Change Log


Use the issue tracker if you want to report a bug or feature request in the PySys test framework. For how-tos and advice, ask a question.

What’s new in 1.6.1

PySys 1.6.1 was released in August 2020 and contains fixes for some edge cases regarding allocation of TCP ports when running on GitHub(R) Actions:

  • Improved detection of the server (non-ephemeral/dynamic) port range on Windows(R) as used by BaseTest.getNextAvailableTCPPort(). This was previously incorrect on recent Windows versions leading to potential clashes with ephemeral/dynamic/local ports or an insufficient pool of server ports. In addition, a warning is now logged if a machine is configured with no ports available for starting server processes, and falls back to using the IANA server port range in this case. If you get this warning on Windows you can it by reconfiguring your system (e.g. netsh int ipv4 set dynamicportrange tcp ...) or if that’s not possible, by setting the PYSYS_PORTS environment variable.

  • Fixed a BaseTest.waitForSocket() bug on macOS(R) in which the wait never succeeds although the socket is listening.

  • Reduced the TIMEOUTS['WaitForAvailableTCPPort'] constant from 20 minutes to 5 minutes since a properly configured system should not spend significant amounts of time waiting for ports and it is better to know sooner if the port pool is exhausted.

What’s new in 1.6.0

PySys 1.6.0 was released in August 2020.

The significant new features of PySys 1.6.0 are grouped around a few themes:

  • a new “plugins” concept to encourage a more modular style when sharing functionality between tests;

  • easier validation with the new BaseTest.assertThatGrep() method, which extracts a value using a grep expression and then checks its value is as expected. For extract-and-assert use cases this approach gives much clearer messages when the assert fails than using assertGrep;

  • new writers for recording test results, including GitHub(R) Actions support and a writer that produces .zip archives of test output directories, plus new APIs to allow writers to publish artifacts, and to visit each of the test’s output files;

  • a library of line mappers for more powerful copy and grep line pre-processing;

  • process starting enhancements such as BaseTest.waitForBackgroundProcesses(), automatic logging of stderr when a process fails, and BaseTest.waitForGrep() can now abort based on error messages in a different file;

  • several and project configuration enhancements that make running and configuring PySys easier.

  • a new “getting started” sample project which can be easily forked from GitHub(R) to create new PySys-based projects. The sample also demonstrates common techniques and best practices for writing tests in PySys.

As this is a major release of PySys there are also some changes in this release that may require changes to your project configuration file and/or runner/basetest/writer framework extension classes you’ve written (though in most cases it won’t be necessary to change individual tests). These breaking changes are either to reduce the chance of errors going undetected, or to support bug fixes and implementation simplification. So be sure to look at the upgrade guide below if you want to switch an existing project to use the new version.

New Plugin API

This release introduces a new concept: test and runner “plugins” which provide shared functionality available for use in testcases.

Existing users will be familiar with the pattern of creating one or more BaseTest framework subclasses to provide a convenient place for functionality needed by many tests, such as launching the applications you’re testing, or starting compilation or deployment tools. This traditional approach of using inheritance to share functionality does have some merits, but in many projects it can lead to unhelpful complexity because:

  1. it’s not always clear what functionality is provided by your custom subclasses rather than by PySys itself (which makes it hard to know which documentation to look at)

  2. there is no automatic namespacing to prevent custom functionality clashing with methods PySys may add in future

  3. sometimes a test needs functionality from more than one base class, and it’s easy to get multiple inheritance wrong

  4. none of this really lends itself well to third parties implementing and distributing additional PySys capabilities to support additional tools/languages etc

So, in this release we introduce the concept of “plugins” which use composition rather than inheritance to provide a simpler way to share functionality across tests. There are currently 3 kinds of plugin:

  • test plugins; instances of test plugins are created for each BaseTest that is instantiated, which allows them to operate independently of other tests, starting and stopping processes just like code in the BaseTest class would. Test plugins are configured with <test-plugin classname="..." alias="..."/> and can be any Python class provided it has a method setup(self, testobj) (and no constructor arguments). As the plugins are instantiated just after the BaseTest subclass, you can use them any time after (but not within) your test’s __init__() constructor (for example, in BaseTest.setup()).

  • runner plugins; these are instantiated just once per invocation of PySys, by the BaseRunner, before pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner.setup() is called. Unlike test plugins, any processes or state they maintain are shared across all tests. These can be used to start servers/VMs that are shared across tests. Runner plugins are configured with <runner-plugin classname="..." alias="..."/> and can be any Python class provided it has a method setup(self, runner) (and no constructor arguments).

  • writer plugins: this kind of plugin has existed in PySys for many releases and are effectively a special kind of runner plugin with extra callbacks to allow them to write test results and/or output files to a variety of destinations. Writers must implement a similar but different interface to other runner plugins; see pysys.writer for details. They can be used for everything from writing test outcome to an XML file, to archiving output files, to collecting files from each test output and using them to generate a code coverage report during cleanup at the end of the run.

A test plugin could look like this:

class MyTestPlugin(object):
        myPluginProperty = 'default value'
        Example of a plugin configuration property. The value for this plugin instance can be overridden using ``<property .../>``.
        Types such as boolean/list[str]/int/float will be automatically converted from string.

        def setup(self, testObj):
                self.owner = self.testObj = testObj
                self.log = logging.getLogger('pysys.myorg.MyRunnerPlugin')
      'Created MyTestPlugin instance with myPluginProperty=%s', self.myPluginProperty)


        def __myPluginCleanup(self):
      'Cleaning up MyTestPlugin instance')

        # An example of providing a method that can be accessed from each test
        def getPythonVersion(self):
                self.owner.startProcess(sys.executable, arguments=['--version'], stdouterr='MyTestPlugin.pythonVersion')
                return self.owner.waitForGrep('MyTestPlugin.pythonVersion.out', '(?P<output>.+)')['output'].strip()

With configuration like this:

        <test-plugin classname="myorg.testplugin.MyTestPlugin" alias="myalias"/>

… you can now access methods defined by the plugin from your tests using self.myalias.getPythonVersion().

You can add any number of test and/or runner plugins to your project, perhaps a mixture of custom plugins specific to your application, and third party PySys plugins supporting standard tools and languages.

In addition to the alias-based lookup, plugins can get a list of the other plugin instances added through the XML using self.testPlugins (from BaseTest) or self.runnerPlugins (from pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner), which provides a way for plugins to reference each other without depending on the aliases that may be in use in a particular project configuration.

For examples of the project configuration, including how to set plugin-specific properties that will be passed to its constructor, see the sample pysysproject.xml file.

New and improved result writers

  • Added pysys.writer.testoutput.TestOutputArchiveWriter that creates zip archives of each failed test’s output directory, producing artifacts that could be uploaded to a CI system or file share to allow the failures to be analysed. Properties are provided to allow detailed control of the maximum number and size of archives generated, and the files to include/exclude.

  • Added which if added to your pysysproject.xml will automatically enable various features when run from GitHub(R) Actions including annotations summarizing failures, grouping/folding of detailed test output, and setting output variables for published artifacts (e.g. performance .csv files, archived test output etc) which can be used to upload the artifacts when present.

    See for an example workflow file you can copy into your own project.

    This uses the new pysys.writer.api.TestOutcomeSummaryGenerator mix-in class that can be used when implementing CI writers to get a summary of test outcomes.

  • Added pysys.writer.api.ArtifactPublisher interface which can be implemented by writers that support some concept of artifact publishing, for example CI providers that ‘upload’ artifacts. Artifacts are published by various pysys.utils.perfreporter.CSVPerformanceReporter and various writers including pysys.writer.testoutput.TestOutputArchiveWriter.

  • Added pysys.writer.testoutput.CollectTestOutputWriter which supercedes the collect-test-output feature, providing a more powerful way to collect files of interest (e.g. performance graphs, code coverage files, etc) from all tests and collate them into a single directory and optionally a .zip archive. This uses the new pysys.writer.api.TestOutputVisitor writer interface which can be implemented by writers that wish to visit each (non-zero) file in the test output directory after each test.

    The CollectTestOutputWriter can be used standalone, or as a base class for writers that collect a particular kind of file (e.g. code coverage) and then do something with it during the runner cleanup phase when all tests have completed.

  • Moved Python code coverage generation out to pysys.writer.testoutput.PythonCoverageWriter as an example of how to plugin code coverage support without subclassing the runner. Existing projects use this behind the scenes, but new projects should add the writer to their configuration explicitly if they need it (see sample project).

  • Added pysys.writer.console.ConsoleFailureAnnotationsWriter that prints a single annotation line to stdout for each test failure, for the benefit of IDEs and CI providers that can highlight failures found by regular expression stdout parsing. An instance of this writer is automatically added to every project, and enables itself if the PYSYS_CONSOLE_FAILURE_ANNOTATIONS environment variable is set, producing make-style console output:

    C:\project\test\MyTest_001\ error: TIMED OUT - Reason for timed out outcome is general tardiness (MyTest_001 [CYCLE 02])

    The format can be customized using the PYSYS_CONSOLE_FAILURE_ANNOTATIONS environment variable, or alternatively additional instances can be added to the project writers configuration and configured using the properties described in the writer class.

  • Added a runDetails dictionary to pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner. This is a dictionary of string metadata about this test run, and is included in performance summary CSV reports and by some writers. The console summary writer logs the runDetails when executing 2 or more tests.

    The default runDetails contains a few standard values (currently these include outDirName, hostname, os and startTime). Additional items can be added by runner subclasses in the pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner.setup() method - for example you could add the build number of your application (perhaps read using pysys.utils.fileutils.loadProperties()).

    If you had previously created a custom pysys.utils.perfreporter.CSVPerformanceReporter.getRunDetails() method it is recommended to remove it and instead provide the same information in the runner runDetails.

  • Added property versionControlGetCommitCommand which if set results in the specified command line being executed (in the testRootDir) when the test run starts and used to populate the vcsCommit key in the runner’s runDetails with a commit/revision number from your version control system. This is a convenient way to ensure writers and performance reports include the version of the application you’re testing with.

There are also some more minor enhancements to the writers:

  • The pysys.writer module has been split up into separate submodules. However the writers module imports all symbols from the new submodules, so no change is required in your code or projects that reference pysys.writer.XXX classes.

  • Added pysys.writer.console.ConsoleSummaryResultsWriter property for showTestTitle (default=False) as sometimes seeing the titles of tests can be helpful when triaging results. There is also a new showTestDir which allows the testDir to be displayed in addition to the output dir in cases where the output dir is not located underneath the test dir (due to –outdir). Also changed the defaults for some other properties to showOutcomeReason=True and showOutputDir=True, which are recommended for better visibility into why tests failed. They can be disabled if desired in the project configuration.

  • Added a summary of INSPECT and NOTVERIFIED outcomes at the end of test execution (similar to the existing failures summary), since often these outcomes do require human attention. This can be disabled using the properties on pysys.writer.console.ConsoleSummaryResultsWriter if desired.

  • Added pysys.utils.logutils.stripANSIEscapeCodes() which can be used to remove ANSI escape codes such as console color instructions from the runLogOutput= parameter of a custom writer (pysys.writer.api.BaseResultsWriter), since usually you wouldn’t want these if writing the output to a file.

More powerful copy and line mapping

Manipulating the contents of text files is a very common task in system tests, and this version of PySys has several improvements that make this easier:

  • PySys now comes with some predefined mappers for common pre-processing tasks such as selecting multiple lines of interest between two regular expressions, and stripping out timestamps and other regular expressions.

    These can be found in the new pysys.mappers module and are particularly useful when using BaseTest.copy() to pre-process a file before calling BaseTest.assertDiff to compare it to a reference file. For example:

    self.assertDiff(self.copy('myfile.txt', 'myfile-processed.txt', mappers=[
             pysys.mappers.IncludeLinesBetween('Error message .*:', stopBefore='^$'),
             pysys.mappers.RegexReplace(pysys.mappers.RegexReplace.DATETIME_REGEX, '<timestamp>'),

    (Note that for convenience we use the fact that copy() returns the destination path to allow passing it directly as the first file for assertDiff to work on).

  • BaseTest.assertGrep has a new mappers= argument that can be used to pre-process the lines of a file before grepping using any mapper function. The main use of this is to allow grepping within a range of lines, as defined by the pysys.mappers.IncludeLinesBetween mapper:

    self.assertGrep('example.log', expr=r'MyClass', mappers=[
         pysys.mappers.IncludeLinesBetween('Error message.* - stack trace is:', stopBefore='^$') ])

    This is more reliable than trying to achieve the same effect with BaseTest.assertOrderedGrep (which can give incorrect results if the section markers appear more than once in the file). Therefore, in most cases it’s best to avoid assertOrderedGrep() and instead try to use BaseTest.assertDiff or BaseTest.assertGrep.

  • BaseTest.waitForGrep and BaseTest.getExprFromFile also now support a mappers= argument.

  • When used from BaseTest.copy there is also support for line mappers to be notified when starting/finishing a new file, which allows for complex and stateful transformation of file contents based on file types/path if needed.

  • BaseTest.copy can now be used to copy directories in addition to individual files.

    It is recommended to use this method instead of shutil.copytree as it provides a number of benefits including better error safety, long path support, and the ability to copy over an existing directory.

  • BaseTest.copy now permits the source and destination to be the same (except for directory copies) which allows it to be used for in-place transformations.

