Know your dev tools – part 2

December 5, 2007 at 13:56 | Posted in tools | Leave a comment
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Last time I introduced sp-error-visualizer and sp-rich-core. Now it’s time to take a look at a couple of the other sp-tools in Chinook.

sp-endurance

The sp-endurance suite provides tools to save and analyze data from endurance testing. Endurance testing could be defined as repeated testing over a long(er) period of time. This kind of testing usually reveals memory and resource leaks. Due to the nature and requirements of endurance testing, it is usually done once the application is nearly complete. In my opinion it is one of the most important steps when moving from beta to release quality.

The sp-endurance suite consists of two packages; sp-endurance and sp-endurance-postproc. The first one is meant to be installed on the device and provides helper scripts for data collection. The second one provides data post-processing tools for data manipulation and report generation and it’s meant to be used on the PC.

You still need to do the hard work of actually designing and executing the endurance tests, sp-endurance is there to help you analyze the results. The Chinook toolset also contains some tools for test automation and you could consider using those when designing your test cases.

sp-stress

Ever wondered how your program behaves under a heavy CPU load or how it handles itself when memory is low or unavailable? sp-stress provides you with utilities to easily put the system under different kinds of stress and thus let you test your application in these scenarios.

The sp-stress package provides three utilities; cpuload, ioload and memload. Their names are already indicative of their purpose.

cpuload will generate the given background CPU load, which you can select from 1% to 100% or have it generated randomly.

ioload will perform read and write operations on a given file generating a lot of I/O load on the filesystem.

memload will allocate a given megabyte size chunk of memory.

Depending on your program, it may be a good idea to test how it behaves with a constant or varying load of one or more of the sp-stress utilities.

More about tools

See maemo.org for usage examples and to learn more about these and other tools:

http://maemo.org/development/tools/

Share your experiences

If you find these tools useful or come up with nice use-cases for them, please let everyone know about your experiences in this blog or in the maemo-developers mailing list.

The tools guy,

-Juha

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