Tuesday, May 19, 2009

@var magic comment

This is a good example how people get used to a bad habits. @var magic comment has appeared first in early Zend Studio, and this is how it was used:

As you can see this magic comment makes content assist know what is the type of $test variable. With PDT 2.0 we have canceled this behaviour due to promising type inference engine, that can resolve variable back to the place where it was declared. For example:

As it turned out later this is not enough for most PHP developers as there are many cases where there's no reference from variable usage to its declaration (if declaration exists at all). One example has changed our mind, and we've decided to fix 260805, 249705 and 257481 ASAP.
One famous MVC framework magically allows to refer to View members from within .phtml script using $this variable. To support this you definitely need something to tell content assist that $this variable is actually an instance of some class even though it appears in a global scope...
Ouch... PHP is full of magic :)

PS: @var comment fixes are available in 2.1.0M7, but I suggest using latest integration build.

Continuous Integration for Eclipse-based product: thoughts

I've been thinking what is the best way to create a fully bottom-up build infrastructure for Eclipse-based product. What I mean by "fully" is:
  1. Developer commits code.
  2. A new build starts automatically.
  3. If the build succeeds - run tests.
  4. If tests are successful - tag the code.
Advantages of this scheme are the following:
  1. I'll always know what's the status of the product in CVS.
  2. I can choose the "best" package and promote it without invoking any builds.
Looks simple, isn't it? Now, how would I achieve this with what I have in my hands... In my hands I have:
  • CVS repository
  • Hudson
  • Eclipse
Unfortunately, Hudson can't be used for 100% when building Eclipse plug-ins, since it's rather used as a wrapper to the Eclipse PDE builder. Here, I don't use the ability of Hudson to poll SCM, checkout & tag, present history, etc... OK, I can setup some CVS handler that invokes build in Hudson by accessing URL. So, the first two problems are solved. Hudson executes build script that uses PDE headless builder to build & test my plug-ins. If the build & test where unsuccessful, then I'll see very sad Mr. Hudson and everything is good so far.  But if the build was OK, and number of failed tests is less or equal than in the previous build - then I have to tag the sources. And here I miss the "Team -> Release" action in Ant :-) Even if there was such an action the problem still remains, since plug-ins are versioned with 'HEAD' (and I don't want to use common timestamp version for all plug-ins, but rather for those that have changed from the last tag). 

As a conclusion: I see a lot of black magic work and hacks to get this done. Or... am I missing some pretty solution here?