  • BaseTest.copy now copies all file attributes including date/time, not just the Unix permissions/mode.

Assertion improvements

  • Added BaseTest.assertThatGrep() which makes it easier to do the common operation of extracting a value using grep and then performing a validation on it using BaseTest.assertThat.

    This is essentially a simplified wrapper around the functionality added in 1.5.1, but avoids the need for slightly complex syntax and hopefully will encourage people to use the extract-then-assert paradigm rather than trying to do them both at the same time with a single BaseTest.assertGrep which is less powerful and produces much less informative messages when there’s a failure.

    The new method is very easy to use:

    self.assertThatGrep('myserver.log', r'Successfully authenticated user "([^"]*)"',
        "value == expected", expected='myuser')
    # In cases where you need multiple regex groups for matching purpose, name the one containing the value using (?P<value>...)
    self.assertThatGrep('myserver.log', r'Successfully authenticated user "([^"]*)" in (?P<value>[^ ]+) seconds',
        "0.0 <= float(value) <= 60.0")
  • All assertion methods that have the (deprecated and unnecessary) filedir as their second positional (non-keyword) argument now support the more natural pattern of giving the expr/exprList as the second positional argument, so instead of doing self.assertGrep('file', expr='Foo.*') you can also now use the more natural self.assertGrep('file', 'Foo.*'). For compatibility with existing testcases, the old signature of self.assertGrep('file', 'filedir', [expr=]'expr') continues to behave as before, but the recommended usage in new tests is now to avoid all use of filedir as a positional argument for consistency and readability. (If you need to set the filedir, you can use the keyword argument or just add it as a prefix to the file argument).

Simpler process handling

  • BaseTest.startProcess() now logs the last few lines of stderr before aborting the test when a process fails. This behaviour can be customized with a new onError= parameter:

    # Log stdout instead of stderr
    self.startProcess(..., onError=lambda process: self.logFileContents(process.stdout, tail=True))
    # Unless stderr is empty, log it and then use it to extract an error message (which will appear in the outcome reason)
    self.startProcess(..., onError=lambda process: self.logFileContents(process.stderr, tail=True) and self.getExprFromFile(process.stderr, 'Error: (.*)')
    # Do nothing on error
    self.startProcess(..., onError=lambda process: None)
  • BaseTest.waitForGrep has a new optional errorIf= parameter that accepts a function which can trigger an abort if it detects an error condition (not only in the file being waited on, as errorExpr= does). For example:

    self.waitForGrep('myoutput.txt', expr='My message', encoding='utf-8',
      process=myprocess, errorIf=lambda: self.getExprFromFile('myprocess.log', ' ERROR .*', returnNoneIfMissing=True))
  • BaseTest.waitProcess() now has a checkExitStatus= argument that can be used to check the return code of the process for success.

  • Added BaseTest.waitForBackgroundProcesses() which waits for completion of all background processes and optionally checks for the expected exit status. This is especially useful when you have a test that needs to execute lots of processes but doesn’t care about the order they execute in, since having them all execute concurrently in the background and then calling waitForBackgroundProcesses() will be a lot quicker than executing them serially in the foreground.

  • Added a way to set global defaults for environment variables that will be used by BaseTest.startProcess(), using project properties. For example, to set the JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS environment variable that Java(R) uses for JVM arguments:

    <property name="defaultEnvirons.JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS" value="-Xmx512M"/>

    When you want to set environment variables globally to affect all processes in all tests, this is simpler than providing a custom override of BaseTest.getDefaultEnvirons().

  • BaseTest.startProcess() now accepts an info={} argument which can hold a dictionary of user-defined metadata about the process such as port numbers, log file paths etc. and project configuration improvements

  • Added environment variable PYSYS_DEFAULT_ARGS which can be used to specify default arguments that the current user/machine should use with pysys run, to avoid the need to explicitly provide them on the command line each time, for example:

    PYSYS_DEFAULT_ARGS=--progress --outdir __pysys_outdir run
  • The sample project file and project defaults introduce a new naming convention of __pysys_* for output directories and files created by PySys (for example, by writers). This helps avoid outputs getting mixed up with testcase directories and also allows for easier ignore rules for version control systems.

  • Added command line option -j as an alias for --threads (to control the number of jobs/threads). The old command line option -n continues to work, but -j is the main short name that’s documented for it. As an alternative to specifying an absolute number of threads, a multiplier of the number of cores in the machine can be provided e.g. -j x1.5. This could be useful in CI and other automated testing environments. Finally, if only one test is selected it will single-threaded regardless of the --threads argument.

  • Added support for including Python log messages for categories other than pysys.* in the PySys test output, using a “python:” prefix on the category name, e.g.:

    pysys run -v python:myorg.mycategory=debug
  • Added pysys run --ci option which automatically sets the best defaults for non-interactive execution of PySys to make it easier to run in CI jobs. See pysys run --help for more information.

  • Added convention of having a -XcodeCoverage command line option that enables coverage for all supported languages. You may wish to add support for this is you have a plugin providing support for a different language.

  • Added a standard property ${os} to the project file for finer-grained control of platform-specific properties. The new ${os} property gets its value from Python’s platform.system().lower(), and has values such as windows, linux, darwin, etc. For comparison the existing ${osfamily} is always either windows or unix.

  • Added a standard property ${outDirName} to the project file which is the basename from the -outdir, giving a user-customizable “name” for the current test run that can be used in project property paths to keep test runs separate, for example, this could be used to label performance CSV files from separate test runs with --outdir perf_baseline and --outdir after_perf_improvements.

  • The standard project property testRootDir is now defined automatically without the need to add the boilerplate <property root="testRootDir"/> to your project configuration. The old property name root continues to be defined for compatibility with older projects.

  • When importing a properties file using <property file=... />" there are some new attributes available for controlling how the properties are imported: ``includes= and excludes= allow a regular expression to be specified to control which properties keys in the file will be imported, and prefix= allows a string prefix to be added onto every imported property, which provides namespacing so you know where each property came from and a way to ensure there is no clash with other properties.

  • Added a handler for notifications from Python’s ‘’warnings’’ module so that any warnings are logged to run.log with a stack trace (rather than just in stderr which is hard to track down). There is also a summary WARN log message at the end of the test run if any Python warnings were encountered. There is however no error so users can choose when and whether to deal with the warnings.

  • Colored output is disabled if the NO_COLOR environment variable is set; this is a cross-product standard ( The PYSYS_COLOR variable take precedence if set.

  • Code coverage can now be disabled automatically for tests where it is not wanted (e.g. performance tests) by adding the disableCoverage group to the pysystest.xml descriptor, or the pysysdirconfig.xml for a whole directory. This is equivalent to setting the self.disableCoverage attribute on the base test.

  • Python code coverage now produces an XML coverage.xml report in addition to the .coverage file and HTML report. This is useful for some code coverage UI/aggregation services.

  • The prefix “__” is now used for many files and directories PySys creates, to make it easier to spot which are generated artifacts rather than checked in files. You may want to add __pysys_* and possibly __coverage_* to your version control system’s ignore patterns so that paths created by the PySys runner and performance/writer log files don’t show up in your local changes.

Miscellaneous test API improvements

  • Added pysys.utils.fileutils.loadProperties() for reading .properties files, and pysys.utils.fileutils.loadJSON() for loading .json files.

  • BaseTest.logFileContents now has a global variable self.logFileContentsDefaultExcludes (default []) which it uses to specify the line exclusion regular expressions if no excludes=[...] is passed as a parameter. This provides a convenient way to filter out lines that you usually don’t care about at a global level (e.g. from a BaseTest.setup method shared by all tests), such as unimportant lines logged to stderr during startup of commonly used processes which would otherwise be logged by BaseTest.startProcess when a process fails to start.

  • Added BaseTest.disableLogging() for cases where you need to pause logging (e.g. while repeatedly polling) to avoid cluttering the run log.

  • Added pysys.xml.project.Project.getProperty() which is a convenient and safe way to get a project property of bool/int/float/list[str] type. Also added pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner.getXArg() which does the same thing for -Xkey=value arguments.

  • BaseTest.getExprFromFile now supports (?P<groupName>...) named regular expression groups, and will return a dictionary containing the matched groups if any are present in the regular expression. For example:

    authInfo = self.getExprFromFile('myserver.log', expr=r'Successfully authenticated user "(?P<username>[^"]*)" in (?P<authSecs>[^ ]+) seconds\.'))
  • Added BaseTest.getOutcomeLocation() which can be used from custom writers to record the file and line number corresponding to the outcome, if known.

Bug fixes

  • In some cases foreground processes could be left running after timing out; this is now fixed.

  • Ensure ANSI escape codes (e.g. for console coloring) do not appear in JUnit XML writer output files, or in test outcome reasons.

  • Setting the project property redirectPrintToLogger to any value (including false) was treated as if it had been set to true; this is now fixed.

Upgrade guide and compatibility

As this is a major version release of PySys we have taken the opportunity to clean up some aspects which could cause new errors or require changes. In many cases it will be necessary to make changes to your project configuration, and code changes if you have created custom BaseRunner/BaseTest/writer subclasses - though individual tests will generally not require changes, so the total migration effort should be small.

The changes that everyone should pay attention to are:

  • The default values of several project properties have been changed to reflect best practice.

    If you are migrating an existing project we recommend sticking with the current behaviour to start with, by adding the following properties to your project configuration (except for any that you already define <property .../> overrides for). Then once the PySys upgrade is complete and all tests passing you can switch to some of the new defaults (by removing these properties) if and when convenient.

    The properties you should set to keep the same behaviour as pre-1.6.0 versions of PySys are:

    <!-- Whether tests will by default report a failure outcome when a process completes with a non-zero return code.
        The default value as specified below will be used when the ignoreExitStatus= parameter to the function is not
        specified. The default was changed to false in PySys 1.6.0. -->
    <property name="defaultIgnoreExitStatus" value="true"/>
    <!-- Whether tests will abort as soon as a process or wait operation completes with errors, rather than attempting
        to limp on. The default value as specified below will be used when the abortOnError parameter to the function
        is not specified. Default was changed to true in PySys 1.6.0. -->
    <property name="defaultAbortOnError" value="false"/>
    <!-- Recommended behaviour is to NOT strip whitespace unless explicitly requested with the stripWhitespace=
         option; this option exists to keep compatibility for old projects. The default was changed to false
         in PySys 1.6.0.  -->
    <property name="defaultAssertDiffStripWhitespace" value="true"/>
    <!-- Overrides the default name use to for the runner's ``self.output`` directory (which may be used for things
        like code coverage reports, temporary files etc).
        The default was changed to "__pysys_runner.${outDirName}" in PySys 1.6.0.
        If a relative path is specified, it is relative to the testRootDir, or if an absolute --outdir was specified,
        relative to that directory.
    <property name="pysysRunnerDirName" value="pysys-runner-${outDirName}"/>
    <!-- Overrides the default name use to for the performance summary .csv file. The default was changed to
        "__pysys_performance/${outDirName}_${hostname}/perf_${startDate}_${startTime}.${outDirName}.csv" in PySys 1.6.0.
    <property name="csvPerformanceReporterSummaryFile" value="performance_output/${outDirName}_${hostname}/perf_${startDate}_${startTime}.csv"/>
    <!-- Set this to true unless you used the "mode" feature before it was redesigned in PySys 1.4.1. -->
    <property name="supportMultipleModesPerRun" value="false"/>
    <!-- Set temporary directory end var for child processes to the testcase output directory to avoid cluttering up
        common file locations. Empty string means don't do this. "self.output" is recommended.
    <property name="defaultEnvironsTempDir" value=""/>
    <!-- Controls whether print() and sys.stdout.write() statements will be automatically converted into
        calls. If redirection is disabled, output from print() statements will not be captured in run.log files and will
        often not appear in the correct place on the console when running multi-threaded.
        Note that this affects custom writers as well as testcases. If you have a custom writer, use
        pysys.utils.logutils.stdoutPrint() to write to stdout without any redirection. -->
    <property name="redirectPrintToLogger" value="false"/>
    <!-- Produces more informative messages from waitForGrep/Signal. Can be set to false for the terser behaviour if
         preferred. -->
    <property name="verboseWaitForGrep" value="false"/>

    The list is ordered with the properties most likely to break existing tests at the top of the list, so you may wish to start with the easier ones at the bottom of the list.

  • If you have testcases using the non-standard descriptor filenames .pysystest or descriptor.xml (rather than the usual pysystest.xml) they will not be found by this version of PySys by default, so action is required to have them execute as normal. If you wish to avoid renaming the files, just set the new project property pysysTestDescriptorFileNames to a comma-separated list of the names you want to use, e.g. “pysystest.xml, .pysystest, descriptor.xml”.

    If you use the non-standard filename .pysysproject rather than pysysproject.xml for your project configuration file you will need to rename it.

  • If your BaseTest or BaseRunner makes use of -Xkey[=value] command line overrides with int/float/bool/list types, you should review your code and/or test thoroughly as there are now automatic conversions from string to int/float/bool/list[str] in some cases where previously the string type would have been retained. a) -Xkey and -Xkey=true/false now consistently produce a boolean True/False (previously -Xkey=true would produce a string "true" whereas -Xkey would produce a boolean True) and b) -X attributes set on BaseRunner now undergo conversion from string to match the bool/int/float/list type of the default value if a static field of that name already exists on the runner class (which brings BaseRunner into line with the behaviour that BaseTest has had since 1.5.0, and also adds support for the list type). This applies to the attributes set on the object, but not to the contents of the xargs dictionary.

