[lldb-dev] [llvm-dev] [cfe-dev] RFC: End-to-end testing

Philip Reames via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Sun Oct 13 15:59:22 PDT 2019

+1 to the points made here.  Renato very nicely explained the tradeoffs 

On 10/10/19 3:29 PM, Renato Golin via llvm-dev wrote:
> On Thu, 10 Oct 2019 at 22:26, David Greene <dag at cray.com> wrote:
>> That would be a shame.  Where is test-suite run right now?  Are there
>> bots?  How are regressions reported?
> There is no shame in making the test-suite better.
> We do have bots running them in full CI for multiple targets, yes.
> Regressions are reported and fixed. The benchmarks are also followed
> by a smaller crowd and regression on those are also fixed (but
> slower).
> I'm not proposing to move e2e off to a dark corner, I'm proposing to
> have a scaled testing strategy that can ramp up and down as needed,
> without upsetting the delicate CI and developer balance.
> Sure, e2e tests are important, but they need to catch bugs that the
> other tests don't catch, not being our front-line safety net.
> We planned doing incremental testing with buildbots for years and
> Apple has done something like that in their GreenBots. We have talked
> to move that upstream, but time spent in testing is really really
> scant.
> A few years back there was a big effort to clean up the LIT tests from
> duplicates and speed up inefficient code, and a lot of tests are
> removed. If we just add the e2e today and they never catch anything
> relevant, they'll be the next candidates to go.
> The delta that e2e can test is really important, but really small and
> fairly rare. So running it less frequent (every few dozen commits)
> will most likely be enough for anything we can possibly respond to
> upstream.
> My main point is that we need to be realistic with what we can do
> upstream, which is very different from which a big company can do
> downstream.
> Past experiences have, over and over, shown us that new shiny CI toys
> get rusty, noisy, and dumped.
> We want to have the tests, in a place anyone can test, that the bots
> *will* test periodically, and that don't annoy developers often enough
> to be a target.
> In a nutshell:
>   * We still need src2src tests, to ensure connection points (mainly
> IR) are canonical and generic, avoiding hidden contracts
>   * We want the end2end tests to *add* coverage, not overlap with or
> replace existing tests
>   * We don't want those tests to become a burden to developers by
> breaking on unrelated changes and making bots red for obscure reasons
>   * We don't want them to be a burden to our CI efforts, slowing down
> regular LIT testing and becoming a target for removal
> The orders of magnitude for number of commits we want to run tests are:
>   * LIT base, linker, compiler-RT, etc: ~1
>   * Test-suite correctness, end-2-end: ~10
>   * Multi-stage build, benchmarks: ~100
> We already have that ratio (somewhat) with buildbots, so it should be
> simple to add e2e to the test suite at the right scale.
>>> The last thing we want is to create direct paths from front-ends to
>>> back-ends and make LLVM IR transformation less flexible.
>> I'm not sure I follow.  Can you explain this a bit?
> Right, I had written a long paragraph about it but deleted in the
> final version of my email. :)
> The main point is that we want to avoid hidden contracts between the
> front-end and the back-end.
> We want to make sure all front-ends can produce canonical IR, and that
> the middle-end can optimise the IR and that the back-end can lower
> that to asm in a way that runs correctly on the target. As we have
> multiple back-ends and are soon to have a second official front-end,
> we want to make sure we have good coverage on the multi-step tests
> (AST to IR, IR to asm, etc).
> If we add e2e tests that are not covered by piece-wise tests, we risk
> losing that clarity.
> I think e2e tests have to expose more complex issues, like front-end
> changes, pass manager order, optimisation levels, linking issues, etc.
> They can check for asm, run on the target, or both. In the test-suite
> we have more budget to do a more complete job at it than in LIT
> check-all.
> Hope this helps.
> cheers,
> --renato
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