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Guide to the TextTest Static GUI
Examining and maintaining the test suites
How to start the Static GUI
The static GUI is started by default unless you specified otherwise in your config file. If you did, it can be started via the command line option "-gx".

The initial left window is a tree view of all the tests in the test suite. This view can be manipulated either with the mouse or via the Selection tab on the right: many actions apply to the currently selected tests.
If you select a test, the right window shows the files for that test and the textual description. The files can be double clicked to view them in a viewer, which is controlled by the “view_program” entry (by default, emacs on UNIX and notepad on Windows). Note this setting can be configured per file "type" as described here. In addition, you can use this view to create new files of either of the three types, use "Create File" from the popup menu and select the type of file you wish to create.
If the static GUI is started with no pre-existing test applications, or if the -new flag is given on the command line, you will initially be given a dialog to define a new application for TextTest to test. You can also do this later on by selecting "Add Application" from the Edit menu.
The static GUI can also be used to create new tests or test suites. By right-clicking a test suite, and selecting "Add Test" or "Add Suite" from the popup menu, you get a dialog that can be filled in and will result in a new test under the chosen suite.
Running Tests from the Static GUI
In order to run tests, you first need to select some tests to run. You can do this by single-clicking tests in the test window on the left. Use ctrl + left click to build up a multiple selection one test at a time, shift + left click to select everything between what is currently selected and the line clicked, ctrl + A to select everything. Alternatively, you can select tests according to search criteria using the “Select” button and “Selection” tab on the right (see below for details of what can be done).
At the top right is a tab called “Running” which will have three sub-tabs. The tabs “Basic” and “Advanced” can be used to configure a multitude of things about how the tests will be run. At the start the default options should be sufficient. (Note that the tabs are essentially a graphical representation of all command line options that can be given to the dynamic GUI. See the table which lists them all and describes what they do)
Once you are happy with these, press “Run” (on the toolbar or in one of the above tabs). This will start the dynamic GUI on the selected tests.
Selecting and filtering tests via search criteria: the static GUI “Selection” tab
On the right there is a “Selection” tab(it should be visible when you start TextTest). This provides a simple search mechanism for finding tests, useful when the test suite grows too large to always select comfortably which tests you want to run via the test tree view alone. When the “Select” button is pressed, all tests will be selected which fulfil all of the criteria specified by the text boxes in the “Select” tab. It follows that if no filters are provided and “Select” pressed, all tests will be selected.
Using the same criteria on the same tab, it is also possible to filter the tests, so that instead of selecting tests that match the criteria, TextTest will hide those that do not match the criteria. This is often useful when you want to work with a subset of the test suite for some time. In addition, the View menu contains actions to turn a selection into a filtering by hiding all tests that aren't currently selected.
The respective frames for selection and filtering contain various “modes” represented by radio buttons. These operate independently of each other. “Discard”, the default, will ignore the current selection or filtering. “Extend” will keep the current selection or filtering and add to it. “Refine” will match only tests that were already selected or shown and match the search criteria, while “Exclude” will match only test that were not already selected (and isn't currently implemented for filtering).
Note that the number of selected tests (and the total number of tests, and the number of hidden tests) is displayed in the column header of the test view at all times. The various selection criteria can also be tried out from the command line, using the plugin script “default.CountTest”.
Description of all test selection filters
The simplest filters focus on matching the names of tests and the test suites they are in. The “Test Names Containing” field (-t on the command line) will select all test cases which have the indicated text as a substring of their names. If instead a standard regular expression is used, all tests whose name matches that expression will be selected..
In a similar way, the “Test Paths Containing” field (-ts on the command line) provides a way to select tests based on their full path relative to the root, i.e. including all parent suite names. The components may be separated either with "/" or " ". As above, substrings and regular expression matching may also be used. This replaces the previous "Test Suites Containing" and can of course be used for that purpose also as the test suite full path is a substring of the test's full path.
Likewise it is possible to match on the name of the application, which can be useful if several different ones are loaded into the GUI at the same time, or also on the description of the test, using a similar substring/regular expression matching to that described above. This can also be done on the command line via "-a" and "-desc" respectively.
Sometimes test suites contain different tests depending on the version identifier. In this case, fill in the “Tests for Version” filter to select the tests applicable to a particular version. This is filled automatically if the static GUI is itself started with a version identifier. It is not generally useful to do this on the command line - simply running with a version will have the same effect.
