py.test sprint in Freiburg

Testing is a really important part of Python development and picking the testing tool of choice is no light decision. Quite a few years ago I eventually decided py.test would be the best tool for this, a choice I have never regretted but has rather been re-enforced ever since. Py.test has been the testing tool that seamlessly scaled from small unit tests to large integration test. Furthermore it has seen a steady and continuous development over all these years, the py.test I first used was without a lot of the features we now consider essential: AST re-writing, fixtures and even the plugin system did not exist yet. To have seen all this work by so many people put into the tool has been great. And at some point I myself moved from user to contributing plugins and eventually doing various bits of work on the core as well.

Personally the greatest part of this all has been seeing the project grow from (mostly) a single maintainer to the team that maintains py.test now while at the same time the adoption among users has steadily kept growing as well. Py.test is now in a position where any of about half a dozen people can make a release and many plugin maintainers have now also joined the pytest-dev team. Since the team has grown in the last few years some of us have managed to meet up at various conferences. Yet, due to the range of continents we never all managed to meet. This is how the idea of a dedicated sprint for py.test first came about, would it not be great if we all managed to meet and spend some dedicated time to work on py.test together?

With this objective we have now organised a week-long sprint and created a fundraiser campaign to help us make it affordable for even those of us coming from far-flung continents (depending on your point of view!). It would be great to get your or your company's support if you think py.test is a worthwhile tool for you. The sprint is open to anyone, so if you or your company think it would be interesting for you to learn a lot about py.test while helping out or maybe working on your pet feature or bug, please come along! Just drop us a note on the mailing list and we'll accommodate for you.

There is a variety of topics people looking at working on, all together hopefully culminating in a py.test 3.0 release (which will be backwards compatible!). Personally I would like to work on a feature to elegantly fail tests from within finalisers. The problem here is that raising an exception in a finaliser is actually treated as an error, but yet this is a fairly common feature that fixtures often do this anyway. My current plan is to add a new request.addverifier() method which would be allowed to fail the test, though exact details may change. Another subject I might be interested in is adding multiple-environment support to tox, so that you may be able to test packages in e.g. a Conda environment. Though this is certainly not a simple feature.

So if you use py.test and would like to support us it would be great if you contributed or maybe convince your work to contribute. And if you're keen enough to join us for the sprint that would be great too. I look forward to meeting everyone in June!