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Raphael Stolt:
Eight knobs to adjust and improve your Travis CI builds
Oct 11, 2016 @ 09:18:53

If you're a Travis-CI user, like many projects are, you'll find this new post from Raphael Stolt very interesting. In it he provides "eight knobs" you can use to improve your use of the service and optimize your test runs.

After having refactored several Travis CI configuration files over the last weeks, this post will provide eight adjustments or patterns immediately applicable for faster, changeable, and economic builds.

Suggestions in his list include:

  • Reduce git clone depth
  • Configure PHP versions in an include
  • Only do static code analysis or code coverage measurement once
  • Run integration tests on very xth build

For each item on the list he includes the updates you'll need to make to your .travis.yml configuration to enable/disable the feature.

tagged: travisci service performance improvement build top8

Link: http://raphaelstolt.blogspot.com/2016/10/eight-knobs-to-adjust-and-improve-your.html

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Automating GitHub Pages Builds with MkDocs
Feb 01, 2016 @ 10:49:57

In this new post to his site Matthew Weier O'Phinney details the process they (Zend) used to create the documentation for the latest release of their Expressive PSR-7 compatible framework (now in v1.0).

One of the final tasks in prepping for the Expressive 1.0 release was setting up the documentation site. We'd decided to use GitHub Pages for this, and we wanted to automate builds so that as we push to the master branch, documentation is deployed.

The process turned out both simple and bewilderingly difficult. This post is intended to help others in the same situation.

While they decided on MkDocs for the actual document generation (written in Python) Matthew how he integrated it with the builds they'd already created for the Expressive framework. He talks about reusability for the process, eventually using it again on the Zend Framework side. He also shows the full process for creating the resulting documentation and pushing it over to GitHub Pages including the setup of the credentials, which events should trigger the build and handling environment variables and software dependencies. It's a great post with plenty of details on each step of the process - I'd highly recommend it if you're looking into building these sorts of documents for your project.

tagged: github pages build travisci mkdocs python tutorial process

Link: https://mwop.net/blog/2016-01-29-automating-gh-pages.html

Matthew Weier O'Phinney:
Secure PHAR Automation
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:32:54

There's always been an issue with the creation of Phar packages in PHP and the security around them. There's been recommendations about creating signatures and only using secure connections for updates and rollbacks. Unfortunately there isn't an overly easy way to handle this yet. However, Matthew Weier O'Phinney has written up a post showing his workflow for doing these kinds of things, making use of the Box project to help with some of the more detailed parts.

For a variety of reasons, I've been working on a utility that is best distributed via PHAR file. As has been noted by others (archive.is link, due to lack of availability of original site), PHAR distribution, while useful, is not without security concerns, and I decided to investigate how to securely create, distribute, and update PHAR utilities as part of this exercise.

This is an account of my journey, as well as concrete steps you can take to secure your own PHAR downloads.

He starts by outlining the "roadmap" of the features he wants to include and the steps to take to create this more secure phar archive. It includes the use of both current, local tools and services (like Box and GitHub pages). He then walks through the steps in the full process:

  • Create an OpenSSL Key
  • Use Box to create the PHAR
  • Generate a version file
  • Create the gh-pages branch
  • Write self-update/rollback commands
  • Enable Travis-CI for the repository
  • Create an SSH deploy key
  • Archive and encrypt the secrets
  • Write a deployment script
  • Add the script to travis

While this seems like a lot of steps to just get a more secure phar set up, Matthew has done the hard work for you here and includes all of the commands, configuration examples and steps you'll need to take to fully set the process up. If all goes well, his example in his last "push and watch it work" section will go off without a hitch.

tagged: phar archive security signed https update rollback travisci tutorial

Link: https://mwop.net/blog/2015-12-14-secure-phar-automation.html

Matt Stauffer:
Creating custom @requires annotations for PHPUnit
Oct 28, 2015 @ 10:06:46

In this post to his site Matt Stauffer walks you through how he created a custom @requires annotation to use in his PHPUnit testing. He needed a way to tell a test to only run if it wasn't being executed on the Travis CI service.

I was working on a project this weekend that required skipping certain tests in a particular environment (Travis CI). [...] I remembered that there was a @requires annotation in PHPUnit that works natively to allow you to skip a test under a certain version of PHP or with certain extensions disabled, so I set out to write my own custom @requires block.

He links to an article that helped him get most of the functionality in place but decided to restructure it a bit to make the override of the checkRequirements method a bit clearer. He ends up using the Laravel Collection functionality instead of a basic foreach reducing it down to a closure that looks for an environment variable called TRAVIS and automatically mark the test as skipped.

tagged: requires annotation custom phpunit travisci skip environment variable closure

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/creating-custom-requires-annotations-for-phpunit

Cees-Jan Kiewiet:
Github auth token on TravisCI
Sep 24, 2015 @ 11:42:01

In a post to his site Cees-Jan Kiewiet shows you how to get an authentication token from GitHub to use in your testing on the Travis-CI continuous integration service.

The composer cache greatly speeds up your composer part of the build by only going to Github for new downloads. When combined with test lowest, current, and highest possible on Travis you only reach out to Github for new versions. Most likely to happen during the highest possible set of builds, but also when you've updated composer.*. This normally isn't an issue unless you hit Github's rate limit. And since composer is running on a 'public' travis box with a 'public' IP address that has been use by many builds before it there is a very very high chance it already hit the 60 requests per hour limit.

