Testing several Jekyll versions

Maintaining a Jekyll plugin that must work for two major versions of Jekyll is a challenge.

I released the Jekyll Algolia plugin for Jekyll 2.5 (the version used by GitHub). Jekyll recently released their v3.0 and while the plugin is still working, it produces a huge number of deprecation warnings.

This is caused by the fact that Jekyll changed the place where some information were stored (at the root of an objet or in a sub data key). This was mostly a really easy fix to add but I wanted to make sure I wasn't adding any regression as well.

Testing multiple versions

That's when my journey into testing the plugin for two different major version began. I needed a way to launch my tests for Jekyll 2.5 as well Jekyll 3.0 and check that everything was green.

I used Appraisal, a wonderful tool by Thoughtbot. It lets you define your Gemfile like usual, but also named overrides on top of it.

# ./Gemfile
source 'http://rubygems.org'

gem 'algoliasearch', '~> 1.4'
gem 'appraisal', '~> 2.1.0'
gem 'jekyll', '~> 2.5'

group :development do
  gem 'appraisal', '~> 2.1.0'
  gem 'rspec', '~> 3.0'
  gem 'simplecov', '~> 0.10'
# ./Appraisals
appraise 'jekyll-v2' do
  gem 'jekyll', '~> 2.5'

appraise 'jekyll-v3' do
  gem 'jekyll', '~> 3.0'
  gem 'jekyll-paginate', '~> 1.1.0'

As you can see, I simply defined my dependencies in Gemfile, then override them in Appraisal, naming each group. jekyll-v2 will use Jekyll 2.5 while jekyll-v3 will use 3.0. Jekyll 3 no longer comes shipped with jekyll-paginate so I had to manually add it as well.

Once this is done, be sure to run appraisal install after the usual bundle install. This will create all the needed gemfiles in ./gemfiles.

├── jekyll_v2.gemfile
├── jekyll_v2.gemfile.lock
├── jekyll_v3.gemfile
└── jekyll_v3.gemfile.lock

Running tests in two versions

Running scripts in one version or the other is now as simple as prefixing the command with appraisal jekyll-v2 or appraisal jekyll-v3. Granted, with bundler and rake you end up typing stuff like appraisal jekyll-v3 bundle exec rake spec, but just put it all in a wrapper bash script and problem solved.

This is actually the content of some of my scripts in ./scripts:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# ./scripts/test_v2
cd "$(dirname "$BASH_SOURCE")"/..

echo "Testing under Jekyll 2"
appraisal jekyll-v2 bundle exec rake spec
#!/usr/bin/env bash
# ./scripts/test_v3
cd "$(dirname "$BASH_SOURCE")"/..

echo "Testing under Jekyll 3"
appraisal jekyll-v3 bundle exec rake spec
#!/usr/bin/env bash
# ./scripts/test
cd "$(dirname "$BASH_SOURCE")"

./test_v2 && ./test_v3

Running some tests only for Jekyll 3

I had a couple of tests that made sense only for Jekyll 3, so I had to find a way to only execute them when the Jekyll loaded as a dependency was > 3.0.

Here is the little ruby method I added to my spec helpers:

def restrict_jekyll_version(more_than: nil, less_than: nil)
  jekyll_version = Gem::Version.new(Jekyll::VERSION)
  minimum_version = Gem::Version.new(more_than)
  maximum_version = Gem::Version.new(less_than)

  return false if !more_than.nil? && jekyll_version < minimum_version
  return false if !less_than.nil? && jekyll_version > maximum_version

Gem::Version comes bundled with all the semver comparison you might need, so better to use it than coding it myself.

And an example of how I use it in the tests:

if restrict_jekyll_version(more_than: '3.0')
  describe 'Jekyll > 3.0' do
    it 'should not throw any deprecation warnings' do
      # Given

      # When

      # Expect
      expect(@logger).to_not have_received(:warn)

Using it with Guard

This gem is even compatible with Guard. You do not have to change anything to your Guardfile, but simply prefix your guard call with appraisal like for bundler.

Here is my default config for rspec TDD:

# Guardfile
guard :rspec, cmd: 'bundle exec rspec --color --format documentation' do
  watch(%r{^lib/(.+)\.rb$})     { |m| "spec/#{m[1]}_spec.rb" }
  watch('spec/spec_helper.rb')  { 'spec' }

notification :off
#!/usr/bin/env bash
# ./scripts/watch_v2
cd "$(dirname "$BASH_SOURCE")"/..

appraisal jekyll-v2 guard 
#!/usr/bin/env bash
# ./scripts/watch_v3
cd "$(dirname "$BASH_SOURCE")"/..

appraisal jekyll-v3 guard 

Unfortunatly, it is not possible to run both watch_v2 and watch_v3 at the same time, so you still have to do TDD on one version at a time.

Configuring TravisCI

Appraisal is also Travis-compliant out of the box. Just run appraisal generate --travis to get the config you need to add to your .travis.yml file.

This will simply output the matrix of Gemfiles to use. In my case it was nothing more than:

  - gemfiles/jekyll_v2.gemfile
  - gemfiles/jekyll_v3.gemfile


It took me way more time to configure the testing environment for multiple Jekyll version than "fixing" the initial bug. But in the end I'm now sure I won't cause any regression in one version when I fix a bug in another.

Everything is tested on Travis on all supported Jekyll and Ruby versions.

Tags : #ruby, #jekyll, #travis, #appraisal, #rspec

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