    The same type conversion applies to any custom pysys.writer classes, so if you have a static variable providing a default value, then in this version the variable will be set to the type of that bool/int/float/list rather than to string.

    So, as well as checking your tests still pass you should test that the configuration of your writers and run -X handling is also working as expected.

  • Since BaseTest.startProcess now logs stderr/out automatically before aborting, if you previously wrote extensions that manually log stderr/out after process failures (in a try…except/finally block), you may wish to remove them to avoid duplication, or change them to use the new onError= mechanism.

  • The default directory for performance output is now under __pysys_performance/ rather than performance_output/, so if you have any tooling that picks up these files you will need to redirect it, or set the csvPerformanceReporterSummaryFile project property described above. The default filename also includes the ${outDirName}. See pysys.utils.perfreporter.

Be sure to remove use of the following deprecated items at your earliest convenience:

  • Deprecated the ThreadFilter class. Usually it is not recommended to suppress log output and better alternatives are available, e.g. the quiet=True option for BaseTest.startProcess, and the BaseTest.disableLogging() method. Please remove uses of ThreadFilter from your code as it will be removed in a future release.

  • The method pysys.basetest.BaseTest.addResource is deprecated and will be removed in a future release, so please change tests to stop using it; use pysys.basetest.BaseTest.addCleanupFunction instead.

  • The pysys.process.commonwrapper.CommonProcessWrapper class is now renamed to pysys.process.Process. A redirection module exists, so any code that depends on the old location will still work, but please change references to the new name the old one will be removed in a future release.

  • If you need code coverage of a Python application, instead of the built-in python coverage support e.g.:

    <property name="pythonCoverageDir" value="__coverage_python.${outDirName}"/>
    <property name="pythonCoverageArgs" value="--rcfile=${testRootDir}/python_coveragerc"/>
    <collect-test-output pattern=".coverage*" outputDir="${pythonCoverageDir}" outputPattern="@FILENAME@_@TESTID@_@UNIQUE@"/>

    change to using the new writer, e.g.:

    <writer classname="pysys.writer.testoutput.PythonCoverageWriter">
        <property name="destDir" value="__coverage_python.${outDirName}"/>
        <property name="pythonCoverageArgs" value="--rcfile=${testRootDir}/python_coveragerc"/>

Finally there are also some fixes, cleanup, and better error checking that could require changes (typically to extension/framework classes rather than individual tests) but in most cases will not be noticed. Most users can ignore the following list and consult it only if you get new test failures after upgrading PySys:

  • Timestamps in process monitor output, writers, performance reporter and similar places are now in local time instead of UTC. This means these timestamps will match up with the times in run.log output which have always been local time.

  • Performance CSV files contain some details about the test run. A couple of these have been renamed: time is now startTime and outdir is now outDirName. The keys and values can be changed as needed using the runDetails field of pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner. It is encouraged to use this rather than the previous mechanism of pysys.utils.perfreporter.CSVPerformanceReporter.getRunDetails().

  • Exceptions from cleanup functions will now lead to test failures whereas before they were only logged, so may have easily gone unnoticed. You can disable this using the new “ignoreErrors=True” argument to BaseTest.addCleanupFunction if desired.

  • Properties files referenced in the project configuration are now read using UTF-8 encoding if possible, falling back to ISO8859-1 if they contain invalid UTF-8. This follows Java(R) 9+ behaviour and provides for more stable results than the previous PySys behaviour of using whatever the default locale encoding is, which does not conform to any standard for .properties file and makes it impossible to share a .properties file across tests running in different locales. The PySys implementation still does not claim to fully implement the .properties file format, for example \ are treated as literals not escape sequences. See pysys.utils.fileutils.loadProperties() for details.

  • Duplicate <property name="..." .../> project properties now produce an error to avoid unintentional mistakes. However it is still permitted to overwrite project properties from a .properties file. You can also use the new includes/excludes attributes when importing a .properties file to avoid clashes.

  • PySys used to silently ignore project and writer properties that use a missing (or typo’d) property or environment variable, setting it to “” (or the default value if specified). To ensure errors are noticed up-front, it is now a fatal error if a property’s value value cannot be resolved - unless a default= value is provided in which case the default is used (but it would be an error if the default also references a non-existent variable). This is unlikely to cause problems for working projects, however if you have some unused properties with invalid values you may have to remove them. The new behaviour only applies to <property name="..." value="..." [default="..."]/> elements, it does not apply to properties read from .properties files, which still default to “” if unresolved. Run your tests with -vDEBUG logging if you need help debugging properties problems.

  • The PYSYS_PERMIT_NO_PROJECTFILE option is no longer supported - you must now have a pysysproject.xml file for all projects.

  • Writer, performance and code coverage logs now go under --outdir if an absolute --outdir path is specified on the command line rather than the usual location under testDirRoot/.

  • On Windows the default output directory is now win rather than the (somewhat misleading) win32. There is no change to the value of PySys constants such as PLATFORM, just the default output directory. If you prefer a different output directory on your machine you could customize it by setting environment variable PYSYS_DEFAULT_ARGS=--outdir __myoutputdir.

  • If you created a custom subclass of pysys.utils.perfreporter.CSVPerformanceReporter using the 1.3.0 release and it does not yet have (and pass through to the superclass) a runner and/or **kwargs argument you will need to add these, as an exception will be generated otherwise.

  • Made it an error to change project properties after the project has been loaded. This was never intended, as projects are immutable. In the unlikely event you do this, change to storing user-defined cross-test/global state in your runner class instead.

  • Project properties whose name clashes with one of the pre-defined fields of pysys.xml.project.Project (e.g. “properties” or “root”) will no longer override those fields - which would most likely not work correctly anyway. If you need to get a property whose name clashes with a built-in member, use

  • PySys now checks that its working directory (os.chdir()) and environment (os.environ) have not been modified during execution of tests (after pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner.setup()’). Sometimes test authors do this by mistake and it’s extremely dangerous as it causes behaviour changes (and potentially file system race conditions) in subsequent tests that can be very hard to debug. The environment and working directory should only be modified for child processes not for PySys itself - calling or overriding BaseTest.getDefaultEnvirons() is a good way to do this.

  • Attempting to write to runDetails or pysys.constants.TIMEOUTS after pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner.setup() has completed (e.g. from individual tests) is no longer permitted in the interests of safety.

  • Changed the implementation of the outcome constants such as pysys.constants.FAILED to be an instance of class pysys.constants.Outcome rather than an integer. It is unlikely this change will affect existing code (unless you have created any custom outcome types, which is not documented). The use of objects to represent outcomes allows for simpler and more efficient conversion to display name using a %s format string or str() without the need for the LOOKUP dictionary (which still works, but is now deprecated). It also allows easier checking if an outcome represents a failure using pysys.constants.Outcome.isFailure(). The pysys.constants.PRECEDENT constant is deprecated in favour of pysys.constants.OUTCOMES which has an identical value.

  • There is no longer a default writer so if you choose delete the <writers> element from your project you won’t have any writers.

  • Removed undocumented TEST_TEMPLATE constant from pysys.basetest and DESCRIPTOR_TEMPLATE from pysys.xml.descriptor` (they’re now constants on pysys.launcher.console_make.ConsoleMakeTestHelper if you really need them, but this is unlikely and they are not part of the public PySys API).

  • Removed deprecated and unused constant DTD from pysys.xml.project and pysys.xml.descriptor.

  • Removed deprecated method purgeDirectory() from pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner and pysys.writer.outcomes.JUnitXMLResultsWriter. Use pysys.utils.fileutils.deletedir instead.

  • Removed deprecated classes ThreadedStreamHandler and ThreadedFileHandler from the pysys. module as there is no reason for PySys to provide these. These are trivial to implement using the Python logging API if anyone does need similar functionality.

  • pysys.process.user.ProcessUser no longer sets self.output, and it sets self.input to the project’s testRootDir instead of the current directory. Since these are overridden by pysys.basetest.BaseTest and pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner it is unlikely this will affect anyone.

  • Changed the log messages at the end of a test run to say “THERE WERE NO FAILURES” instead of “THERE WERE NO NON PASSES”, and similarly for the “Summary of non passes:”.

  • pysys.process.Process.wait now raises an error if the specified timeout isn’t a positive number (giving the same behaviour as BaseTest.waitProcess) rather than the dangerous behaviour of waiting without a timeout.

Release History

PySys 1.5.1 was released in May 2020.

Documentation improvements:

PySys now uses Sphinx to build its documentation (instead of epydoc), and new content has also been written resulting in a significantly larger set of HTML documentation that is also easier to navigate, and brings together the detailed API reference with information on usage and how to get started with PySys. The main .rst documentation source files are shipped inside the binary distribution of PySys so that users can view and potentially even re-package the documentation combined with their own extensions.

Assertion and waitForGrep improvements:

  • BaseTest.assertThat has been radically overhauled with a powerful mechanism that uses named parameters (e.g. actualXXX= and expected=) to produce self-describing log messages and outcome reasons, and even the ability to evaluate arbitrary Python expressions in the parameters, for example:

    self.assertThat("actualStartupMessage == expected", expected='Started successfully', actualStartupMessage=msg)
    self.assertThat('actualUser == expected', expected='myuser', actualUser=user)
    self.assertThat("actual == expected", actual__eval="myDataStructure['item1'][-1].getId()", expected="foo")
    self.assertThat("actual == expected", actual__eval="myDataStructure['item2'][-1].getId()", expected="bar")
    self.assertThat("actual == expected", actual__eval="myDataStructure['item3'][-1].getId()", expected="baz")

    This automatically produces informative log messages such as:

    Assert that (actual == expected) with actual (myDataStructure['item1'][-1].getId()) ='foo', expected='foo' ... passed
    Assert that (actual == expected) with actual (myDataStructure['item2'][-1].getId()) ='bar', expected='bar' ... passed
    Assert that (actual == expected) with actual (myDataStructure['item3'][-1].getId()) ='baZaar', expected='baz' ... failed
         actual: 'baZaar'
       expected: 'baz'

    Note that when two named parameters are provided and the condition string is a simple equality comparison (== or is), additional lines are logged when the assertion fails to show at what point the two arguments differ. For best results make sure you have colours turned on.

    As a result of these changes to assertThat, the less powerful BaseTest.assertEval method is now deprecated and new tests should use assertThat instead.

    Both methods also now allow the condition/eval string to make use of some additional standard Python modules such as math and re, and to use import_module('...').XXX to dynamically import additional modules.

  • BaseTest.assertGrep (and BaseTest.assertLastGrep) now return the regular expression match object, or if any (?P<groupName>...) named groups are present in the regular expression, a dictionary containing the matched values. This allows matching values from within the regular expression in a way that produces nicely descriptive error messages, and also enables more sophisticated checking (e.g. by casting numeric types to float). For example:

    self.assertThat('username == expected', expected='myuser',
      **self.assertGrep('myserver.log', expr=r'Successfully authenticated user "(?P<username>[^"]*)"'))
    self.assertThat('0 <= float(authSecs) < max', max=MAX_AUTH_TIME,
      **self.assertGrep('myserver.log', expr=r'Successfully authenticated user "[^"]*" in (?P<authSecs>[^ ]+) seconds\.'))

    BaseTest.waitForGrep now provides the same dictionary return value when given a regular expression with named groups, so the above trick can also be used during execution of the test when convenient.

  • BaseTest.waitForGrep() has been added as a new and clearer name for BaseTest.waitForSignal(), and we recommend using waitForGrep in new tests from now on (see upgrade section for more information about this change).

  • BaseTest.waitForGrep (and BaseTest.waitForSignal) now logs more useful information if the verboseWaitForGrep (or its alias, verboseWaitForSignal) is set to true in the pysysproject.xml properties. This includes logging at the start of waiting rather than at the end of waiting (to make it easier to debug hangs during test development or when triaging an automated test run). In addition, if a non-default timeout was specified this is included in the log message, and for the (small proportion of) waits that take longer than 30 seconds an additional message is logged to indicate how long was actually spent, which makes it easier to debug tests that sometimes timeout and sometimes complete just before they would have timed out. All of this new functionality only applies if you have verboseWaitForGrep=true so will not affect existing projects, but this is now enabled for newly created projects.

  • BaseTest.waitForGrep (and BaseTest.waitForSignal) now has a detailMessage parameter that can be used to provide some extra information to explain more about the wait condition.

  • All assertXXX methods in BaseTest now return a value to indicate the result of the assertion. In most cases this is a boolean True/False. This creates an opportunity to gather or log additional diagnostic information (e.g. using BaseTest.logFileContents) after an assertion fails.

  • Regular expression behaviour can now be customized by a reFlags= parameter on methods such as BaseTest.assertGrep, BaseTest.waitForGrep, etc. This allows for ignoring case, and use of verbose regular expression syntax, for example:

    self.assertGrep('myserver.log', reFlags=re.VERBOSE | re.IGNORECASE, expr=r\"""
      \d +  # the integral part
      \.    # the decimal point
      \d *  # some fractional digits
      \ seconds\. # in verbose regex mode we escape spaces with a slash
  • BaseTest.assertDiff now has colour-coding of the added/removed lines when logging a diff to the console on failure.

