Testing Prototype with Firefox 3

In the first follow-up to my previous post, on Future-Proofing JavaScript Libraries, I bring you instructions on testing Prototype against the latest alpha builds of Firefox 3!

(Soon, this will be integrated straight into the Mozilla test system, but I needed a good test system to start with, and Prototype is a good candidate to begin with; the Prototype team has been incredibly helpful. Thanks Tobie and Andrew!)

One aspect of the Mozilla test system (the one relevant to testing JavaScript libraries, and similar code) is based on the Mochikit Test Suite, with some heavy modifications.

How it works: All test files, from all projects, are grouped together into a single directory and served up by a temporary web server. A copy of Firefox is spawned, pointing to the local web server. Whenever a test file is run, the results are posted back to the server, which is then able to communicate the status of the tests to the rest of the Mozilla test process.

With that in mind, let’s set up Prototype to hook into that process.

Step 1) Check out Mozilla from CVS

Typical checkout:

cvs -d :pserver:[email protected]:/cvsroot co mozilla/client.mk
cd mozilla
make -f client.mk checkout MOZ_CO_PROJECT=browser

Note: Do everything but build the browser – we’ll be doing that in a later step.

Step 2) Check out Prototype

To start with, we’re going to be checking out the bleeding-edge copy of Prototype from SVN.

Make sure that you’re in the root Mozilla directory (typically called “mozilla” – you should see a “browser” folder in here, along with many others).

Run the following:

mkdir browser/prototype
cd browser/prototype
svn co http://svn.rubyonrails.org/rails/spinoffs/prototype/trunk .

These instructions also work for any particular version of Prototype (1.5.0 and newer). So, for example, you could checkout Prototype 1.5.1_rc1 by following the above, and changing the svn statement to:

svn co http://svn.rubyonrails.org/rails/spinoffs/prototype/tags/rel_1-5-1_rc1 .

The Prototype code doesn’t have to go in “browser” (in fact, the final location of the JavaScript libraries still has yet to be determined), but for now, this should be a suitable location to test from.

Step 3) Download the Test Suite Code

Borrowing some code from Robert Sayre‘s AJAX Framework Testing instructions, and adding in some Ruby/Rake goodness, we can now combine the Prototype Test Suite with the Mozilla build process.

Download the testing code here:

Make sure that you have ruby, ruby gems, rake, patch, and zip installed on your system. Once you’ve downloaded the file, and put it in the “browser/prototype” directory, complete the following:

Execute the following to add the testing code:

unzip proto-mozilla-0.1.zip
patch -u < Rakefile.patch
rake moztest

This code package provides the following:

  • Makefile.in The Makefile for the Prototype test suite. The Mozilla build system recognizes this file and realizes that it needs to attach into the build system and, specifically, run using the central Mochitest test suite that powers all browser-centric tests.
  • Rakefile.patch This patch adds three important new methods to the Prototype Rakefile (a build file for Ruby applications). moztest, which cleans up, builds Prototype, then builds the Mozilla-centric test suite code. moztest_clean, which cleans up any Mozilla test suite code that was generated. moztest_zip, which builds a zip file of the Mozilla test suite code.
  • test_Prototype.html, this is the central test suite file, through which all the other Prototype test files are run. Since the Prototype test suite doesn't know how to hook into the Mochitest core, this file helps to manage, and automate, that process.
  • mozilla/unittest-append.js, this is an addition to Prototype's test/lib/unittest.js code which overrides some of Prototype's test suite functionality, hooking it in to the Mozilla test suite system instead.
  • mozilla/AJAX_setup.js, mozilla/SimpleTest.js, mozilla/Mochikit_packed.js are the three core JavaScript files that run all the in-browser tests and report the results back to the managing web server (which is then reported by to the main Mozilla test system).

Step 4) Hook the Test Suite In

Now that we have all the appropriate files set up, the last step is to attach the Prototype test suite into the Mozilla build process. This can be done by editing "browser/Makefile.in", making the following change:

Change this line:

DIRS = base components locales themes app


DIRS = base components locales themes app prototype

Step 5) Build Mozilla

Finally, we can build a copy of Firefox. Make sure that you're in the root Mozilla directory, then run the following commands:

make -f client.mk build
perl firefox-objdir/_tests/testing/mochitest/runtests.pl

This will build a copy of Firefox, then run the Mochitest test suite (which the Prototype test suite has hooked in to). (Your copy of Mochitest may not be in firefox-objdir - this depends on how you configured your Mozilla system. If you do see it right there, be sure to do some poking around - it's bound to be somewhere close by.)

The Results

Once you've run the test suite you should see a browser pop up. You can now visit the follow URL to see the Prototype test suite run, automated, in the latest Firefox 3 nightly:

The results will, hopefully, look something like this:

If you have any questions, be sure to let me know, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Posted: March 19th, 2007

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