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This document provides a very brief description of the Orca test
harness. The Orca test harness is not meant to be our final answer to
testing, but it helps fill the gap until more general testing for
GNOME is avaialble.


The main ideas behind the Orca test harness are as follows:

* We try to make sure there is a textual description of a test that
someone can follow by hand when sitting behind the machine. The
description contains the goal of the test, the procedure to follow,
and the expected results. We try to keep the description of the
tests here:*checkout*/orca/docs/doc-set/orca.html#TESTINGPLAN

* Each test is intended to be small and test for a specific feature
of Orca and/or for a specific bug that has been been found and

* Orca provides the ability to send a textual description of what it
is sending to speech and braille. This allows for the recording
of output, thus allowing for comparison to results in the future.

* The harness merely consists of playing back pre-recorded keystrokes
and comparing Orca's output to a previously recorded successful run
(where 'success' means Orca output the correct information).


The Orca regression tests contained in this directory are laid out as

./harness: test harness scripts

./keystrokes: keystroke and otyher files for playing back tests

./results: reference results containing accurate output from Orca
when the test harness runall script was run using the


The main prerequisite for running the tests is that you've checked the
orca module out from the GNOME git repository. If you want to do
regression testing to compare the test results with a known 'correct'
set of results, you need to create an 'orca' user on your machine and
run the tests while logged in as that user. It's best if you check
the orca module out directly in the home directory of the user running
the tests.


./harness/ The ./harness directory contains two main
scripts: and The script is the main
script to use and will execute all the tests and will place the
results in a directory whose name is of the form YYYY-MM-DD_HH:MM:SS
(e.g., 2006-11-29_20:21:41).

./harness/ The script allows a test creator to
run just one test. The parameters are:
where the *.keys file contains keystrokes and is the
name of the application to run with the given *.keys file.

./harness/ contains the default Orca configuration
settings. The primary thing this file does is disable the use of
real speech and braille and instead sends a text form of the speech
and braille to a log file. Note that there are also facilities to
specify a custom user-settings file for each keystroke file so as to
allow the testing of Orca settings (e.g., echo by word).

./keystrokes/*: The ./keystrokes directory consists of a set of
directories, where each directory name has significant meaning
and is used to determine which app the test harness uses for
testing. The directory name is typically the name of a binary
on the path. For example, there is a ./keystrokes/gtk-demo
directory, and the files under this directory are for testing Orca
using the gtk-demo application. The other type of directory name
is one that matches the output of 'uname', and is used to contain
platform specific tests (e.g., Ctrl+Esc for Solaris versus Alt+F1
for Linux).

Under each ./keystrokes/* directory, there will be one or more
*.keys files. These contain keystrokes recorded using the utility (see RECORDING TESTS below). In
addition, there may be an option *.settings file for each *.keys
file. The *.settings file is an Orca settings file to use
specifically for the *.keys file, and is used to help test
specific Orca features such as word echo, key echo, etc.

./results/*: The ./results directory should contain a set of
directories that matches those in the ./keystrokes directory.
Under each of the ./results/* directores are *.orca files
containing the reference speech and braille output from a
known successful run of Orca using the associated *.keys file.


To record a test, you should first start the application to be tested
and leave it in its initial startup state. For example, if you want
to write a test for gedit, just start 'gedit' and don't do anything in
it yet.

In a separate terminal window, run orca's ''
module and immediately give focus back to the window of the
application you are testing. You can run the
module as follows (the 'sleep 5' gives you time to put focus back on
the app):

sleep 5; python ~/orca/src/tools/ > myfile.keys

Then, interact with the application and press F12 when you are done.
The F12 tells to quit. If you want to do a rough
verification that the recorded file is OK, you can run the
'' module:

python ~/orca/src/tools/ < myfile.keys

NOTE: You need to be somewhat careful about recording tests. There
are cases where some keystrokes do not make it to the AT-SPI, such as
when applications do keyboard grabs. In these cases, you need to find
a different way to accomplish what you're trying to do. In addition,
be aware that some applications also embed time-based and
username-specific stuff in them. They also sometimes modify their
menus based upon past use (e.g., a list of recently used documents in
the 'File' menu). In these cases, you should try to avoid navigating
through these areas so as to avoid inconsistent output from run to

NOTE ALSO: the test harness automatically starts and kills the
application to be tested. As such, you usually do not need to record
keystrokes to exit the application being tested, unless you happen to
be writing a test for that, of course. Some apps, such as Nautilus
and Open Office, tend to spawn off or connect to background processes.
In order to ensure these types of applications quit, you actually do
need to make sure the keystrokes to quit these applications are
contained in every keystroke file.


To run the harness, merely run the script. It will run
through all the keystrokes and compare the results to the known


* Solaris and Linux use different keycodes. The keystroke files
currently are recorded on Ubuntu. The work needed here might be to
create a directory called ./keystrokes_solaris parallel to the
./keystrokes directory, and then specify this directory via the "-k"
command line option to the script.

* The OS-specific (e.g., 'uname') portions of the harness really do not
work yet. Instead, the keystroke files are always played regardless
of platform. We need to work this out.

* OpenOffice behaves oddly when popping up dialogs: there seems to be
a variable delay on these dialogs and the played keystrokes do not
always seem to get to the right window. You'll be able to tell this
because OpenOffice will not quit when the test is completed. For
now, the workaround is to keep rerunning the tests via the
script until the tests complete.