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

Robinson, Paul via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu Oct 17 08:28:10 PDT 2019

Renato wrote:
> If you want to do the test in Clang all the way to asm, you need to
> make sure the back-end is built. Clang is not always build with all
> back-ends, possibly even none.

This is no different than today. Many tests in Clang require a specific
target to exist. Grep clang/test for "registered-target" for example;
I get 577 hits.  Integration tests (here called "end-to-end" tests)
clearly need to specify their REQUIRES conditions correctly.

> To do that in the back-end, you'd have to rely on Clang being built,
> which is not always true.

A frontend-based test in the backend would be a layering violation.
Nobody is suggesting that.

> Hacking our test infrastructure to test different things when a
> combination of components is built, especially after they start to
> merge after being in a monorepo, will complicate tests and increase
> the likelihood that some tests will never be run by CI and bit rot.

Monorepo isn't the relevant thing.  It's all about the build config.

Any test introduced by any patch today is expected to be run by CI.
This expectation would not be any different for these integration tests.

> On the test-suite, you can guarantee that the whole toolchain is
> available: Front and back end of the compilers, assemblers (if
> necessary), linkers, libraries, etc.
> Writing a small source file per test, as you would in Clang/LLVM,
> running LIT and FileCheck, and *always* running it in the TS would be
> trivial.

I have to say, it's highly unusual for me to make a commit that
does *not* produce blame mail from some bot running lit tests.
Thankfully it's rare to get one that is actually my fault.

I can't remember *ever* getting blame mail related to test-suite.
Do they actually run?  Do they ever catch anything?  Do they ever
send blame mail?  I have to wonder about that.

Mehdi wrote:
> David Greene wrote:
>> Personally, I still find source-to-asm tests to be highly valuable and I
>> don't think we need test-suite for that.  Such tests don't (usually)
>> depend on system libraries (headers may occasionally be an issue but I
>> would argue that the test is too fragile in that case).
>> So maybe we separate concerns.  Use test-suite to do the kind of
>> system-level testing you've discussed but still allow some tests in a
>> monorepo top-level directory that test across components but don't
>> depend on system configurations.
>> If people really object to a top-level monorepo test directory I guess
>> they could go into test-suite but that makes it much more cumbersome to
>> run what really should be very simple tests.
> The main thing I see that will justify push-back on such test is the
> maintenance: you need to convince everyone that every component in LLVM
> must also maintain (update, fix, etc.) the tests that are in other
> components (clang, flang, other future subproject, etc.). Changing the
> vectorizer in the middle-end may require now to understand the kind of
> update a test written in Fortran (or Haskell?) is checking with some
> Hexagon assembly. This is a non-trivial burden when you compute the
> full matrix of possible frontend and backends.

So how is this different from today?  If I put in a patch that breaks
Hexagon, or compiler-rt, or LLDB, none of which I really understand...
or omg Chrome, which isn't even an LLVM project... it's still my job to 
fix whatever is broken.  If it's some component where I am genuinely
clueless, I'm expected to ask for help.  Integration tests would not be 
any different.  

Flaky or fragile tests that constantly break for no good reason would
need to be replaced or made more robust.  Again this is no different
from any other flaky or fragile test.

I can understand people being worried that because an integration test
depends on more components, it has a wider "surface area" of potential
breakage points.  This, I claim, is exactly the *value* of such tests.
And I see them breaking primarily under two conditions.

1) Something is broken that causes other component-level failures.
   Fixing that component-level problem will likely fix the integration
   test as well; or, the integration test must be fixed the same way
   as the component-level tests.

2) Something is broken that does *not* cause other component-level
   failures.  That's exactly what integration tests are for!  They
   verify *interactions* that are hard or maybe impossible to test in
   a component-level way.

The worry I'm hearing is about a third category:

3) Integration tests fail due to fragility or overly-specific checks.

...which should be addressed in exactly the same way as our overly
fragile or overly specific component-level tests.  Is there some
reason they wouldn't be?


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