Autotest with custom growl notifications in Leopard 5

Posted by unixmonkey on January 17, 2008

Autotest is part of the ZenTest suite for testing ruby and rails apps. Instead of running ‘rake test’ every time you want to run your tests, simply open another tab in your terminal, browse to your rails project directory and run ‘autotest’. It will run your test suite and sit there waiting for any file to be modified. When you edit any file in your rails project, autotest will automatically run your tests again.

To install ZenTest and autotest, open a terminal and run ‘sudo gem install ZenTest’.

This is great, awesome even. I don’t want to understate how useful this is, its like breathing when doing test-driven development, but when I’m coding, I’ll often have a different terminal up front with a script/console shell or tail-ing the development log. I want my tests to get in my face when something goes wrong.

The way to do this is with Growl on OSX, Snarl for Windows, or several other similar pop-up notification apps.

As of this writing, the latest version of Growl is 1.1.2, the ZenTest Gem is 3.8.0, and OSX Leopard is 10.5.1. I installed Leopard as a clean install.

After downloading and installing Growl, while the .dmg is still mounted, open a terminal and run ‘/Volumes/Growl 1.1.2/Extras/growlnotify/’.

This will put a commandline tool called ‘growlnotify’ in your /usr/local/bin dir that is used to pop up those messages. Now you can use a text editor to create a ~/.autotest file.

Lets start simple and check that growl is working with autotest, add this line to your .autotest file:

require ‘autotest/growl’

Then save, and go into your Rails project and run ‘autotest’

If all the pieces were installed right, you should get some nice popups when you run autotest and each time you modify a file in your rails project directory.

Lets pretty this up a bit by over-riding the Autotest::Growl module in our .autotest file. I’ve pretty much copied this verbatim from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/ZenTest-3.8.0/lib/autotest/growl.rb
only I’ve added an image directive to the autotest hooks, a nice red rails logo for test failures, and a green one for test passes, then changed the growl method to substitute my images into the growlnotify command. Be sure the modify the image paths for your images directory.

# ~.autotest
require 'autotest/redgreen'
require 'autotest/growl'
module Autotest::Growl
  def self.growl title, msg, img="/Applications/", pri=0
    title += " in #{Dir.pwd}"
    msg += " at #{"%I:%M %p")}"
    system "growlnotify -n autotest --image #{img} -p #{pri} -m #{msg.inspect} #{title}"
  Autotest.add_hook :run do  |at|
     growl "autotest running", "Started"
   Autotest.add_hook :red do |at|
     img = "/Users/djones/.autotest_images/rails_fail.png"
     growl "Tests Failed", "#{at.files_to_test.size} tests failed", img, 2
   Autotest.add_hook :green do |at|
     img = "/Users/djones/.autotest_images/rails_ok.png"
     growl "Tests Passed", "Tests passed", img, -2 if at.tainted
   Autotest.add_hook :all_good do |at|
     img = "/Users/djones/.autotest_images/rails_fail.png"
     growl "Tests Passed", "All tests passed", img, -2 if at.tainted

Now create a .autotest_images folder in your home directory and put these images in there (I got them from here), or you can use your own.