QA portal ideas

GSOC is coming back. We'll soon have to select some projects for CPython, and I'll probably suggest a few Distutils2 topics -- it's an endless project ;).

There's a project I want to start, a QA portal. I am not sure how this could fit in a GSOC proposal, but I think there could be some interest in the community.

I could definitely use such a tool for our Mozilla Services projects.

But let's face it: I have no time, and this is far too ambitious. But let me dream a bit...

Level 1 - PyPI Watcher

For level 1, the idea is to create a portal that subscribes to all PyPI events (registering or uploading of new releases) and creates a QA report on specific projects I want to watch. The idea is not new, and we had a student on this last year -- But the project was not finished.

Basically I want a website like PyPants, but with more ambitious features. Maybe a good idea would be to approach the PyPants creators and see if the project could be extended.

Some tests I'd like the portal to perform:
- run a real install of the project in a VM, and returns a report on how the system was impacted with a tool like SystemTap. The VM part is mainly to avoid any security issue when running third-party code. While I supposedly trust the projects I select, you never know. - try to detect and run the tests, along with a coverage report. - run the usual metrics (pep8, maccabe, pylint, etc)

Difficulties:
- The VM part is not that easy to set up and scale, but feasible with Amazon for instance - What about Windows ? -- dropping its support for now seems a good idea :D

Level 2 - Clone detection

The next stage I would like to see the project take is clone detection. Tools like CloneDigger allows to detect similarities in code. It will tell you for instance that function A is very similar to function B.

What I would want to see is an global index of clones. The users select a project as being the master project, and a list of dependencies or other projects. Then the portal will report any similar functions, methods or modules it found.

Difficulties:
- Set up the right thresholds in the algorithm that detects the clones. There could be a lot of back and forth here before the results make any sense. - Scaling it. For instance, while it would be easy with CloneDigger to keep for each project the cluster of statements (see doc), so you don't have to rebuild everything every time, we are still doing a comparison work that grows at a logarithmic speed. I am not sure how to deal with it but that's an interesting issue to solve.

Level 3 - ~~Hudson~~ Jenkins integration

Once we have a shiny Level 1+2 QA Portal, I'd like to see it integrated in Hudson somehow.

One idea would be to create two web services in the QA Portal, a Hudson plugin can call. One to ask for a fresh report generation, and one to get the result and display it in a dashboard etc.

I am not sure how Hudson deals with running tasks asynchronously though, but I am pretty sure this is doable.

Ok let's stop dreaming -- back to work ;)

Comments !