  • BaseTest.assertDiff usability was improved by including the relative path to each file in the assertion messages, so you can now use the same basename for the file to be compared and the reference file without losing track of which is which. This also makes it easier to manually diff the output directory against the Reference directory using GUI diff tools when debugging test failures.

  • BaseTest.assertDiff has a new advanced feature, autoUpdateAssertDiffReferences, to help when you have a large set of test reference files which need to be updated after a behaviour or output formatting change. If you run the tests with -XautoUpdateAssertDiffReferences any diff failures will result in PySys overwriting the reference file with the contents of the comparison file, providing an easy way to quickly update a large set of references. Use this feature with caution, since it overwrites reference files with no backup. In particular, make sure you have committed all reference files to version control before running the command, and then afterwards be sure to carefully check the resulting diff to make sure the changes were as expected before committing.

Improvements to the tool: - PySys now supports v3.8 of Python.

  • Added Test directory to pysys print --full. The directory is given as a path relative to the directory PySys was run from.

New project options:

  • The pysysproject.xml project configuration has a new <project-help>...</project-help> element which can be used to provide project-specific text to be appended to the pysys run --help usage message. This could be useful for documenting -Xkey=value options that are relevant for this project, and general usage information. A Project Help heading is automatically added if no other heading is present, and PySys will intelligently add or remove indentation from the specified content so that it aligns with the built-in options.

  • pysysproject.xml has a new property defaultAssertDiffStripWhitespace which controls whether BaseTest.assertDiff ignores whitespace (and blank lines at the end of a file). The recommended value is False, but to maintain compatibility with existing projects the default if not specified in the project file is True.

  • The <property name=.../> and <property file=.../> elements have a new optional attribute called pathMustExist="true/false" that can be set to true to indicate that the project should not load (and no tests be run) if the .properties file does not exist, or in the case of <property name=.../>, if the property value does not exist (either as an absolute path or as a path relative to the project root directory). We recommend setting using pathMustExist on all <property file=.../> elements to be explicit about whether the file is optional or mandatory.

  • <pythonpath> can now be used (and is recommended) instead of <path> to add items to the PYTHONPATH. There is no plan to remove support for <path> but this should increase clarity for new users.

Port allocation improvements:

  • BaseTest.getNextAvailableTCPPort and BaseTest.waitForSocket now support IPv6, via the new socketAddressFamily argument (IPv4 remains the default). It is also possible now to control which host address/interface is used to check that an allocated port isn’t in use using the new hosts argument.

  • A new environment variable PYSYS_PORTS=minport-maxport,port,... can be used to override the set of possible server ports allocated from BaseTest.getNextAvailableTCPPort(). This avoids the usual logic which uses pysys.utils.portalloc.getEphemeralTCPPortRange() to detect the local/client-side ports which should be avoided for server-side use. In addition, the default behaviour of getEphemeralTCPPortRange has changed on Linux, so that if /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_local_port_range is missing, PySys will fall back to using the default IANA ephemeral port range (with a warning). This makes it possible to use PySys in environments such as Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) v1 which may not have the usual Linux network stack.

Advanced pysystest.xml additions:

  • It is now possible to use ${...} project properties when specifying the Python module to load for a given test, for example:

       <class name="PySysTest" module="${testRootDir}/test-utils/"/>
  • User-defined key/value data can be added to pysystest.xml (and will be inherited from any parent pysysdirconfig.xml files):

       <user-data name="myThing" value="foobar"/>

    Any user-defined data is available as a string in the userData field of self.descriptor, and each named value will be set as a variable on the BaseTest class. If a static (non-instance) variable of the same name exists on the test class at construction then the <user-data> will override it, but its type will be coerced automatically to an int/float/bool to match the type of the variable. A run -Xname=value argument can be specified to provide a temporary override for any items in the test’s user data. Note that there is no automatic substituting of ${...} properties in user data values.

Bug fixes:

  • Handling of errors deleting previous test output has been improved. In 1.5.0, there was a usability regression in which a test would fail to run if any part of its output directory could not be deleted due to a shell or tool (e.g. tail) keeping it locked. Now, although error deleting files will still cause the test to fail (since this has a high chance of affecting correctness), directory deletion errors are logged at WARN in the test output but do not cause an error.

  • Fixed bug in which BaseTest.assertDiff was not logging the diff to the console after a failure.

  • Fixed bug in which a pysysdirconfig.xml in the same directory as a pysysproject.xml would be read twice, potentially resulting in duplicated a id-prefix.

  • Fixed some bugs in the selection of test ids on the command line. Now we always prefer an exact match over any possible suffix matches, and give an error if there are multiple matching suffixes rather than just picking one.

  • Fixed 1.5.0 bug in which a -Xkey=value command line value of 1 or 0 would be converted to a boolean True or False value instead of an int, when the BaseTest object has a field named key of type int.

  • Fixed reading .properties file values that contain an equals = symbol.

  • Replace new line characters in test outcome reasons to avoid confusing tools.

  • Changed BaseTest.getNextAvailableTCPPort to check the allocated port isn’t in use on localhost (previously we only checked INADDR_ANY which doesn’t include the localhost interface).

Upgrade guide and compatibility: This is a minor release so is not expected to break existing tests, however we recommend reading the notes below and making any ‘recommended’ changes at a convenient time after upgrading (to avoid problems in future major upgrades), and also running your tests with the new version before upgrading to confirm everything still works as expected.

  • Default project property defaultAssertDiffStripWhitespace was added. It is recommended to add this to your pysysproject.xml file set to false, but it is likely some test reference files may need fixing, so the default value is True which maintains pre-1.5.1 behaviour.

  • BaseTest.waitForSignal() is now just an alias for the newly added BaseTest.waitForGrep(), which is the preferred method to use for waiting until a regular expression is found in a file. This is a bit of API cleanup that provides consistency with widely-used BaseTest.assertGrep(), and increases clarity for new users who could otherwise be unsure of the meaning of the term “signal”.

    The two methods are identical except for a small usability improvement in the method signature to avoid a common mistake in which the (rarely used, and never needed) filedir was given a prominent position as the second positional argument and therefore sometimes incorrectly given the value intended for the expr expression to be searched, as can be seen from the two signatures:

    def waitForSignal( self, file, filedir, expr='', ... )
    def waitForGrep(   self, file, expr='', ..., filedir=None )

    In the new waitForGrep method, filedir can only be specified as a filedir= keyword argument, permitting the more natural positional usage:

    self.waitForGrep('file', 'expr', ...)

    There is no plan to actually remove waitForSignal, however in the interests of consistency we’d recommend doing a find-replace self.waitForSignal -> self.waitForGrep on your tests at a convenient time, bearing in mind that it could result in test failures in the unlikely event you are setting filedir and doing so positionally rather than with filedir=.

    If you use the verboseWaitForSignal project property, we recommend you transition to the new verboseWaitForGrep property, though both work on both methods for now.

  • In BaseTest.startProcess(), background=True/False has been added as an alternative and simpler equivalent of state=BACKGROUND. It is preferred to use background=True in new tests (although there is no plan to remove state so it is not mandatory to change existing tests).

  • The global namespace available for use in eval() methods such as BaseTest.assertThat, BaseTest.assertEval, BaseTest.assertLineCount and BaseTest.waitForGrep has been cut down to remove some functions and modules (e.g. filegrep) that no-one is likely to be using. If you find you need anything that is no longer available, just use import_module('modulename').member in your eval string to add it, but it is highly unlikely this will affect anyone as none of the removed symbols were documented. Also BaseTest.assertEval is deprecated in favour of BaseTest.assertThat which provides more powerful capabilities (note that BaseTest.assertThat was itself previously deprecated, but after recent changes is now the preferred way to perform general-purpose assertions).

  • There are some deprecations in this release, to remove some items that no-one is likely to be using from the API. We encourage users to check for and remove any references to the following to be ready for future removal:

    • pysys.utils.filecopy and its functions copyfileobj and filecopy are now deprecated (and hidden from the documentation) as there are functions in Python’s standard library module shutil that do the same thing.

    • pysys.utils.threadpool is also deprecated and hidden from the public API as it was never really intended for general purpose use and Python 3 contains similar functionality.

    • The DTD constants in pysys.xml.project and pysys.xml.descriptor.

    • pysys.xml.descriptor.XMLDescriptorParser (replaced by pysys.xml.descriptor.DescriptorLoader)

    • pysys.xml.descriptor.XMLDescriptorContainer (replaced by pysys.xml.descriptor.TestDescriptor)

    • pysys.xml.descriptor.XMLDescriptorCreator and DESCRIPTOR_TEMPLATE (create descriptors manually if needed)

1.4.0 to 1.5.0

PySys 1.5.0 was released in July 2019.

PySys 1.5.0 brings some significant new features for large PySys projects including support for running a test in multiple modes, and pysysdirconfig.xml files that allow you to specify defaults that apply to all testcases under a particular directory - such as groups, modes, a prefix to add to the start of each test id, and a numeric hint to help define the execution order of your tests.

There is also new support for collecting files from each test output directory (e.g. code coverage files), new features in the pysys run and pysys print command lines, and a host of small additions to the API to make test creation easier e.g. BaseTest.assertEval, BaseTest.copy (with filtering of each copied line) and BaseTest.write_text (for easy programmatic creation of files in the output directory).

This is a major release and therefore there are a few significant changes that could required changes in existing projects; please review the compatibility section of this document and perform an initial test run using the new PySys version to check for issues before switching over.

Miscellaneous new features:

  • Added support for running tests in multiple modes from within a single PySys execution. To make use of this, add the following property to your pysysproject.xml:

    <property name="supportMultipleModesPerRun" value="true"/>

    The old concept of modes within PySys is now deprecated in favour of the more powerful features of supportMultipleModesPerRun=True so we recommend all users to add this project setting when possible. Please note though that it will result in slightly different behaviour (e.g. different output directory names) if you have any tests with <mode>... in their descriptor. See the user guide for detailed information about running tests in multiple modes.

  • Added a project configuration option that collects a copy of all test output files matching a specified pattern into a single directory. This is useful for collecting together code coverage files from all tests into one place, and could also be used for collating other outputs such as performance or memory usage graphs. Files are copied from the output directory at the end of each test’s execution, and before any files are purged. The sample project file shows how to use this feature to collect Python code coverage files:

    <property name="pythonCoverageDir" value="__pysys_coverage_python_@OUTDIR@"/>
        <collect-test-output pattern=".coverage*" outputDir="${pythonCoverageDir}" outputPattern="@FILENAME@_@TESTID@_@UNIQUE@"/>

    The output directory is wiped clean at the start of each test run to prevent unwanted interference between test runs, and is created on demand when the first matching output file is found, so the directory will not be created if there is no matching output.

  • Added support for generating code coverage reports for programs written in Python, using the library. To enable this, ensure the coverage library is installed (pip install coverage), add collecting of test output files named .coverage* to a directory stored in the pythonCoverageDir project property (see above example), and run the tests with -X pythonCoverage=true. You can optionally set a project property pythonCoverageArgs to pass arguments to the coverage tool, such as which modules/files to include or omit. After all tests have been executed, the runner calls a new method processCoverageData which combines all the collected coverage files into a single file and produces an HTML report from it, within the pythonCoverageDir directory. If you wish to produce coverage reports using other tools or languages (such as Java), this should be easy to achieve by following the same pattern - using <collect-test-output> to gather the coverage files and providing a custom implementation of pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner.processCoverageData.

  • Added BaseTest.assertEval method which supersedes BaseTest.assertThat and provides a convenient way to assert an arbitrary Python expression, with generation of a clear outcome reason that is easy to understand and debug.

  • Added BaseTest.copy method for copying a binary or text file, with optional transformation of the contents by a series of mapping functions. This can be used to extract information of interest from a log file before diff-ing with a reference copy, for example by stripping out timestamps and irrelevant information.

  • Added BaseTest.write_text method for writing characters to a text file in the output directory using a single line of Python.

  • Added expectedExitStatus parameter to BaseTest.startProcess() method which can be used to assert that a command returns a non-zero exit code, for example self.startProcess(..., expectedExitStatus='==5'). This is simpler and more intuitive than setting ignoreExitStatus=True and then checking the exit status separately.

  • Added quiet parameter to BaseTest.startProcess() method which disable INFO/WARN level logging (unless a failure outcome is appended), which is useful when calling a process repeatedly to poll for completion of some operation.

  • Added BaseTest.startPython method with similar options to BaseTest.startProcess that should be used for starting Python processes. Supports functionality such as Python code coverage.

  • Added BaseTest.disableCoverage attribute which can be used to globally disable all code coverage (in all languages) for a specific test. For example if you apply a group called ‘performance’ to all performance tests, you could disable coverage for those tests by adding this line to your BaseTest:

    if 'performance' in self.descriptor.groups: self.disableCoverage = True
  • Added hostname, startTime and startDate project properties which can be used in any pysysproject.xml configuration file. The start time/date gives the UTC time when the test run began, using the yyyy-mm-dd HH.MM.SS format which is suitable for inclusion in file/directory names.

  • Added BaseTest.getBoolProperty() helper method which provides a simple way to get a True/False value indicating whether a setting is enabled, either directly using a -X prop=value argument, or with a property set in the pysysproject.xml configuration file.

  • Added environment variable PYSYS_PORTS_FILE which if present will be read as a UTF-8/ASCII file with one port number on each line, and used to populate the pool of ports for BaseTest.getNextAvailableTCPPort(). This can be used to avoid port conflicts when invoking PySys from an environment where some ports are taken up by other processes.

