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Server-side implementation of Gitaly protocol for Mercurial

Project description


HGitaly is Gitaly server for Mercurial.

Automated tests and Continuous Integration

How to run the tests

Usually, that would be in a virtualenv, but it's not necessary.

  python3 -m pip install -r test-requirements.txt

Hint: Check the contents of run-all-tests, it's just pytest with a standard set of options (mostly for coverage, see below).

Unit and Mercurial integration tests

These are the main tests. They lie inside the hgitaly and hgext3rd.hgitaly Python packages. The layout follows the style where each subpackage has its own tests package, to facilitate future refactorings.

The Mercurial integration tests are written with the mercurial-testhelpers library. Their duty is to assert that HGitaly works as expected and maintains compatibility with several versions of Mercurial and possibly other dependencies, such as grpcio.

The implicit assumption with these tests is that the test authors actually knew what was expected. HGitaly being meant to be a direct replacement, or rather a translation of Gitaly in Mercurial terms, those expectation are actually a mix of:

  • Design choices, such as mapping rules between branch/topic combinations and GitLab branches.
  • Gitaly documentation and source code.
  • sampling of Gitaly responses.

Gitaly comparison tests

If an appropriate Gitaly installation is found, run-all-tests will also run the tests from the tests_with_gitaly package. This happens automatically from within a HDK workspace.

These are precisely meant for what the Mercurial integration tests can't do: check that HGitaly responses take the form expected by the various Gitaly clients, by comparing directly with the reference Gitaly implementation.

The comparisons work by using the conversions to Git provided by py-heptapod, which are precisely what HGitaly aims to replace as a mean to expose Mercurial content to GitLab.

Once there is no ambiguity with what Gitaly clients expect, the correctness of the implementation, with its various corner cases, should be left to the Mercurial integration tests.

Test coverage

This project is being developed with a strong test coverage policy, enforced by CI: without the Gitaly comparison tests, the coverage has to stay at 100%.

This does not mean that a contribution has to meet this goal to be worthwile, or even considered. Contributors can expect Maintainers to help them achieving the required 100% coverage mark, especially if they are newcomers. Of course, Contributors cannot expect Maintainers to go as far as write missing tests for them, even if that can still happen for critical urgent issues.

Selected statements can of course be excluded for good reasons, using # pragma no cover.

Coverage exclusions depending on the Mercurial version are provided by the coverage plugin of mercurial-testhelpers.

Unexpected drop of coverage in different Mercurial versions is a powerful warning system that something not obvious is getting wrong, but the Gitaly comparison tests are run in CI against a fixed set of dependencies, hence 100% coverage must be achieved without the Gitaly comparison tests.

On the other hand, Gitaly comparison tests will warn us when we bump upstream GitLab if some critical behaviour has changed.

Tests Q&A and development hints

Doesn't the 100% coverage rule without the Gitaly comparison tests mean writing the same tests twice?

In some cases, yes, but it's limited.

For example, the comparison tests can tell us that the FindAllBranchNames is actually expected to return GitLab refs (refs/heads/some-branch), not GitLab branch names. That can be settled with a few, very basic, test cases. There is no need to test all the mapping rules for topics, and even less the various related corner cases in the comparison tests. These, on the other hand depend strongly on Mercurial internals, and absolutely have to be fully tested continuously against various Mercurial versions.

Also, it is possible to deduplicate scenarios that are almost identical in Mercurial integration tests and Gitaly comparison tests: factorize out the common code in a helper function made available for both. The question is if it is worth the effort.

Finally, comparison tests should focus on the fact that Gitaly and HGitaly results agree, not on what they contain. In the above example, a comparison for FindAllBranchNames could simply assert equality of the returned sets of branch names. This is a bit less cumbersome, and easier to maintain.

How to reproduce a drop in coverage found by the compat CI stage?

These are often due to statements being covered by the Gitaly comparison tests only, leading to 100% coverage in the main stage, but not in the compat stage.

The first thing to do is to run without the Gitaly comparison tests:


(any non empty value in that environment variable, even no or false will trigger the skipping)

In some rare cases, the drop in coverage could be due to an actual change between Mercurial versions. If that happens, there are good chances that an actual bug is lurking around.

How to run the tests with coverage of the Gitaly comparison tests

./run-all-tests --cov tests_with_gitaly --cov-report html

The HTML report will be nice if you don't have 100% coverage. To display it, just do

firefox htmlcov/index.html

By default, the Gitaly comparison tests themselves are not covered, indeed. This is because run-all-tests does not know whether they will be skipped for lack of a Gitaly installation – which would be legitimate.

But they are covered in the CI jobs that launch them, because Gitaly is assumed to be available. For these, the coverage would tell us that something was broken, preventing the tests to run.

How to poke into Gitaly protocol?

The Gitaly comparison tests provide exactly a harness for that: take a test, modify it as needed, insert a pdb breakpoint, and get going.

The big advantage here is that startup of the Gitaly comparison tests is almost instantaneous, especially compared with RSpec, wich takes about a minute to start even a completely trivial test.

Of course that will raise the question whether it'll be useful to make true tests of these experiments.

When is a Gitaly comparison test required?

Each time there's a need to be sure of what's expected and it can help answer that question. It doesn't have to do more than that.

When to prefer writing RSpec tests in Heptapod Rails over Gitaly comparison tests in HGitaly?

If you need to make sure that Heptapod Rails, as a Gitaly client, sends the proper requests, because that can depend on specific dispatch code.

For instance, we are currently still converting to Git on the Rails side. A source of bugs would be to send Git commit ids to HGitaly.

Apart from that, it is expected to be vastly more efficient to use Gitaly comparison tests.

The more Heptapod progresses, the less complicated all of this should be.

Updating the Gitaly gRPC protocol

The virtualenv has to be activated

  1. pip install -r dev-requirements.txt

  2. Copy the new proto files from a Gitaly checkout with version matching the wanted GitLab upstream version. Example in a HDK context:

    cp ../gitaly/proto/*.proto protos/  # we dont want the `go` subdir
  3. run ./generate-stubs

  4. run the tests: ./run-all-tests

  5. perform necessary hg add after close inspection of hg status

Updating the HGitaly specific gRPC protocol

This package defines and implements an additional gRPC protocol, with gRPC services and methods that are specific to Mercurial, or more generally Heptapod.

Protocol specification

The sources are proto files in the protos/ directory, same as for the Gitaly protocol.

They distinguish themselves by this declaration:

package hgitaly;

Each time a change is made to the protocol, the libraries for all provided programming languages have to be regenerated and committed, ideally together with the protocol change.

Python library

It has a special status, being versioned together with the protocol and the server implementation. It is provided as the hgitaly.stub package.

The Python stubs are produced by the same script that takes care of Gitaly proto files:


Ruby library

See the separate documentation

Other languages

A Go library will probably be necessary quite soon for Workhorse or perhaps Heptapod Shell.

A Rust library would be nice to have

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