Lunch Talk

I have been working on a presentation for a lunch talk at work, on testing in JavaScript. I had been struggling with a framing and approach that appealed for such a complex subject. By trying to keep some kind of story in mind, really my own coming from testing older technologies, it finally clicked. Now I am excited to finish the slide deck, before it was hard to find the motivation.

Help Test the Next Version of flashbake

If you are a Mac user of flashbake and have had some troubles getting it to work correctly, especially but not limited to a cron job, please email me if you are willing to help test some fixes specifically for running the program on a Mac.

As near as I can figure out, the way I was invoking git from Python could run into problems with the execution path environment variable under OS X.  It is most noticeable when setting up a cron job on Leopard as that version of the OS mimics cron with its Mac specific launchd service.  It doesn’t seem to set up a full environment and just adding a PATH entry to the crontab still led to some difficulties in my own testing.

Generally, flashbake assumed git was installed and simply invokable when this may not have been the case.  I have added some code that on startup tries to find git and raises a clear error if it cannot be found.  I also switched the git calls to use Python’s subprocess module which gives me much more control over the execution environment.  In the forthcoming version, there will be a new option in the .flashbake file to provide the path to git if problems occur.

I have tested these fixes as much as I can on my own machines.  I have also sent off the pre-release to a few users who are on Macs and reported these problems.  If you want to help with testing and email me I will also send you a pre-release copy of version 0.24 with instructions for the new configuration option.  I’d like to get some more testing in before releasing this version generally to cut down or eliminate the rapid patches I have had to write for past versions when other users found issues my own testing failed to reveal.