  • Added TIMEOUTS['WaitForAvailableTCPPort'] which controls how long BaseTest.getNextAvailableTCPPort() will wait before throwing an exception. Previously getNextAvailableTCPPort() would have thrown an exception if other tests were using up all ports from the available pool; the new behaviour is to block and retry until this timeout is reached.

Improvements to the XML descriptors that provide information about tests:

  • Added support for disabling search for testcases in part of a directory tree by adding a .pysysignore or pysysignore file. This is just an empty file that prevents searching inside the directory tree that contains it for tests. This could be useful for reducing time taken to locate testcase and also for avoiding errors if a subdirectory of your PySys project directory contains any non-PySys files with filenames that PySys would normally interpret as a testcase such as descriptor.xml.

  • Added a new XML file called pysysdirconfig.xml which is similar to pysystest.xml and allows setting configuration options that affect all tests under the directory containing the pysysdirconfig.xml file.

    This allows setting things like groups, test id prefix, execution order, and skipping of tests for a set of related testcases without needing to add the options to each and every individual pysystest.xml file. For example, if you have a couple of directories containing performance tests you could add pysysdirconfig.xml files to each with a <group>performance</group> element so it’s easy to include/exclude all your performance when you invoke run. You could also include a <execution-order hint="+100"/> to specify that performance tests should be run after your other tests(the default order hint is 0.0).

    The pysysdirconfig.xml file can contain any option that’s valid in a pysystest.xml file except the description/title/purpose. a sample pysysdirconfig.xml file is provided in pysys/xml/templates/dirconfig.

    See the PySys User Guide for more information.

  • Added support for specifying a prefix that will be added to start of the testcase directory name to form the testcase identifier. This can be specified in pysystest.xml testcase descriptor files and/or in directory-level pysysdirconfig.xml files like this:


    Large test projects may benefit from setting prefixes in pysysdirconfig.xml files to provide automatic namespacing of testcases, ensuring there are no name clashes across different test directories, and providing a way to group together related test ids without the need to use very long names for each individual testcase directory. Prefixes can be specified cumulatively, so with the final testcase id generated from adding the prefix from each parent directory, finishing with the name of the testcase directory itself.

    We recommend using an underscore or dot character for separating test prefixes.

  • Added support for specifying the order in which testcases are run. To do this, specify a floating point value in any pysystest.xml testcase descriptor, or pysysdirconfig.xml descriptor (which provides a default for all testcases under that directory):

    <execution-order hint="+100.0"/>

    Tests with a higher ordering hint are executed after tests with lower values. The default order value is 0.0, and values can be positive or negative. Tests with the same order hint are executed based on the sort order of the testcase directories. It is also possible to configure hints at a project level for specific modes or groups. See the user guide for more information.

    You might want to specify a large order hint for long-running performance or robustness tests to ensure they execute after more important unit/correctness tests. You might want to specify a negative hint for individual tests that are known to take a long time (if you’re running with multiple threads), to ensure they get an early start and don’t hold up the completion of the test run.

  • Added a new way to skip tests, by adding this element to the pysystest.xml descriptor:

    <skipped reason="Skipped due to open bug ABC-123"/>

    Although tests can still be skipped by setting the state="skipped" attribute, the use of the skipped element is recommended as it provides a way to specify the reason the test has been skipped, and also allows a whole directory of tests to be skipped by adding the element to a pysysdirconfig.xml file. The default pysystest.xml template generated for new testcases now contains a commented-out skipped element instead of a state= attribute.

  • Added a new API for overriding the way test descriptors are loaded from a directory on the file system. This allows for programmatic customization of descriptor settings such as the supported modes for each testcase, and also provides a way to make PySys capable of finding and running non-PySys tests (by programmatically creating PySys TestDescriptor objects for them). See the pysys.xml.descriptor.DescriptorLoader class for more details.

Improvements to the command line tool:

  • Added support for running tests by specifying just a (non-numeric) suffix without needing to include the entire id. Although support for specifying a pure numeric suffix (e.g. run 10) has been around for a long time, you can now do the same with strings such as run foo_10.

  • Added --sort option to print. This allows sorting by title which is very helpful for displaying related testcases together (especially if the titles are written carefully with common information at the beginning of each one) and therefore for more easily locating testcases of interest. It can also sort by id or executionOrderHint which indicates the order in which the testcases will be executed. The default sort order if none of these options is specified continues to be based on the full path of the pysystest.xml files.

  • Added --grep/-G filtering option to print and run which selects testcases that have the specific regular expression (matched case insensitively) in their id or title. This can be a convenient way to quickly run a set of tests related to a particular feature area.

  • Added a concise summary of the test ids for any non-passes in a format that’s easy to copy and paste into a new command, such as for re-running the failed tests. This can be disabled using the pysys.writer.console.ConsoleSummaryResultsWriter property showTestIdList if desired.

  • Added an environment variable PYSYS_DEFAULT_THREADS which can be used to set the number of threads to use with --threads auto is specified on a per-machine or per-user basis.

  • Added the ability to set logging verbosity for specific pysys.* categories individually using -vCAT=LEVEL. For example to enable just DEBUG logging related to process starting, use -vprocess=DEBUG. Detailed DEBUG logging related to assertions including the processed version of the input files uses the category “assertions” and is no longer included by default when the root log level is specified using -vDEBUG since it tends to be excessively verbose and slow to generate; if required, it can be enabled using -vassertions=DEBUG.

  • Argument parsing now permits mixing of -OPTION and non-option (e.g. test id) arguments, rather than requiring that the test ids be specified only at the end of the command line. For example:

    pysys run --threads auto MyTest_001 -vDEBUG
  • Added automatic conversion of strings specified on the command line with -Xkey=value to int, float or bool if there’s a static variable of the same name and one of those types defined on the test BaseTest class. This makes it easier to write tests that have their parameters overridden from the command line. For example, if a test class has a static variable iterations=1000 to control how many iterations it performs, it can be run with pysys run -Xiterations=10 during test development to override the number of iterations to a much lower number without any changes to Note that this doesn’t apply to BaseRunner, only BaseTest.

  • Added --json output mode to print which dumps full information about the available tests in JSON format suitable for reading in from other programs.

  • Changed makeproject so that when a template is to be specified, it is now necessary to use an explicit --template argument, e.g --template=NAME.

Bug fixes:

  • PySys now uses Test outcome reason: rather than Test failure reason: to display the outcome, since there is sometimes a reason for non-failure outcomes such as SKIPPED.

  • Fixed --purge to delete files in nested subdirectories of the output directory not just direct children of the output directory.

  • Previous versions of PySys did not complain if you created multiple tests with the same id (in different parent directories under the same project). This was dangerous as the results would overwrite each other, so in this version PySys checks for this condition and will terminate with an error if it is detected. If you intentionally have multiple tests with the same name in different directories, add an <id-prefix> element to the pysystest.xml or (better) to a pysysdirconfig.xml file to provide separate namespaces for the tests in each directory and avoid colliding ids.

  • The Ant JUnit writer now includes the test duration.

  • Improved BaseTest.assertGrep outcome reason to include the entire matching string when a contains=False test fails since ERROR - The bad thing happened is a much more useful outcome reason than just ERROR.

  • Fixed CSV performance reporter runDetails which was including each item twice.

  • On Windows, paths within the testcase are now normalized so that the drive letter is always capitalized (e.g. C: not c:). Previously the capitalization of the drive letter would vary depending on how exactly PySys was launched, which could occasionally lead to inconsistent behaviour if testing an application that relies on the ASCII sort order of paths.

Upgrade guide and compatibility:

Occasionally it is necessary for a new PySys release to include changes that might change or break the behaviour of existing test suites. As 1.5.0 is a major release it is possible that some users might need to make changes:

  • Errors and typos in pysystest.xml XML descriptors will now prevent any tests from running, whereas previously they would just be logged. Since an invalid descriptor prevents the associated testcase from reporting a result, the new behaviour ensures such mistakes will be spotted and fixed promptly. If you have any non-PySys files under your PySys project root directory with names such as descriptor.xml which PySys would normally recognise as testcases, you can avoid errors by adding a .pysysignore file to prevent PySys looking in that part of the directory tree.

  • BaseTest.mkdir now returns the absolute path (including the output directory) instead of just the relative path passed in. This make it easier to use in-line while performing operations such as creating a file in the new directory. Code that relied on the old behaviour of returning the path passed in may need to be updated to avoid having the output directory specified twice. If you’re using os.path.join then no change will be required.

  • The self.output variable in pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner is no longer set to the current directory, but instead to a pysys-runner-OUTDIR subdirectory of the test root (or to OUTDIR/pysys-runner if OUTDIR is an absolute path). This ensures that any files created by the runner go into a known location that is isolated from other runs using a different OUTDIR. The runner’s self.output directory is often not actually used for anything since most logic that writes output files lives in BaseTest subclasses, so most users won’t be affected. For the same reason, the runner output directory is not created (or cleaned) automatically. If you have a custom BaseRunner that writes files to its output directory then you should add a call to self.deleteDir <BaseTest.deleteDir> and then self.mkdir to clean previous output and then create the new output directory.

  • The behaviour of BaseTest.getDefaultEnvirons has changed compared to PySys 1.4.0, but only when the command being launched is sys.executable, i.e. another instance of the current Python process (getDefaultEnvirons is used by BaseTest.startProcess when environs= is not explicitly provided).

    In 1.4.0 the returned environment always set the PYTHONHOME environment variable, and on Windows would add a copy of the` PATH` environment from the parent process. In PySys 1.5.0 this is no longer the case, as the 1.4.0 behaviour was found to cause subtle problems when running from a virtualenv installation or when the child Python itself launches another Python process of a different version. The new behaviour is that BaseTest.getDefaultEnvirons adds the directory containing the Python executable to PATH (on all OSes), and copies the LD_LIBRARY_PATH from the parent process only on Unix (where it is necessary to reliably load the required libraries). getDefaultEnvirons no longer sets the PYTHONHOME environment variable.

  • The format of pysys print has changed to use a | character instead of a colon to separate the test id and titles. This makes it easier to copy and paste test ids from pysys print into the command line.

  • Several fields in the pysys.xml.descriptor.TestDescriptor (aka XMLDescriptorContainer) class that used to contain absolute paths now contain paths relative to the newly introduced testDir member. These are: module, output, input, reference. The values of BaseTest.output/input/reference have not changed (these are still absolute paths), so this change is unlikely to affect many users.

  • The PROJECT variable in the constants module is deprecated. Use self.project instead (which is defined on classes such as BaseTest, pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner etc).

1.3.0 to 1.4.0

PySys 1.4.0 was released in April 2019.


  • The available options for installing PySys have been reworked and modernised. The recommended way to install PySys is by running pip install PySys.

  • A binary whl wheel is now available for the first time, which is more efficient, reliable and lightweight than other installation methods, and is used by the pip installer. The tar.gz source distribution is still available but is no longer a recommended installation mechanism. The Windows GUI installer is no longer published as this is superseded by the simpler installation experience provided by pip.

  • HTML documentation of the PySys API is no longer installed locally by default, but is available on website or as a separate zip file available from

Improvements to the tool:

  • has a new makeproject command that generates a default pysysproject.xml with some recommended defaults to make it easy to start a new project without needing to download the samples.

  • As an alternative to the usual executable script, it is now also possible to launch PySys using:

    python -m pysys
  • Added new command line option --printLogs all|failures|none (default value is all) which allows user to avoid the printing of run.log to the stdout console either for all tests, or for tests that pass. This is useful to avoid generating huge amounts of output during large test runs (which can be problematic when stdout is captured by a Continuous Integration system), or to show detailed information only for failing tests which makes it easier for a user to locate the diagnostic information they care about more quickly. The specified value is stored in runner.printLogs and can be changed by custom writer implementations if desired, for example to avoid duplicating information already being printed to stdout by the writer in a different format.

  • PySys will now automatically enable colored output if there is no color setting in the pysysproject.xml or PYSYS_COLOR environment - provided PySys is running in an interactive terminal. On Windows the colorama library is now a dependency to ensure colored output is always possible.

  • Added --threads auto which is equivalent to --threads 0 and provides a clearer way to indicate that PySys will automatically determine how many threads to run tests with based on the number of available CPUs.

  • The outcome reason string now has a suffix specifying how many additional failure outcomes were logged (so if you have a complex test you can see at a glance if there’s just one problem to resolve, or 5, or 20!).

New project options:

  • Added support for running PySys tests under Travis CI(R) to the sample pysysproject.xml file. Travis support includes by default only printing run.log output for failed tests, and containing that detailed output within a folded section that can be expanded if needed. To enable this just ensure that the Travis CI writer is enabled in your project configuration file, which you can copy from the sample project configuration file if you already have an existing project file.

  • Added support for configuring the default encodings to use for common file patterns in the pysysproject.xml configuration, e.g.

    <default-file-encoding pattern="*.yaml" encoding="utf-8"/>.

    The pysys-examples/pysysproject.xml sample project configuration file now sets utf-8 as the default encoding for XML, json and yaml files, and also for testcase run.log files (though run.log continues to be written in local encoding unless the project file is updated). For more information on this feature, see comments in pysysproject.xml and in ProcessUser.getDefaultFileEncoding().

