Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This just in: Google releases Mox

...which is a YAPMOF (yet another Python mock object framework). Find it here, and read more about it here. I'll definitely check it out soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Zach and sugarbot going strong in Google SoC

Zach Riggle has made very strong progress with his Google SoC project, sugarbot. The goal of the project is to create a tool that runs and tests OLPC Sugar activities automatically. Zach needed a way to hook into the PyGTK code that Sugar is based on. After looking at various tools, he settled on kiwi. He managed to have sugarbot run as an activity inside Sugar, then launch any other activities that need to be tested. The test scripts are kept by an XML-RPC server that Zach wrote, and sugarbot-based clients get them from the server and run them. Just these last couple of days, Zach also managed to get the sugarbot activity launch automatically when the Sugar environment starts up.

You can see a screencast that Zach put together, as well as a list of his accomplishments so far, in this blog post. In the screencast, Zach shows how he automates the launching and testing of two Sugar activities, the Calculator and the Terminal. Very cool stuff.

It's been a pleasure mentoring Zach on his SoC project. He has already proven himself to possess strong software engineering skills, not only in programming, but also in designing complex pieces of software. I only had to provide minimal guidance to Zach, and he has been very receptive with all the advice I have given him. I liked the fact that he implemented an automated test suite for sugarbot, and he included it in a buildbot continuous integration process, only days after I suggested that to him. It has also been very satisfying to me as a mentor to see his progress as exemplified by his almost-daily blog posts. I believe he is the most active blogger on Planet SoC. Good job, Zach!