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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Documentation: kunit: Add naming guidelines
On Thu, 27 Aug 2020 at 18:17, David Gow <> wrote:
> > First of all, thanks for the talk yesterday! I only looked at this
> > because somebody pasted the LKML link. :-)
> No worries! Clearly this document needed linking -- even I was
> starting to suspect the reason no-one was complaining about this was
> that no-one had read it. :-)
> >
> > While I guess this ship has sailed, and *_kunit.c is the naming
> > convention now, I hope this is still just a recommendation and names of
> > the form *-test.c are not banned!
> The ship hasn't technically sailed until this patch is actually
> accepted. Thus far, we hadn't had any real complaints about the
> _kunit.c idea, though that may have been due to this email not
> reaching enough people. If you haven't read the discussion in
> it's worthwhile: the _kunit.c name is discussed, and Kees lays out
> some more detailed rationale for it as well.

Thanks, I can see the rationale. AFAIK the main concern was "it does
not distinguish it from other tests".

> > $> git grep 'KUNIT.*-test.o'
> > drivers/base/power/Makefile:obj-$(CONFIG_PM_QOS_KUNIT_TEST) += qos-test.o
> > drivers/base/test/Makefile:obj-$(CONFIG_KUNIT_DRIVER_PE_TEST) += property-entry-test.o
> > fs/ext4/Makefile:obj-$(CONFIG_EXT4_KUNIT_TESTS) += ext4-inode-test.o
> > kernel/Makefile:obj-$(CONFIG_SYSCTL_KUNIT_TEST) += sysctl-test.o
> > lib/Makefile:obj-$(CONFIG_LIST_KUNIT_TEST) += list-test.o
> > lib/kunit/Makefile:obj-$(CONFIG_KUNIT_TEST) += kunit-test.o
> > lib/kunit/Makefile:obj-$(CONFIG_KUNIT_TEST) += string-stream-test.o
> > lib/kunit/Makefile:obj-$(CONFIG_KUNIT_EXAMPLE_TEST) += kunit-example-test.o
> >
> > $> git grep 'KUNIT.*_kunit.o'
> > # Returns nothing
> >
> This was definitely something we noted. Part of the goal of having
> _kunit.c as a filename suffix (and, perhaps more importantly, the
> _kunit module name suffix) was to have a way of both distinguishing
> KUnit tests from non-KUnit ones (of which there are quite a few
> already with -test names), and to have a way of quickly determining
> what modules contain KUnit tests. That really only works if everyone
> is using it, so the plan was to push this as much as possible. This'd
> probably include renaming most of the existing test files to match,
> which is a bit of a pain (particularly when converting non-KUnit tests
> to KUnit and similar), but is a one-time thing.

Feel free to ignore the below, but here might be one concern:

I think the problem of distinguishing KUnit tests from non-KUnit tests
is a technical problem (in fact, the Kconfig entries have all the info
we need), but a solution that sacrifices readability might cause
unnecessary friction.

The main issue I foresee is that the _kunit.c name is opaque as to
what the file does, but merely indicates one of its dependencies. Most
of us clearly know that KUnit is a test framework, but it's a level of
indirection nevertheless. (But _kunit_test.c is also bad, because it's
unnecessarily long.) For a dozen tests, that's probably still fine.
But now imagine 100s of tests, people will quickly wonder "what's this
_kunit thing?". And if KUnit tests are eventually the dominant tests,
does it still matter?

I worry that because of the difficulty of enforcing the name, choosing
something unintuitive will also achieve the opposite result:
proliferation of even more diverse names. A generic convention like
"*-test.c" will be close enough to what's intuitive for most people,
and we might actually have a chance of getting everyone to stick to

The problem of identifying all KUnit tests can be solved with a script.

> > Just an idea: Maybe the names are also an opportunity to distinguish
> > real _unit_ style tests and then the rarer integration-style tests. I
> > personally prefer using the more generic *-test.c, at least for the
> > integration-style tests I've been working on (KUnit is still incredibly
> > valuable for integration-style tests, because otherwise I'd have to roll
> > my own poor-man's version of KUnit, so thank you!). Using *_kunit.c for
> > such tests is unintuitive, because the word "unit" hints at "unit tests"
> > -- and having descriptive (and not misleading) filenames is still
> > important. So I hope you won't mind if *-test.c are still used where
> > appropriate.
> As Brendan alluded to in the talk, the popularity of KUnit for these
> integration-style tests came as something of a surprise (more due to
> our lack of imagination than anything else, I suspect). It's great
> that it's working, though: I don't think anyone wants the world filled
> with more single-use test "frameworks" than is necessary!
> I guess the interesting thing to note is that we've to date not really
> made a distinction between KUnit the framework and the suite of all
> KUnit tests. Maybe having a separate file/module naming scheme could
> be a way of making that distinction, though it'd really only appear
> when loading tests as modules -- there'd be no indication in e.g.,
> suite names or test results. The more obvious solution to me (at
> least, based on the current proposal) would be to have "integration"
> or similar be part of the suite name (and hence the filename, so
> _integration_kunit.c or similar), though even I admit that that's much
> uglier.

Yeah, that's not great either. Again, in the end it's probably
entirely up to you, but it'd be good if the filenames are descriptive
and readable (vs. a puzzle).

> Maybe the idea of having the subsystem/suite distinction be
> represented in the code could pave the way to having different suites
> support different suffixes like that.

> Do you know of any cases where something has/would have both
> unit-style tests and integration-style tests built with KUnit where
> the distinction needs to be clear?

None I know of, so probably not a big deal.

> Brendan, Kees: do you have any thoughts?

> Cheers,
> -- David

-- Marco

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