Tuesday, July 2, 2013

baseapp: Continuous Integration

baseapp provides all the boilerplate to get your JavaScript web application started off right, this Part 7.

  1. Intro to baseapp
  2. Client-Side Unit Tests
  3. Server-Side Unit Tests
  4. WebDriver Integration Tests
  5. Other Grunt Goodies
  6. Authentication
  7. Continuous Integration
  8. Administration
(or binge read them all on the baseapp wiki!)

baseapp achieves Continuous Integration in 3 (yes 3) ways:

They are all complimentary and do similar things so take your pick!

grunt watch

The grunt watch plugin monitors our files and runs grunt tasks as those files are modified - to the configuration!

    watch: {
        // If the main app changes (don't have any specific tests for this file :( YET! )
        mainApp: {
            files: [ 'app.js' ]
            , tasks: ['jshint', 'webdriver' ]
        // If any server-side JS changes
        , serverSide: {
            files: [ 'routes/**/*.js' ]
            , tasks: ['jshint', 'jasmine_node_coverage', 'webdriver' ]
        // If any server-side JS TEST changes
        , serverSideTests: {
            files: [ 'spec/server/**/*.js' ]
            , tasks: ['jshint', 'jasmine_node_coverage' ]
        // If any client-side JS changes
        , clientSide: {
            files: [ 'public/javascripts/**/*.js' ]
            , tasks: ['jshint', 'jasmine', 'webdriver' ]
        // If any client-side JS TEST changes
        , clientSideTests: {
            files: [ 'spec/client/**/*.js' ]
            , tasks: ['jshint', 'jasmine' ]
        // If any integration/webdriver JS TEST changes
        , webDriverTests: {
            files: [ 'spec/webdriver/**/*.js' ]
            , tasks: ['jshint', 'webdriver' ]

The deal here is each file can only be in ONE stanza, if a file is represented in more than one grunt-watch stanza only the last one will 'win'. SO we slice and dice our files to ensure they only show up in one place. So the game is determine which grunt tasks should be run if a given file changes.

Starting with 'app.js' - if it changes changes run the 'jshint' and 'webdriver' tasks because those are the only two tasks that app.js could effect.

Similarly for editing a server-side JS file, if one of those changes run 'jshint', 'jasmine_node_coverage', and 'webdriver' because all of those target are potentially effected by a change to one of those files.

If any server-side unit test file changes we only run 'jshint' and 'jasmine_node_coverage' - we do NOT need to run any webdriver tests because change a server-side unit test file does not potentially effect those.

The same logic applies to changed client-side JavaScript files vs. client-side test files.

Finally if any webdriver tests change then we run the 'jshint' and 'webdriver' tasks because those are the only tasks potentially effected by a change to any of those files.

So in a terminal kick it all off by executing:

% grunt watch

Now in another terminal edit away and the 'grunt watch' terminal will run jshint and tests after you save changed files.


Karma functions similarly to 'grunt watch' - we tell it which files to watch, and if there is a change it should kick off some tests. Karma however ONLY runs out client-side jasmine unit tests. What is snazzy about it is support for multiple simultaneous browsers and built-in coverage generation.

All of its configuration is in karma.conf.js (yes this is a JavaScript file). Since it is going to run jasmine it needs the same information as our 'grunt jasmine' task: namely where all of our client-side JavaScript files are and what extra JavaScript to load into the browser to run our tests. That configuration is here:

// list of files / patterns to load in the browser
files = [

'JASMINE' and 'JASMINE_ADAPTER' are karma built-ins for running jasmine tests - convenient! This section adds in coverage support:

preprocessors = {
    'public/javascripts/*.js': 'coverage'

This tells Karma to generate coverage information for all files in 'public/javascripts/*js' - where all of our client-side JavaScript resides.

coverageReporter = {
    type : 'lcov',
    dir : 'public/coverage/client'

Here is where we tell Karma where to put the coverage output. When the tests are all done running Karma will generate a new code coverage report.

browsers = ['ChromeCanary', 'PhantomJS', 'Safari', 'Firefox'];

Here is our array of browsers we want Karma to run - every time one of our watched files change Karma will execute all of the unit tests in each of those browsers. When Karma starts up it spawns off each of those and they sit around and wait to run tests.


singleRun = false;

Tells Karma to keep running in the background, you can run it in single shot mode if being run in a QA environment.

So to start the whole thing up:

% node_modules/.bin/karma start

Karma will spawn off all the browsers you requested, you can now minimize all of those windows, Karma will print all relevant output to the terminal window. As you edit client-side JavaScript or the tests Karma will automatically re-run all the tests.


Travis-CI executes the 'script' property from our .travis.yml file each time we push to github, if that is not present (which it is not in our config), it runs 'npm test' by default for NodeJS jobs (which for us just turns around and runs 'grunt test'). Our travis-ci configuration is in the .travis.yml file. Here it is:

language: node_js
  - "0.8"
  - "0.10"
services: redis-server
  - "export DISPLAY=:99.0"
  - "sh -e /etc/init.d/xvfb start"
  - "java -jar ./node_modules/webdriverjs/bin/selenium-server-standalone-2.31.0.jar &"
  - "sleep 10"

This just says this application is a NodeJS application and we want to test it against version .8 and .10 of node. You need to link your github account with travis-ci so it can watch your github commits and act on them accordingly.

Set up information for Travis CI is here. Basically you just need to create a Travis CI account and activate the GitHub service hook. Then visit your Travis CI profile and enable Travis CI for your repository. With our .travis.yml file in place, the next commit to our github repo will trigger Travis CI.

Travis CI conveniently has both redis and phantomjs (and firefox!) preinstalled for webdriver tests. Redis however is NOT automatically started so we need to tell Travis to start redis-server for us. We also have to start the selenium server and then sleep for 10 seconds to ensure it is up and ready to go. In case we want to use 'firefox' for our Selenium tests we fire up the virtual X framebuffer and set the DISPLAY environment variable accordingly.

You may notice that our travis tests will generate coverage information and total it all up and run plato - none of which we actually use as the result of the travis tests. Oh well.

If all goes well Travis will blow through all of our tests successfully. On a Travis result state change, like from success to failure or vice versa you will get an email with a link to the log so you can debug if one of your tests has failed.

You can see baseapp's Travis CI dashboard here. Yes it took several tries to get it right!! But lucky for you all of the 'hard' work has been done for you.

Finally we add the 'travis build status' badge to the top of our README.md file to show all comers we use travis-ci to test our project and show build status:

[![build status](https://secure.travis-ci.org/zzo/baseapp.png)](http://travis-ci.org/zzo/baseapp)

Don't freak out at the markdown syntax, we are just enclosing an image (baseapp.png) with a link to the baseapp travis-ci page.

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