[...] To counter this problem we have to set a Github authentication token as environment variable in Travis for each project. And update .travis.yml so the token is used by composer.

He walks you through the steps you'll need to get a token of your very own:

  • Go to the Settings section on your GitHub account
  • Generate a new Personal Access Token
  • Add the token to the Travis-CI account you're using for your builds
  • Update your .travis.yml configuration with the token information

Each step includes either a screenshot of where to go or the configuration example you'll need to use (like in the yml file).

tagged: github authentication token travisci ratelimit

Link: http://blog.wyrihaximus.net/2015/09/github-auth-token-on-travis/

Lakion Blog:
Easy debugging on CI with Mink
Sep 18, 2015 @ 09:44:12

On the Lakion blog there's a post showing you how to debug your application's Behat tests easily as a part of your continuous integration process. In thieir case, they were trying to figure out why builds were breaking on a Travis-CI build instance.

Debugging Behat scenarios while using Mink to simulate the user is not always an easy job. Especially, if they are run on Continuous Integration server. That is why I came up with an idea to make it easier. During repairing our javascript test suite on Sylius everything went as bad as it could go. There were many errors that happened on Travis, but I was not able to reproduce them locally. [...] MinkDebugExtension was written to speed up that boring and tiring part of debugging on CI server. It consists of two parts: Behat extension and useful scripts.

The extension fires after failed steps and makes a log of the issue with content needed to recreate the issue (including possible screenshots). He also describes the scripts that come with it to help you browse through the results, uploading the resulting logs and screenshots to a place for public consumption.

tagged: mink easy debug travisci continuous integration extension log screenshot

Link: http://lakion.com/blog/mink-debug-extension

Cees-Jan Kiewiet:
Composer cache on Travis
Jul 29, 2015 @ 08:46:52

Cees-Jan Kiewiet has posted an article covering the cache directive on The popular Travis-CI continuous integration service and how it can have an effect on your builds.

Ever since the Test lowest, current, and highest possible on Travis post I wanted to dive into caching composers cache and vendor on Travis. My experiments started the day after that post.

He starts with an example of a simple .travis.yml build configuration that includes the cache directive, showing the caching of entire directories. He points out that, while this can speed up builds, it also comes with a few problems - one being that cache inconsistencies could cause unintended side effects when major changes are made. He points out that most of these risks are worth the gain, though. He's seen a gain of around 40 seconds for a normally 50 second job.

tagged: composer travisci cache configuration caveats

Link: http://blog.wyrihaximus.net/2015/07/composer-cache-on-travis/

Cees-Jan Kiewiet:
Test lowest, current, and highest possible on Travis
Jul 01, 2015 @ 10:57:50

In a new post to his site Cees-Jan Kiewiet talking about "highest" and "lowest" versions of Composer-installed libraries and testing them in Travis-CI builds.

During DPC I've had a talk with Rafael about making sure you test all your possible versions, lowest, current, and highest. The talk was ignited by the infamous composer.lock file (whether to commit it or not).

He goes on to show how you can set up a multiple-version build with the help of the "dependencies" environment variable in your ".travis.yml" configuration file. These are then used in "before_script" commands that tell the Composer install which versions to load. He includes a screenshot of the resulting build and ends with a reminder from Jordi Boggiano (lead developer of Composer) about the resources a build like this takes up and not to do it very often.

tagged: lowest highest library version composer install travisci build

Link: http://blog.wyrihaximus.net/2015/06/test-lowest-current-and-highest-possible-on-travis/

Matthieu Napoli:
Test against the lowest Composer dependencies on Travis
Dec 18, 2014 @ 10:53:58

Recently the "prefer-lowest" option of Composer was mentioned in relation to testing for Symfony-based applications. In this new post to his site Matthieu Napoli shows how you can do it on any project that uses the Travis-CI continuous integration service.

Composer just got a new awesome addition thanks to Nicolas Grekas: prefer the lowest versions of your dependencies. [...] This amazing option will install the lowest versions possible for all your dependencies. What for? Tests of course!

He includes all the instructions you'll need to get your Travis build using this command line option, starting with testing it on your own system first. He shows a basic ".travis.yml" file with the configuration you'll need to provide it use the "prefer-lowest" (check out line 17). He does point out that you'll need to run a "composer self-update" first though, as Travis hasn't quite caught up with the latest Composer that includes this option.

tagged: test lowest dependency version composer travisci tutorial

Link: http://mnapoli.fr/test-lowest-dependencies/

Lorna Mitchell:
Using Phing with Travis CI
Jul 18, 2014 @ 11:23:45

Lorna Mitchell has a quick post to her site today showing you how to link up Travis-CI and phing to execute the phing build on the Travis-CI service.

We've started using Travis CI on one of my projects to run some build processes to check that everything looks good before we merge/deploy code. One thing I ran into quite quickly was that I wanted to install phing in order to use the build scripts we already have and use elsewhere, but that it isn't provided by default by Travis CI.

To get it all cooperating, she uses the "before_install" settings/functionality Travis provides to use PEAR to discover and install phing. Then in the "script" section, the build can call the phing executable without problems. She does point out one "magic" kind of thing that rehashes the Travis environment and lets to know phing exists: the...well..."rehash" configuration setting.

tagged: phing travisci beforeinstall tutorial build process

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2014/using-phing-with-travis-ci