  • Use of print() rather than self.log is a common mistake that results in essential diagnostic information showing up on the console but not stored in run.log. A new project option redirectPrintToLogger can optionally be enabled to instruct PySys to catch output written using print() statements or to sys.stdout and redirect it to the logging framework, so it will show up in run.log. Writers that genuinely need the ability to write directly to stdout should be changed to use pysys.utils.logutils.stdoutPrint.

  • There are new settings for customizing the default environment used by BaseTest.startProcess:

    <property name="defaultEnvironsDefaultLang" value="en_US.UTF-8"/>
    <property name="defaultEnvironsTempDir" value="self.output'"/>

    See BaseTest.getDefaultEnvirons() for more information on these.

Main API improvements:

  • Added BaseTest.skipTest() method, which can be used to avoid running the rest of the BaseTest.execute() or BaseTest.validate() method, if it is not appropriate for the test to execute on this platform/mode.

  • Added boolean pysys.constants.IS_WINDOWS constant, since conditionalizing logic for Windows versus all other Operating Systems is very common; this avoids the need for error-prone matching against string literals.

  • Added BaseTest.startProcess() argument stdouterr which allows specifying the base prefix to use for writing process standard output and error using a single parameter, either as a string or from a tuple such as that returned from allocateUniqueStdOutErr(). As as result there is no longer a need to save the generated stdout and stderr to local variables before passing to startProcess; you can simply specify:

    self.startProcess(..., stdouterr=self.allocateUniqueStdOutErr('myprocess'))

    Alternatively if you don’t care about allocating unique names (perhaps because you have only one instance of the process) a simple string prefix can be specified instead. The final stdout and stderr paths are available on the returned ProcessWrapper object.

    If no displayName is provided, startProcess will generate one based on the stdouterr prefix so it’s easy to identify which process is being started.

  • Added BaseTest.getDefaultEnvirons() method which is now used by BaseTest.startProcess() to provide a minimal but clean set of environment variables for launching a given process, and can also be used as a basis for creating customized environments using the new BaseTest.createEnvirons() helper method. There are some new project properties to control how this works, which you may wish to consider using for new projects, but are not enabled by default in existing projects to maintain compatibility:

    <property name="defaultEnvironsDefaultLang" value="en_US.UTF-8"/>
    <property name="defaultEnvironsTempDir" value="self.output'"/>

    See BaseTest.getDefaultEnvirons() for more information on these. If needed you can further customize the environment by overriding getDefaultEnvirons.

  • Extended the writers API:
    • Added runLogOutput= parameter to the processResult() method of the BaseResultsWriter class so that writers such as the JUnitXMLResultsWriter can include the test output with no loss of unicode character information.

    • Added testoutdir= parameter to the setup() method so writers have a way to identify different test runs on the same machine.

    • Added runner= parameter to the setup() method so writers have access to the runner instance for reading/modifying configuration settings.

    • Added isEnabled() method that can optionally be used by a writer to disable itself based on the environment in which it is running, or to enable itself even when --record isn’t specified, which is useful for writers that produce output for a CI system.

  • Rewrote the process monitoring API to make it easier to add extra monitoring statistics (by subclassing the OS-specific DEFAULT_PROCESS_MONITOR or the superclass BaseProcessMonitor, or to add a custom handler for the generated statistics, by subclassing BaseProcessMonitorHandler.

  • Added BaseTest.startBackgroundThread method which takes care of ensuring threads are stopped and joined during cleanup, that exceptions from threads result in BLOCKED outcomes and that logging output from background threads goes to the same handlers as foreground logging. The thread target can be either a simple function or an instance method (e.g. on the testcase). A Python threading.Event object called stopped is passed to the background thread to make it easy to determine when it should finish executing. The ProcessUser.addOutcome() method is now thread-safe (though most of the ProcessUser and BaseTest should still not be accessed from multiple threads without locking).

  • Added BaseTest.pythonDocTest() method for executing the doctests in a Python file.

Minor API additions:

  • Added PerformanceUnit.NANO_SECONDS (with alias ns) which is now recommended when measuring the peformance of operations that take less than a second.

  • Added __str__ implementations for BaseTest and BaseRunner, which uniquely identify the test (and cycle, in multi-cycle runs). This may be useful for diagnostic and logging purposes.

  • Performance reporter classes can now make use of self.runner to access information such as the mode in which the test is running for reporting purposes.

  • Added BaseTest.assertPathExists for checking that a file exists (or not).

  • The default implementation of BaseTest.getDefaultFileEncoding() now delegates to the runner’s implementation, allowing customizations to be performed in just one place if neede for both BaseTest and runner class.

  • Added BaseTest.compareVersions() static helper method for comparing two alphanumeric dotted version strings.

  • Added BaseTest.deletedir which is more convenient that the associated fileutils.deletedir for paths under the self.output directory.

  • Added BaseTest.addOutcome(override=...) argument which can be used to specify a new test outcome that replaces any existing outcomes even if they have a higher precedence.

  • Added ignores= argument to BaseTest.waitForSignal() method which excludes lines matching the specified expression from matching both the main expr match expression and any errorExpr expressions.

  • Added pysys.utils.fileutils.toLongPathSafe/fromLongPathSafe which on Windows performs the necessary magic to allow Python to access paths longer than 256 characters (and on other platforms are a no-op), and pathexists which is a long path-safe version of os.path.exists. PySys will now handle long paths in the most critical places, such as deletedir, logFileContents, openfile, assertPathExists, when enumerating available tests, and during test cleanup. Test authors can make use of toLongPathSafe as needed in their own test cases.

  • Added pysys.utils.logutils.stdoutPrint for writers that genuinely need the ability to write directly to stdout without using a logger.

Upgrade guide and compatibility:

It is pretty rare for a new PySys release to include changes that might change or break the behaviour of existing test suites, but occasionally it is necessary in order to fix bugs or allow us to provide new functionality. In this release there are a few such changes:

  • In the previous release unknown or invalid keyword arguments passed to assert* methods would be silently ignored (potentially masking mistakes); now it is an error to specify an invalid argument.

  • The environment BaseTest.startProcess uses by default if no environs= parameter was specified has changed. Although the documentation states that a clean environment is used if no environs dictionary is specified, in PySys v1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 the Windows behaviour changed to include a copy of all environment variables in the parent PySys process (typically a very large set of variables), which could cause tests to unintentionally be affected by the environment it was run from. This is now fixed, so that a small minimal set of environment variables are always returned, as returned by the new ProcessUser.getDefaultEnvirons() method. As a result on Windows a much smaller set of environment variables and PATH/LD_LIBRARY_PATH components will be used, and on Unix instead of a completely empty environment, a few variables will now be set. If this causes problems you can temporarily go back to the legacy behaviour by setting this pysysproject.xml option:

    <property name="defaultEnvironsLegacyMode" value="true"/>

    See for more information.

  • The default process monitor file format has changed in this release to provide consistency across all operating systems, and because the Windows-specific statistics private/thread/handle count were not correct and cannot easily be obtained in a robust way. If you need these, or wish to use a wider set of monitoring statistics than PySys provides in the box, it is easy to create a custom BaseProcessMonitor subclass, perhaps using a cross-platform Python library such as psutil to gather the data.

    Previously there was no header line, and on Windows the columns were:

    dd/mm/yy HH:MM:SS, CPU, Resident, Virtual, Private, Threads, Handles

    and on Linux:

    mm/dd/yy HH:MM:SS, CPU, Resident, Virtual

    In this release there is a header line comment at the start of the file beginning with # indicating the column headings. Also a standard date format is used, and only the columns supported on all operating systems are included:

    yyyy-mm-dd HH:MM:SS, CPU, Resident, Virtual

    This behaviour can be customized for all your testcases from your runner’s setup method. For example to go back to the previous file format (although without the Windows-specific columns, which are no longer supported), add:

        ], writeHeaderLine=False)

    Also note that the numProcessors keyword argument to startProcessMonitor is deprecated. For now it can still be used to scale down the CPU_CORE_UTILIZATION value but it is not recommended for use and may be removed in a future release. Use CPU_TOTAL_UTILIZATION if you wish to see total CPU usage across all cores.

    In the previous release, the Linux process monitor also gathered data from child processes (that were running at the moment the monitor was started). As this functionality was Linux-specific, not documented, and generated incorrect results this has been removed. Optional support for monitoring child processes may be re-added in a future PySys release. Although child process are not included in the statistics for each process, the contributions from its child threads are included.

  • If you have created a custom subclass of ProcessMonitor you will need to rework it, as this class no longer exists and the API has been rewritten in order to make it easier to maintain and extend. For example it is now easier to add extra monitoring statistics (by subclassing BaseProcessMonitor), or provide custom handlers for the data for different file formats or automated checking of results (by subclassing BaseProcessMonitorHandler; no longer requires subclassing the process monitor itself). If you have written a custom subclass of ProcessMonitor to customize what data is gathered you will need to rework it when moving to this version of PySys. If you need to provide custom code to handle the generated statistics, you can now do that by passing a BaseProcessMonitorHandler subclass to BaseTest.startProcessMonitor.

  • Fixed bug in which symbols (classes, constants, imports) defined in one could be seen by other files, potentially causing test behaviour to vary based on what other tests had previously run, and/or race conditions seen only during parallel execution. Now every file has its own independent namespace. It is possible some previously passing tests might fail as a result of this change, if they were relying on the buggy behaviour to implicitly import symbols.

  • Although most real PySys projects had a pysysproject.xml file in the root directory specifying the configuration, PySys v1.3.0 and earlier treated this file as optional, resulting in confusing error messages, and long and sometimes disruptive searching of non-test directories if a user tried to run PySys from a non-test directory (e.g. from c:). To avoid user confusion, by default PySys will now terminate with an error if you try to run it from a directory which doesn’t have a project file. Any users who found the ability to use it without a project file useful can enable it by setting the PYSYS_PERMIT_NO_PROJECTFILE=true environment variable.

  • Removed pysys.utils.smtpserver which was never used by any part of PySys, does not really belong in this project, and adds little over Python’s built-in smtpd module.

  • Removed DEFAULT_STYLESHEET pysys-log.xsl as referenced in XMLResultsWriter, as it does not work in most modern browsers (e.g. Chrome, Firefox) for security reasons and is not widely used. If you need this functionality, the ability to specify a custom .xsl stylesheet for the XMLResultsWriter is still available as a configuration option in pysysproject.xml.

  • Any custom performance reporter classes created using PySys 1.3.0 and which provided a custom constructor should be updated to include the **kwargs parameter added in this version of PySys, as the old constructor signature is now deprecated. As this API was added in 1.3.0 no other versions are affected.

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed bug in which random log lines might not be written to run.log and/or stdout when running tests multi-threaded (as a result of an underlying python bug

  • Fixed bug in which symbols (classes, constants, imports) defined in one could be seen by other files, potentially causing test behaviour to vary based on what other tests had previously run, and/or race conditions seen only during parallel execution. Now every file has its own independent namespace. It is possible some previously passing tests might fail as a result of this change, if they were relying on the buggy behaviour to implicitly import symbols.

  • Fixed startProcess() to use a clean and minimal set of environment variables on Windows if no environs= parameter was specified, rather than copying all environment variables from the parent PySys process to the child process. See for more information.

  • Fixed startProcess() to add a BLOCKED test outcome when a process fails to start due to a ProcessError, unless ignoreExitStatus=True. Previously this flag only affected non-zero exit codes, resulting in ProcessError failures getting ignored.

  • Fixed startProcess() to correctly handle passing empty arguments, and arguments containing spaces, quotes and glob characters on Windows. Previously, empty arguments were skipped, and arguments containing spaces were only handled correctly if first character was not a space.

  • Fixed a number of errors in the statistics reported by process monitors, especially on Windows where negative values were sometimes returned (due to integer overflow), incorrect (and very time-consuming) aggregation based on the child threads that existed at the time the process monitor was first started, lack of support for non-English Windows installations (which have localized counter names) and that the statistics might be returned for the wrong process due to the way the performance counter API changes which process is being monitored when processes of the same name terminate. On Linux the statistics were sometimes wrong due to undocumented and in some cases incorrect aggregation across child processes, which has now been removed. The values are now correct on all operating systems.

  • Fix bug in which non-ASCII characters in test outcome reasons could prevent the test log being written to disk if executed in multi-threaded mode. Only affects Python 2.

  • Significant improvements to robustness when testing support for international (I18N) characters. This includes implementing fully safe logging of unicode strings (with ? replacements for any unsupported characters) that works regardless of what encoding is in use for stdout and run.log. Also fixed exception when logging unicode characters in Python 2 if a formatter was not configured in pysysproject.xml, by ensuring it is always stored as a unicode character string not a byte string (which used to happen in Python 2 if it was not mentioned in the project config). Fixed logFileContents to more robustly handle files containing I18N/non-ASCII characters.

  • JUnitXMLResultsWriter and XMLResultsWriter now write using UTF-8 encoding rather than local/default encoding, and also include the encoding="utf-8" header in the XML header. Since previously there was no encoding header many tools would have interpreted them as UTF-8 already, and now the behaviour is consistent with that expectation.

  • Added pysys.writers.replaceIllegalXMLCharacters() utility function, and use it to avoid XMLResultsWriter and JUnitXMLResultsWriter from generating invalid XML if run.log or outcome reason contain characters not permitted by XML. Also ASCII control characters (e.g. coloring instructions from other tools) are now stripped out of all outcome reason strings (including in run.log and non-XML based writers) since such characters are not useful and make summary test results harder to read.

