

This will install the emulator as a python module, ready for you to import. If you want to checkout what the module can do, have a look at the documentation.

Incorporating the module might seem a little tricky, so Leo has also put together an example of one of the ubuntu touch core apps using the new module. Check out it. Here's a branch showing off the work done for ubuntu-filemanager-app. And here's one for dropping-letters.

Please do check out the module and incorporate it into your ubuntu sdk project. Feedback is encouraged, and bug reports too! Please file any issues you find against the ubuntu-ui-toolkit project. Happy Automated Testing!

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Nicholas Skaggs

The music app. A vital and necessary piece of my running setup. I've run in silence before, and while it's nice, sometimes you need some jams to keep you motivated on longer runs.

Recently I've been running in silence but not by choice, definitely needing a way to play music via my phone. Thanks to the hack day for music last week and the ongoing work on the music app developers that's all changing. Today the app is feature complete enough to begin work on some autopilot tests. It can for instance, play music now!

Consider helping the music app developers keep development going.  Grab the music app branchadd a testcase from the list of needsfollow the tutorial for help if needed, and propose a merge. Thanks for helping to ensure quality for ubuntu touch!

If you need help getting started, there is a wonderful video tutorial to help you. In addition the logs, and a FAQ from the workshops are now available and ready for you to consume and understand. Happy test writing!

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Nicholas Skaggs

Today I thought we'd take a break from the testing all the things series to take a look at what we're doing, how far we've come, and most importantly, where we need to get to.

The core apps project has come a long way since it's inception at the beginning of this cycle. So as the development started maturing, testing was the natural step for me to get involved and check out what the apps had to offer. With that in mind, let's look at the burndown chart for the core apps shall we?

Can you tell where the tests were added?

So even as the work items has increased from adding things like tests, this month the community have been working hard at finishing work items and bringing us back to the trendline. See that nice driving downwards the last couple weeks? Excellent job! Let's get down to that trendline!

From the quality side, we've had several people come forward, learn about autopilot and the core apps and then get a merge in. A special thanks to Carla Sella, Daniel Kessel, Michael Spencer, Adrian Goodyer, Riccardo Padovani and Arturas Norkus for your contributions last week to core apps projects. Well done, and I look forward to seeing and merging more of your work!

For those of you still working on getting commits in, or sitting on the sidelines, let me help! You can be a part of this effort! There's still more work to do, and the entire community around core apps would appreciate your help. Hack on an app, a testcase, wherever your skills and interests lie. For autopilot tests specifically, check out this recipe on and watch this video.

I look forward to merging your work!

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Nicholas Skaggs

It's almost FRIDAY! To celebrate, let's look at the second game that's become part of the core apps, dropping letters.

That best score! It was my first game, I can do much better now :)

The name of the game in dropping letters is to form words as the letters fall and try and prevent the screen from filling up. At the moment, the game is dogfoodable, but needs your help for tests. There are still some bugs within the code, and autopilot tests will help ensure those bugs don't sneak back into the codebase.

Consider helping the dropping letters developers keep development going.  Grab the dropping letters branchadd a testcase from the list of needsfollow the tutorial for help if needed, and propose a merge. Thanks for helping to ensure quality for ubuntu touch!

If you need help getting started, check out the logs, and a FAQ from the workshops. Feel free to contact me with any questions or help. Happy test writing!

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Nicholas Skaggs

Today we look at another important piece of the puzzle for the ubuntu touch platform; the file manager. File managers provide a way for the end users to access there files in an arbitrary manner. Without one on the device you would be stuck viewing your data only through specific applications intended to utilize that data (photos, music, videos) or the terminal. Despite being the bane of simple computing advocates at times, file managers serve an important purpose.

So, let's look at the file manager app for ubuntu touch. Glancing at the dogfooding page you can see many of the basics are already in place. We can browse files and folders, make new folders and view file information.

Quite nice looking isn't it?

And indeed, looking at the list of needs many tests have already been written. This is largely the work of iBelieve, otherwise known as Michael Spencer. Good work! But there is still more to do.

If you are new to writing tests for core applications, adding a test to this application will be much easier for you to pick up. I'm sure Michael won't mind that I'm volunteering him here as well -- we're here to help!

Consider helping Michael and the file manager developers keep development going.  Grab the file manager branchadd a testcase from the list of needsfollow the tutorial for help if needed, and propose a merge. Thanks for helping to ensure quality for ubuntu touch!

If you need help getting started, there is 1 more workshops planned for this week. In addition the logs, and a FAQ from the workshops are now available and ready for you to consume and understand. Happy test writing!

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Nicholas Skaggs

The calculator app is probably the biggest fashion saving application (for me!) on the platform. You might be scratching your heads, so let me share a quick story.

You see not unlike the crazy pebble watch idea, there was a time when I wore a crazy watch on my wrist.

Remember these?

I proudly wore my calculator watch for maybe a year before breaking the band after catching the giant display on something :-) That was the last time a watch graced my arm in a permanent fashion. Ahh the memories.

So, this app will make sure such a fashion disaster doesn't have to happen again. Thanks to the calculator app, I can still perform those geeky tasks of calculating out gas mileage, perfect tipping, supermarket costs, etc without the paying the ultimate fashion price.

The foundations are already in place for you to add tests, but more are needed, including testing the cool "tear-off" feature, swiping to delete, and historical calculations.

Consider helping the calculator developers keep development going.  Grab the calculator branchadd a testcase from the list of needsfollow the tutorial for help if needed, and propose a merge. Thanks for helping to ensure quality for ubuntu touch!

If you need help getting started, there are 2 more workshops planned for this week. In addition the logs, and a FAQ from the workshops are now available and ready for you to consume and understand. Happy test writing!

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Nicholas Skaggs

Ahh, Monday morning! It's time to look at the news headlines and check the stock market. As usual, your ubuntu phone has you covered for this part of your morning routine! Enter stock ticker!

As one of the newest core apps, Stock Ticker has done it's part in catching up quickly. The interface already sports working charting, news and detail views for stock symbols of your choosing via the management page.

Consider helping the stock ticker developers keep development going.  Grab the stock ticker branchadd a testcase from the list of needsfollow the tutorial for help if needed, and propose a merge. Thanks for helping to ensure quality for ubuntu touch!

If you need help getting started, there are 2 more workshops planned for this week. In addition the logs, and a FAQ from the workshops are now available and ready for you to consume and understand. Happy test writing!

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