Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Changes to Cabal Command-Line Interface

Configuring and Building

In the configure stage, Cabal will have to recognize the --{en,dis}able-tests options. With tests disabled, the Test sections can be ignored entirely, but with tests enabled, Cabal will need to generate stub executables and do dependency resolution for the Test sections and any stubs.

During the build stage, Cabal will build any test suite executables, test suite libraries, and stub executables. Test suite libraries and executables may depend on the library exported by the package (if any), and therefore must be built after the rest of the package's contents.

Running Tests

The test stage can be invoked by the command cabal test. If the name of a test suite is supplied, then only that test suite will be run. Otherwise, all test suites named in the package description file will be run. For shell-type test suites, Cabal will run the test suite executable, collecting any output and the exit code, and report these to the user, indicating the success or failure of the test suite. For library-type test suites, Cabal will run the stub executable linked to the test suite library which will run each test in the suite and report on the individual results.

Library-type test suites may also be invoked by external agents. In this case, the method of invocation will depend on the test agent. The test agent will be responsible for generating and compiling a stub executable. The behavior of this executable will also be agent-specific, allowing for functionality to be extended beyond what Cabal's basic test runner will support. The choice of test agent is left to the user and the use of one external test agent will not prevent the use of Cabal's basic test runner or of other external agents.

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