  • Fixed rare condition in which performance result reporting would be prevented due to spurious error about resultKey already being used.

1.2.0 to 1.3.0

Changes affecting compatibility:

  • Fixed BaseTest.assertDiff (and filediff) handling of “include” expressions list to filter out lines if no include expressions match (as documented) rather than if any include expressions match. This fix may cause tests to fail that had previously - and incorrectly - passed as a result of all lines being filtered out before the comparison. There is also now a message logged at warn level when every line in a file comparison is filtered out, since in most cases this is not desirable behaviour.

  • Changed run to return a non-zero exit code if any tests failed, whereas previously it would return 0.

Other fixes and new features:

  • PySys now provides ‘single-source’ support for both Python 2.7 and Python 3.x, without the need for the script to be run at installation time for use with Python 3.

  • Added support for specifying what file encoding is to be used for reading and writing text files (for example in waitForSignal and various assertions). This is especially important for Python 3 where text files are processed using unicode character strings rather than Python 2 byte “str” objects. The encoding can be specified explicitly on individual methods the open files, or globally based on file names or extensions by overriding the new ProcessUser.getDefaultFileEncoding() method. For example, getDefaultFileEncoding could be overridden to specify that .xml files should be treated as UTF-8 by default. If the encoding is not specified explicitly or through getDefaultFileEncoding(), Python selects the preferred encoding based on the locale that it is running in.

  • Changed the way multiple cycles are executed in multi-threaded mode to allow tests from different cycles to execute in parallel instead of waiting for each cycle to fully complete before starting the next cycle. This improved parallelism makes it much easier to reproduce race conditions demonstrated by a single testcase, which was not possible with the previous threading behaviour. To maintain existing behaviour for users who have provided a runner.cycleComplete() method, concurrent cycle execution will be disabled if cycleComplete() is overridden. Anybody affected by this is encouraged to transition away from use of cycleComplete() and perform any required cleanup tasks in BaseTest.cleanup() or BaseRunner.testComplete() instead.

  • Added <requires-python> and <requires-pysys> elements to the project XML file which allow checking for the specified minimum python or pysys version, resulting in a clear error if attempting to use the wrong version.

  • Added support for coloring console output to highlight passes, fails, warnings and more. This is configured in the project configuration file. Coloring can also be enabled or disabled for a particular user and/or machine using the PYSYS_COLOR=true/false environment variable override. Coloring works on any terminal that supports ANSI escape sequences (e.g. most Unix terminals). On Windows, which does not, it is possible to get colored output by installing a package such as “colorama”, which PySys will load if it is present on the python path. It is possible to customize the colors used or to use alternative libraries for coloring on windows by providing a custom ColorLogFormatter class. The colors used for each category of log messages can be customized in the project configuration file, e.g.

    <formatter><property name="color:timed out" value="MAGENTA"/></formatter>
  • Added ProcessUser.getExprFromFile helper method to automate the common task of retrieving some text from a file, for example to capture information such as a process identifier from a log file, or to extract some performance results that were logged.

  • Added BaseTest.reportPerformanceResult() and a flexible framework for recording performance results (e.g. throughput, latency etc) measured by PySys tests, including storage of results in a human-readable and machine-parsable CSV file together with run-specific information such as the host where the test was executed. The CSV files can be aggregated across multiple test runs and/or cycles and imported into any spreadsheet for comparisons and more detailed analysis. The standard CSVPerformanceReporter can be subclassed and replaced with an alternative recording mechanism if desired (e.g. writing directly to a database or other file format). Fibonacci_test_005 demonstrates how performance results can be reported using this framework.

  • Added support for providing a custom class to implement formatting of log messages, for both run.log and stdout. Errors in the <formatters> XML node will now be treated as errors rather than being silently ignored.

  • Changed to ignore trailing slash characters on test ids, which makes it easier to use shell tab completion to select a specific test.

  • Fixed command line parser to give a clear error if requested to execute a non-existent test id, or if the test descriptor XML could not be parsed. Previously invalid test ids would be either silently ignored without an error, or would result in other test ids being executed more than once.

  • Fixed ProcessUser.startProcess to use the test output directory (rather than the current working directory) as the root when a relative path is specified for the workingDir argument.

  • Fixed bug in which log level and exception tracebacks were being inadvertently suppressed from the stdout console output when executing from multiple threads.

  • Fixed manual tester thread to report a BLOCKED outcome instead of hanging if a fatal error occurs (e.g. Tck does not load due to DISPLAY not being configured correctly).

  • Added BaseResultsWriter class and associated docstring documentation to make it easier to create new results writers.

  • Changed standard record writers to report the number of cycles starting from 1 rather than from 0 (which is consistent with how cycles are displayed by the rest of PySys).

  • Extended the concept of “writers” to include not just “record” writers (which are enabled only when --record is specified) but also “summary” writers which are always enabled and log a summary at the end of test execution (if none is explicitly configured a default ConsoleSummaryResultsWriter is instantiated), and “progress” writers which are enabled only when --progress is specified and log progress information throughout a run.

  • The monolithic logic for writing a summary to the console at the end of test execution has been refactored out of baserunner and into the configurable and separately extendable ConsoleSummaryResultsWriter class. Any baserunner subclasses that are currently overriding the summary printing functionality and/or making use of the results dictionary returned by start() should now switch to using “summary” writers instead. This functionality will be removed in a future release and is now deprecated.

  • The default summary results writer now has a configuration parameter showOutcomeReason which causes the outcome reason string to be included underneath each failure outcome, to provide a quick summary of what went wrong.

  • The default summary results writer now has a configuration parameter showOutputDir which causes the path to the test’s output directory to be printed underneath each failure outcome, to make it easy to quickly find and open the relevant files to debug the failure.

  • Added a --progress command line option (can also be switched on using the PYSYS_PROGRESS=true environment variable), which logs a summary of how many test have executed, outcomes, a list of most recent failure reasons and a list of what other tests are currently executing. This provides very helpful feedback to the user while executing a long test run. The progress reporting is implemented in a fully extensible way using a new kind of ‘progress’ result writer. A custom progress result writer class can be configured for a project; if none is specified the default ConsoleProgressResultsWriter is added automatically.

  • Fixed unexpected DEBUG logging on standard output after any of the Python methods is called. This behaviour was triggered if certain libraries (e.g SSL libraries) were not available when python starts.

  • Added defaultIgnoreExitStatus project property which controls whether non-zero return codes from startProcess() result in test failures, when the ignoreExitStatus flag is not explicitly specified. To retain the same behaviour for existing projects, defaultIgnoreExitStatus is set to True if the property is not configured in the project configuration. However to promote best practice for new PySys projects, the example pysys project configuration file sets defaultIgnoreExitStatus to False, which ensures that processes that return failure codes are not ignored unless explicitly intended by the author of the testcase.

  • Fixed waitForSocket, which in previous versions immediately returned success instead of waiting a valid socket connection as documented.

  • If the test run is interrupted from the keyboard, the prompt that asks whether to continue to run tests is no longer displayed if there are no more tests left to run. The prompt can also be completely disabled using an environment variable PYSYS_DISABLE_KBRD_INTERRUPT_PROMPT=true, for users who prefer Ctrl+C to immediately terminate the test run in all cases.

  • Added pysys.utils.pycompat module containing a small set of helpers for writing code that works with Python 2 and Python 3.

  • Fixed writing to process stdin so that if a character string is passed in it will be converted to a byte object automatically, using the default encoding. Previously, it was not possible to write character strings in Python 3, and in Python 2 it would only work if they contained only ascii characters.

1.1.1 to 1.2.0

  • Added the errorExpr argument to the waitForSignal method. Occurrence of any matches to expressions in this argument will terminate the waitForSignal loop, allowing early exit prior to the timeout.

  • Refactored reconfiguration of global logging out of the pysys class into the launcher. This allows other applications making use of the PySys framework to make their own logging decisions.

  • Improved usability of the assertDiff method by writing out the unified diff to a file in the output subdirectory so failures are easier to triage.

  • Added the literal argument to the assertGrep method to avoid having to escape regular expressions.

  • Added the utils.fileutils module for miscellaneous file related utilities.

1.1.0 to 1.1.1

  • The validateOnly option has been added to the run launcher task. When set the purge output subdirectory, setup and execute methods on the test will not be invoked. This makes it easier to fix validation errors in the test without the need to re-run the entire test.

  • The logFileContents() method has been added to the pysys.basetest.BaseTest class to allow logging of file contents to the run.log. This can be used to provide additional diagnostic information to the run.log to assist the triage of test failures.

  • The CSVResultsWriter has been added to the set of test summary writers. See the pysysproject.xml file in pysys-examples for more details.

  • It is now possible to specify a regex for matching in the test selection. See the run usage for more details ( run -h).

0.9.3 to 1.1.0

  • This release introduces optional fail fast semantics at a macro and micro level. At a macro level this is either through the “defaultAbortOnError” project property, or through the “-b|–abort” option to the pysys launcher run task. See the pysysproject.xml file in pysys-examples, and the run task help usage respectively for more details. At a micro level, all assert and process related methods now take an optional “abortOnError” parameter to override any macro setting. When enabled any error will cause the test to immediately fail, reporting the failure reason.

  • Outcomes which are considered a fail now log information as to the cause of the failure. Additionally a call record is reported, giving a comma separated list of “module:lineno” entries detailing the call stack up to the test class instance. This is to aid diagnosing test failure causes.

  • The test title is now output to console when running the test.

  • The BaseRunner class now contains an isPurgableFile() method. This method can be overridden by any extensions to denote if a zero length file should be purged from the output subdirectory after running of the test.

  • It is now possible to register cleanup functions in the BaseTest to negate the need to override the cleanup() action where a call to BaseTest.cleanup(self) must specifically be made. See the epydoc for the addCleanupFunction() in the ProcessUser module.

0.9.2 to 0.9.3

  • Added Darwin as a supported platform.

  • Added the maker tag to the pysysproject file to allow specifying a custom test maker class, e.g. to create specific run templates etc. See the pysysproject.xml file in pysys-examples for more information.

  • The make option to now accepts the testcase directory to be specified to a value other than the current working directory.

0.9.1 to 0.9.2

  • The method getNextAvailableTCPPort has been added to the pysys.basetest.BaseTest class to allow users to allocate server TCP ports in a robust manner.

  • The unix and windows process helpers have been updated to fix handle leaks (defect #11 “ProcessMonitor leaks file handles”), and to delete the stdin queue when processes go away.

0.9.0 to 0.9.1

  • Fixed issue with the determination of the overall test outcome due to the incorrect use of the inbuilt sorted() function. The issue meant the test outcome list was not correctly sorted based on precedent, leading to the incorrect determination of the overall test outcome.

  • Fixed issue in the pysys.basetest on handling FileNotFoundExceptions in the assert* methods. The exception was not being caught, leading to subsequent asserts in the test class not being performed.

0.8.1 to 0.9.0

  • The PySys framework has been updated to be compliant with conversion to Python 3.x with the conversion script. Installation on Python 3.x is now supported via the source distribution bundle, where the script is run automatically at install time. See details below for installing the source distribution. A binary distribution installer for windows will be included in a later release.

  • There are now separate 32 and 64 bit binary distribution installers for windows.

  • On failure of the assertLineCount method, the log output now contains the returned number and requested condition (tracker #3045931)

  • Each assert method now takes an “assertMessage” parameter to be written to the log output on execution (tracker #3045924). See test PySys_internal_053 in the example testcases for example usage.

  • Added the JUnitXMLResultsWriter to log test results in Apache Ant JUnit XML format (one output file per test per cycle). This is useful for integration into Continuous Integration build systems, e.g. TeamCity. The TextResultsWriter and XMLResultsWriter now support the outputDir property to specify the location to write the output files. See the pysys-examples pysysproject.xml file for more details.

  • Added the ability to run suites of pyunit tests wrapped up as a single PySys test. This capability is exposed through the PyUnitTest class contained in the pysys.unit.pyunit module. See the pysys-examples pyunit tests for example usage.

  • Fix to the unix process helper to correctly set the working directory of child processes in the fork and exec.

  • When running tests in parallel, a value of zero given for the -n|–threads option to the run task of the launcher, will set the number of threads to the number of available CPUs.

0.7.6 to 0.8.1

  • Updated the pysys.process.plat-win32.helper.ProcessWrapper module to eliminate the use of threads to collect the stdout and stderr from the process via pipes. The module now directly uses win32file.CreateFile to create file objects to pass to the call to win32process.CreateProcess.

  • Added the <formatters/> element to the pysysproject file. This allows setting the format of the test output to stdout and the runlog in accordance to the format specifiers in the python logging and time modules. For examples of the use of this element, see the pysysproject file included in the PySys examples.

  • Logging of exceptions and failed asserts has been changed from info to warn level (tracker #2784251).

  • Added extra debug logging in pysys.utils.filegrep, and pysys.basetest for when performing asserts against a line count in an input file (tracker #2824758).

  • The testcase output summary is now printed on termination of the test run via a keyboard interrupt (tracker #2816212).

  • The PySys project file now allows assignment of the project root location to a variable which can then be used for later expansion within the file. This allows the definition of project variables to include the full path where this is required, e.g. XSL stylesheets which must use the full path to the file rather than a relative path etc. Note that modules within PySys can reference the project root location directly using PROJECT.root (tracker #2795316).

