Features

Let’s demonstrate the features on a simple wget example with the following directory structure:

wget
├── download
├── protocols
│   ├── ftp
│   ├── http
│   └── https
├── recursion
└── smoke

Simple

The most common use cases super simple to read & write. Test metadata for a single test look like this:

description: Check basic download options
tester: Petr Šplíchal <psplicha@redhat.com>
tags: [Tier2, TierSecurity]
test: runtest.sh
time: 3 min

Hierarchy

Hierarchy is defined by directory structure (see example above) and explicit nesting using attributes starting with /. Defining metadata for several tests in a single file is straightforward:

/download:
    description: Check basic download options
    tester: Petr Šplíchal <psplicha@redhat.com>
    tags: [Tier2, TierSecurity]
    test: runtest.sh
    time: 3 min
/recursion:
    description: Check recursive download options
    tester: Petr Šplíchal <psplicha@redhat.com>
    tags: [Tier2, TierSecurity]
    test: runtest.sh
    time: 20 min

Content above would be stored in wget/main.fmf file.

Inheritance

Metadata is inherited from parent objects:

tester: Petr Šplíchal <psplicha@redhat.com>
tags: [Tier2, TierSecurity]
test: runtest.sh

/download:
    description: Check basic download options
    time: 3 min
/recursion:
    description: Check recursive download options
    time: 20 min

This nicely prevents unnecessary duplication. Redefining an attribute in a child object will by default overwrite value inherited from the parent.

Merging

When inheriting values from the parent it is also possible to use special attribute suffixes to merge child value with parent data. Append a + sign to the attribute name to add given value:

time: 1
/download:
    time+: 3

This operation is possible only for attributes of the same type. Exception MergeError is raised if types are different. When the + suffix is applied on dictionaries update() method is used to merge content of given dictionary instead of replacing it.

In a similar way, appending a - sign will reduce or remove parent value from parent’s attribute (which has to be defined):

time-: 5
tags-: [Tier2]
desc-: details.*
vars-: [z]

Numbers are subtracked, list items are removed from the parent attribute, matching regular expressions are replaced by an empty string. For dictionaries it’s possible to provide list of keys which should be removed.

Elasticity

Use a single file or scatter metadata across the hierarchy, whatever is more desired for the project.

File wget/main.fmf:

tester: Petr Šplíchal <psplicha@redhat.com>
tags: [Tier2, TierSecurity]
test: runtest.sh

File wget/download/main.fmf:

description: Check basic download options
time: 3 min

File: wget/recursion/main.fmf:

description: Check recursive download options
time: 20 min

This allows reasonable structure for both small and large projects.

Scatter

Thanks to elasticity, metadata can be scattered across several files. For example wget/download metadata can be defined in the following three files:

File wget/main.fmf:

/download:
    description: Check basic download options
    test: runtest.sh

File wget/download.fmf:

description: Check basic download options
test: runtest.sh

File wget/download/main.fmf:

description: Check basic download options
test: runtest.sh

Parsing is done from top to bottom (in the order of examples above). Later/lower defined attributes replace values defined earlier/higher in the structure.

Leaves

When searching, key content is used to define which leaves from the metadata tree will be selected. For example, every test case to be executed must have the test attribute defined, every requirement to be considered for test coverage evaluation must have the requirement attribute defined. Otherwise object data is used for inheritance only:

description: Check basic download options
test: runtest.sh
time: 3 min

The key content attributes are not supposed to be hard-coded in the Flexible Metadata Format but freely configurable. Multiple key content attributes (e.g. script & backend) could be used as well.

Virtual

Using a single test code for testing multiple scenarios can be easily implemented using leaves inheriting from the same parent:

description: Check basic download options
test: runtest.sh

/fast:
    description: Check basic download options (quick smoke test)
    environment: MODE=fast
    tags: [Tier1]
    time: 1 min
/full:
    description: Check basic download options (full test set)
    environment: MODE=full
    tags: [Tier2]
    time: 3 min

In this way we can efficiently create virtual test cases.

Format

When investigating metadata using the fmf command line tool, object identifiers and all associated attributes are printed by default, each on a separate line. It is also possible to use the --format option together with --value options to generate custom output. Python syntax for expansion using {} is used to place values as desired. For example:

fmf --format 'name: {0}, tester: {1}\n' \
    --value 'name' --value 'data["tester"]'

Individual attribute values can be accessed through the data dictionary, variable name contains the object identifier and root is assigned to directory where metadata tree is rooted.

Python modules os and os.path as well as other python functions are available and can be used for processing attribute values as desired:

fmf --format '{}' --value 'os.dirname(data["path"])'