You can also search for certain logged text in the result files. This is done via the “Test-files containing” filter (-grep on the command line). By default, this will search in the file identified by the “log_file” config file entry. If the “Test-file to search” filter is also provided (-grepfile on the command line), that file will be searched instead. This allows selecting all tests that exercise a certain part of the system's functionality, for example. Regular expressions may be used in the text string to search for, while UNIX-style file expansions may be used for the file name (note, these are different syntaxes!)
If system resource usage testing is enabled, you can select tests based on how much time they are expected to consume. By default this will use the total CPU time ("performance" files) but this can be configured via the "default_performance_stem" setting.
Selecting based on time is done via the “Execution Time” filter (-r on the command line). A single number will be interpreted as a maximum time to select. Two comma-separated numbers will be interpreted as a minimum and a maximum. All times are in minutes. In addition, you can use the format mm:ss, rather than needing to convert times into a fraction of a minute, and can also use the operators <,>,<= and >= to specify ranges of times to include.
Reusing such selections : “filter files”
Sometimes it may be useful to define such a subselection of the tests that you may wish to reuse. To do this, select “Save Selection” from the “File” menu, which brings up a file chooser dialog so you can choose a file to save in. Note it has two different options, allowing you to specify that either the exact tests currently selected are to be saved, or the criteria which were used to select them. Whichever, a new “filter file” is created, which can be selected again via “Load Selection” in the same menu, and also via the “Tests listed in file” tab under “Selection”.
The differences between the two variants become apparent when somebody tries to load this file. Loading an explicit list of tests will probably be faster than re-selecting them according to some criteria, but if new tests are added since the selection was saved, it will naturally not pick up these tests.
By default, the static GUI files will be saved in a directory called “filter_files” under the directory where your config file is. The dynamic GUI will save them in a temporary location which is removed when the static GUI is closed. These locations are used to generate the shortcut list for locations to search when doing "Load Selection" or "Save Selection" in the GUI, or filling in the “Tests listed in file” option, and are also those searched if -f is provided on the command line. These locations can be extended or replaced by defining the config file entry “filter_file_directory”.
These files may refer to each other, though you will need to create them by hand for this to happen. This can be used to combine stored selections into other selections, using the command-line options -funion,-fintersect and -finverse to create intersections,unions and inverses of selections specified in pre-existing filter files. In most cases these options will be most useful in other filter files, for example TextTest's self-tests contain a filter file called "gui" which contains the string "--funion static_gui,dynamic_gui".
It is also possible to define which tests to run by default based on such filter files. The config file setting "default_filter_file" will make sure that only the tests that match the criteria in the given file (found via the path mechanism described above) are included in the run. This is primarily useful for defining a version of the test suite. A closely related concept is also available in batch mode via the setting "batch_filter_file".
Refreshing the test suite from files
It's fairly common that the files in a test suite get changed outside of the static GUI, for example if they are version-controlled and you update them (which cannot be done from the GUI - yet...). As they are all plain text it is also easy to edit them in a text editor independently of the GUI. There is therefore a "refresh" action in the Actions menu, which will re-read the whole test suite, including the config file settings, from the files. It doesn't take account of which tests are selected so it isn't possible to refresh just individual tests right now.
Sorting the test suites
The order of the test suites is primarily defined by the testsuite.<app> files, unless automatic sorting is enabled (see the guide to files and directories) However, there are some quick ways to sort the tests after the fact. By simply clicking on the column header they can be sorted “transiently” (i.e. nothing is saved in any files and the sort is gone if you restart). You can also sort more permanently by selecting the various options from the Edit menu, which also contains various options for manual sorting by moving the selected tests up and down. These options are also avaiable via the “Re-order” submenu in the popup menu for the test window.
Note that by default, sorting a test suite does so recursively (i.e. all contained test suites will also be sorted). To disable this behaviour, set the config file entry “sort_test_suites_recursively” to 0.
Note that you can also simply edit the testsuite file via the file view, and re-ordering of the tests performed this way will show up in the GUI without needing to restart it.
Handling Dynamic GUI errors
Anything that is written on standard error by a dynamic GUI run will be placed in a popup dialog in the static GUI when the dynamic GUI is closed down. These usually indicate a bug in TextTest but they can also indicate environmental problems, for example GTK issues or shell startup problems. Hopefully these can usually be fixed but occasionally you end up with environmental issues that cannot easily be fixed.
These popups can therefore be suppressed if desired. Simply add a config file entry "suppress_stderr_text" followed by a substring or regular expression that matches the line that is being repeatedly printed. You can now (3.16 onwards) in fact write anything that you can use for "run_dependent_text" in this entry, which for example makes it easier to filter several lines at once. All lines that match these entries will be filtered out before displaying a dialog, and of course if no lines are left no dialog will be displayed.

Last updated: 05 October 2012