[tbot] Next steps

Stefano Babic sbabic at denx.de
Wed Jan 16 11:31:21 UTC 2019

Hi Harald,

On 16/01/19 11:01, Harald Seiler wrote:
> Hello!
> I want to ask for some input on the priorities of the following
> features.  Which of the following features/changes would you need
> the most?
> ## Documentation Generation
>    ------------------------
> Old tbot had this feature and I definitely want it in new tbot as well.
> The basic idea is the following:  A generator that takes a test-run's logfile
> and a 'template' and uses these to generate a pdf documenting the process
> of reproducing the results.  The usecase is for example automatically generating
> documentation for board bringup.

Just my two cents: this has a high priority. The JSON log file is nice
but unreadable for customers. I fully agree with your approach.

I would also like to have an automatic "performance" output, as the log
contains the time.

For target output separated by "\n", it would be nice to have the
related timestamp. Or atr least, let tbot to record this if requested.

Now I see for example:

"time": 3.7857260500022676,
   "data": {
     "output": "Trying\nConnected to
raspbx.fritz.box.\nEscape character is '^]'.\n\nser2net port 2014 device
/dev/ttyUSB14 [115200 N81] (Debian   GNU/Linux)\n\n\u0000\nU-Boot SPL
2016.05-00276-g176c732-dirty (Jun 21 2016 - 20:04:29)\nBoot device
1\nTrying to boot from MMC1\nmmc_load_image_raw_sector: mmc     block
read error\n ** ext4fs_devread read error - block\nFailed to mount ext2
filesystem...\nspl_load_image_ext: ext4fs mount err - 0\n\nU-Boot SPL
2016.05-00276-  g176c732-dirty (Jun 21 2016 - 20:04:29)\nBoot device
1\nTrying to boot from MMC1\nmmc_load_image_raw_sector: mmc block read
error\n** Can't read partition table    on 0:0 **\nspl

But it would be nice to know how much time is elapsed for each output
sent from the hardware to find bottlenecks, similar to the "grabserial"
tool (this is also a small python script).

I would also record something like:

[timestamp] U-Boot 2018.07 (Nov 19 2018 - 23:01:09 +0000)

[timestamp] CPU:   Freescale i.MX6Q rev1.5 996 MHz (running at 792 MHz)
[timestamp] CPU:   Automotive temperature grade (-40C to 125C) at 25C
[timestamp] Reset cause: WDOG
[timestamp] I2C:   ready
[timestamp] DRAM:  1 GiB
[timestamp] NAND:  1024 MiB
[timestamp] MMC:   FSL_SDHC: 0

This helps to measure boottime instead of dropping tbot and using other

> ## Refactored Configuration
>    ------------------------
> Currently tbot takes two config files, one with `-l` and one with `-b`.
> The new system would only have one parameter `-c` which can be specified
> multiple times.  Each config file can then specify any of
> 	* LAB
> 	* BOARD
> 	* UBOOT
> 	* LINUX
> .  tbot will read the files in order and for each of the names takes
> the last one that was defined.
>    This would allow a more modularized config approach which (hopefully)
> makes sharing configs easier.

IMHO it is very important to have orthogonal configuration. If this is a
way to do this, nice. A board configuration file (even if small) should
not depend on lab setup, and so on. My goal remains to have a unmodified
board file and to test the target again in another lab, just passing the
new lab configuration to tbot.

> ## JTAG Debugger Integration
>    -------------------------
> New machine flavors for eg. BDI debuggers.

I will this on a lower priority for now. It is maybe important to show a
way to do this and contribution can be done by users.

> ## More Documentation
>    ------------------
> Right now, the docs are pretty lacking, especially for onboarding and
> getting started with tbot.  This has to change sooner rather than later
> but might not be the biggest prio right now ... You decide!
>    Another point to include here is "marketing":  I got feedback that
> while the docs provide a reference, there is way to little explanation
> what tbot is actually useful for.  "Why should I even use tbot?" The
> reason I haven't written much about this is, to be quite honest:  I am
> not yet sure.  Right now people are experimenting what tbot is good at,
> where it is still lacking, or where it might not the right choice
> at all.  I need some input here ... Tell me what you think!

What is really missing is a database of test cases and / or boards.
Users could check into the test cases instead of documentation. There is
no test cases at all, the exceptions are interactive_uboot and

What I strongly recommend is to set up a repo (outside tbot core) where
test cases can be stored and sorted, like


and so on. Even the most simple use cases are missing, like "test and
report U-Boot version" or "test and report kernel version".

> ## Refactored Build-System
>    -----------------------
> As I previously mentioned, the current build testcases are not really
> in a state that is fun to use.  Before making them more feature rich
> there should be an overhaul of the design.
> ## More builtin Testcases
>    ----------------------
> Right now, there are about 5 testcases included with tbot (not counting
> selftests).  While I don't want to stick every possible testcase into
> tbot core, there should definitely be a few more.  For example a testcase
> to build linux or to run U-Boot's test/py.

I tend to let tbot "core" thin and to push testcases in a separate (not
tbot-denx) repo. This supposes that testcases are general enough, like
interactive_* are, see above.

> ## Examples
>    --------
> While the docs contain some code scattered about, there is no official
> working demo yet.  I think such a repo would help beginners a lot with
> understanding the basics of tbot.
> ## DENX Internal: CI
>    -----------------
> New tbot should run in a CI for all our hardware at some point.  This needs
> to be set up so you can add your CI testcases. (Discussion about this should
> probably be moved to the internal ML, especially security considerations)
> If there is anything I missed, please mention that as well!


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