  • The pysys.baserunner class now passes the -X arguments into the test summary writer setup action to allow logging of the user supplied extra arguments(tracker #2814499). The pysys-log.xsl stylesheet used by the XMLResultsWriter has been updated to display this information in the test summary display.

  • Fixed an issue where when the pysysproject file was missing, defaults for the runner module and the test output summary writer were not being set.

0.7.5 to 0.7.6

  • Fixed a defect in the unix process helper module to correct a file handle leak in the write end of the stdin pipe.

0.6.1 to 0.7.5

  • Added the ability to run tests concurrently through the -n | –threads option to the pysys launcher run target. Tests to be run are placed on a request queue and processed by the designated number of worker threads. The results of each test are then placed on a result queue, collated and displayed in the order in which they would run serially. Depending on the nature of the application under test, the recommended number of threads to designate when using this option is no more than two times the number of CPUs. Note also that care needs to be made when running tests in parallel, so as to ensure no shared resources are accessed in a non-atomic way, e.g using direct references to os.environ() in one test when another test modifies the environment directly etc.

  • The constructor to the pysys.baserunner.BaseRunner class was changed to include the threads parameter, i.e.

    def __init__(self, record, purge, cycle, mode, threads, outsubdir, descriptors, xargs)

    This parameter is required for the runner to create the required threadpool before running a set of tests in parallel. Any custom runner classes extending the base runner will need to be updated to incorporate this change.

  • Removed module specific loggers from pysys in order to support running tests in parallel. There is now a single logger used within the framework, and which can be referenced directly from the pysys.constants module. Attached to this logger are two handler types; one for logging to stdout, and one for logging to the run log file saved in the output subdirectory of each test. The stdout handler is set to only log to stdout from the main thread, whilst the run log file handlers are set to log to the output subdirectory of a test only on the creating thread.

  • Added exception handling to the pysys.process.user module when trying to stop all processes on destruction. When a background process takes longer to stop than the default timeout period, the thrown pysys.exceptions.ProcessTimeout exception was uncaught causing abnormal exit from the test run.

0.6.0 to 0.6.1

  • The clean target has been updated to accept the -a | –all command line option to allow deleting all derived files produced when running a set of testcases, i.e. both the testcase output subdirectory and any compiled test class modules.

  • The waitForSignal method of the ProcessUser class, subclassed by both the BaseTestand BaseRunner classes, has been updated to return a list of match objects on invocation. By using tagged regular expressions in the expr parameter of the method call, this allows retrieval of portions of the matched data e.g. to extract expressions in the file to use later in the validation routines.

  • All references to pysys.constants.TRUE and pysys.constants.FALSE have been replaced by the native Python True and False literals. The values of the constants have been set to True and False respectively so as to maintain backwards compatibility.

0.5.2 to 0.6.0

  • The PySys test and PySys project files have been renamed by default from .pysystest to pysystest.xm, and .pysysproject to pysysproject.xml respectively. Backwards compatibility is maintained for the previous file naming convention, though this will be deprecated in a later release; it is strongly advised that the new naming convention is adopted. New tests made using the PySys launcher will by default use the new naming convention. This change was made due to issues on Windows systems displaying and recognising hidden files, and files without specified extensions e.g. within the Eclipse framework, for display in internet browsers etc.

  • The clean mode of operation has been added to the launcher. This allows removal of testcase output subdirectories, e.g. before importing into a source code control system. The -o option allows specifying the output subdirectory name to be deleted, which defaults to the platform identifier if not specified.

  • The test output summary writer interface has been changed so that the test output is written and updated during the test execution; previously a call to the writer was only made on completion of the test run. This allows monitoring the test output summary during the test execution to monitor the run time status of the tests.

  • Added the XMLFileResultsWriter class to the pysys.writer module. This performs logging of the test output summary in an XML format, suitable for display via XLST in a web browser. A simple XSL stylesheet is included with the PySys distribution to provide better display in internet browsers.

  • Added the ability to specify custom test output summary writers in the PySys project file via the <writer> tag. For an example see the .pysysproject file in the pysys-examples distribution. Should no <writer> be specified in the project file, the default XMLFileResultsWriter will be used. Multiple writers may be specified in the PySys project file.

  • Added exception logging on parsing errors in the PySys project file, e.g. when the file in badly formed due to invalid XML tokens etc.

  • Added variable argument passing to the process.monitor.ProcessMonitor class constructor so that operating specific arguments can be passed into the class on instantiation. The wrapper method pysys.basetest.BaseTest.startProcessMonitor has also been updated to allow pass through of the variable arguments.

  • The win32 process.monitor module has been changed so that on windows systems the percentage CPU usage is not normalised by default by the number of available processors, e.g. on a 4 core processor if 2 cores were fully utilized the CPU usage was previously output as 50% - the change means that the reported usage will now be 200% (a value of 100% indicates that one core is fully utilitised). This makes the output consistent with that reported on unix systems. Should the previous behavior be required the numProcessors argument can be passed to the pysys.basetest.BaseTest.startProcessMonitor method in order to normalise the CPU usage statistics by the number of processors. On windows systems the number of processors can be obtained from the NUM_PROCESSORS environment variable.

  • Added comments to the PySys Project file distributed with the example testcases, to detail the possible configuration options.

0.5.1 to 0.5.2

  • The lastgrep method has been added to pysys.utils.filegrep, and the assertLastGrep method has been added to the BaseTest class. This allows test validation to be performed based on regular expression matching on the last line of an input file to the assertLastGrep method.

  • The win32 process monitor has been modified to calculate the percentage CPU usage statistics as a sum over all available processors. A CPU usage of 100% represents the process fully utilising all available processors.

  • The win32 process monitor now also logs the handle count of a process.

0.5.0 to 0.5.1

  • Fixed a bug in pysys.process.user.ProcessUser destructor to explicitly set the process list to null to allow process handles to be cleaned up on destruction. This bug only seemed to be exhibited when the process handle of a process returned in the startProcess() method was set as a data attribute to an instance of the class. This handle was then both a data attribute of the class, and was contained in a list data attribute of the class. Under these conditions the handles were not being released correctly.

  • The print mode of the launcher now supports printing out the test user defined modes, and the printing out of tests that can be run in a given mode.

0.4.0 to 0.5.0

  • The OSFAMILY constant has been added to pysys.constants, and takes the value ‘windows’ on all win32 operating systems, and ‘unix’ on sunos and linux operating systems. The value of the OSFAMILY can be used within the .pysysproject file using the osfamily attribute to the <property> element. This allows capturing the value to be used in expansion of other properties defined within the project file; see below for an example usage. Should no value be set in a properties file, a default value of “osfamily” is assumed.

  • The .pysysproject file now allows explicitly setting the environment value to be used in expansions via the environment attribute to the <property> element; see below for an example usage. Should no value be set in a properties file, a default value of “env” is assumed (this allows for backwards compatibility).

  • The .pysysproject file now takes the file attribute to the <property> element. This allows properties to be read from file, where the properties are specified in the name=value syntax, e.g.

      <property environment="env"/>
      <property osfamily="osfamily"/>
      <property file="${osfamily}.properties" />
      <property name="lib" value="${library}_${osfamily}_${version}_${env.USER}.so"/>

    where the property file contains the following:


    For more details, see testcase PySys_internal_002 in the pysys-examples/internal area which demonstrates this.

  • Fixed the issue of removing zero size files from the output subdirectory on win32 platforms; was due to the stderr and stdout file handles not being properly closed down. Updated the BaseRunner to attempt to remove the zero sized files 3 times to try to avoid race conditions of stopped background processes holding on to the file handles too long before dying.

  • The win32 process helper now ensures the environment in which the process runs is converted to unicode to avoid issues encountered with running under certain locales.

0.3.5 to 0.4.0

  • The pysys.process.ProcessUser class has been added to define an interface to subclasses which use the underlying process helper classes. Both the BaseTest and BaseRunner classes now extend this so as to provide a common interface for process manipulation. A common paradigm for creating extension modules to PySys is to create a helper class which provides the methods for starting an interacting with the application under test (AUT). These helper classes have a call back to an instance of the ProcessUser so that it can make use of the high level process methods. As both the BaseTest and BaseRunner classes are instances of the ProcessUser, the extension module helper classes can be used in extensions to both of these to allow the AUT to be started both within a testcase, and within the runner.

  • The method signature to the pysys.utils.filereplace replace method has been changed to set the default value for the marker to the empty string

  • Bugs fixes for cleaning up leakage of threads from the process helpers, and file handle leakage from the base runner classes.

0.3.4 to 0.3.5

  • Fixed a bug a testcase was not being marked as BLOCKED when unable to start a process using the process helper module.

  • Failure on the assertOrderedGrep now prints out the line the failure occurred on.

0.3.3 to 0.3.4

  • Fixed a bug where timedout processes started in the foreground were not being stopped automatically at the end of the testcase.

0.3.2 to 0.3.3

  • The default name of the PySys test descriptor file has been changed from “descriptor.xml”, to “.pysystest”. This change is to maintain a consistent naming convention across configuration files within the framework, e.g. the project file “.pysysproject” denotes the project root and project specific information, whilst a test file “.pysystest” denotes a testcase within the project, and contains meta data for the test. Support for the previous name is maintained, though it should be noted that testcases created with the ‘ make’ command will have the new naming convention used.

  • The windows installer has been updated to add shortcuts to the uninstaller, and to create a separate directory for the inclusion of project extensions.

  • The getInstanceCount method has been added to the pysys.basetest.BaseTest class to reference count the number of named processes started during a test run. The startProcess method of the class adds a reference count to an internal dictionary structure keyed on the displayName passed into the method to achieve this.

  • The writeProcess method has been added to the pysys.basetest.BaseTest class to provide a wrapper around the write method of the underlying process helper class. This wrapper perform a check on the running status of the process prior to the write, and performs additional logging to the run.log to audit the write.

  • Fixed a bug in the replace method of the filereplace module, where the method signature was missing the marker parameter

  • Added support to the pysys project file to allow adding path locations to the Python path. See the .pysysproject file in pysys-examples for more detail.

0.3.1 to 0.3.2

  • Release was superseded immediately by the 0.3.3 release. See release notes for new features for 0.3.3 for more information.

0.3.0 to 0.3.1

  • The process helper modules have been updated to allow the writing to the stdin of a process via the write() method on the process handle.

  • Several bug fixes have been applied to the unix process helper module.

  • The pysys-examples/internal directory has been added to the examples module. This will contain internal testcases for self testing the pysys framework. These have been included in the distribution as examples of the use of the framework.

  • The pysys project file has been added into the framework to allow the setting of project specific constants within the application. The project file should be written to the base location of the project, with the filename .pysysproject. The location of this file denotes the root location of the project. For an example of the file see pysys-examples/.pysysproject. Any name value properties within the file will be set as data attributes of the pysys.Project class, which is referenced in the pysys.constants module using the variable PROJECT.

0.2.2 to 0.3.0

  • Updates to the epydoc output for documenting the classes and modules of pysys

  • Addition of the module for printing, running and making new testcase directory structures. This allows a single distributed script to be used to perform all functionality available from the console.

  • Remove of the run method from the console launch helper.

0.2.1 to 0.2.2

  • The suites element in the test descriptor has been renamed to groups. This is to allow testcases in a single directory to be classified as a single testsuite, and subsets thereof to be regarded as a group

  • Minor bug fixes to the manual tester and process module

0.2.0 to 0.2.1

  • The Manual Tester has been updated to support the <expectedresult> element in the input xml file. This allows display of the expected result for a manual step to be presented in the user interface. The ability to optionally record a defect in the log output is also now included.

  • The createDescriptors method has been removed from the pysys.launcher.console package and moved into pysys.launcher. This allows the utility method to be used for other custom launchers.

0.1.7 to 0.2.0

  • This release includes updates to the Python doc strings for automated generation of epydoc using the Epydoc package ( The installer now distributes the generated epydoc in the site-packages/pysys-doc directory. For windows installs a link to the epydoc and release notes is now added as a link in the start menu items

  • Added the setup() method to the BaseTest class to allow custom setup actions to be performed prior to execution of a particular test case

  • Fixed a bug where if the –type option was not supplied to ConsoleMakeTestHelper as a command line option, the resulting descriptor had type=”None”

0.1.6 to 0.1.7

  • The Manual Tester UI has been updated so that it can be resized, and is easier to navigate through the tests.

  • The BaseRunner start method now takes an optional list of result writer class instances to perform test audit logging at the end of a test cycle. This allows custom result writers to be passed to the runner to, for example, write the results to a database, proprietary system etc

0.1.5 to 0.1.6

  • Added the ability to differentiate between automated and manual testcases using the test attribute to the pysystest element in the testcase descriptor. If the attribute is not present the test will be assumed to be an automated test. The runTest and printTest launch helpers allow you to differentiate between automated and manual tests using the –type command line argument. For more information see the examples in pysys-examples

0.1.4 to 0.1.5

  • Added support for the requirements traceability. This includes printing requirements covered by a set of testcases, and running testcases which cover a particular requirement id

0.1.3 to 0.1.4

  • Added the ConsoleMakeTestHelper class to pysys.launcher.console. This facilitates the creation of new testcase structures from the command line. Updated pysys-examples/fibonacci to demonstrate the use of the utility class