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My GSoC2009 Proposal

Lots of students that didn't make it this year into GSoC are requesting for access to accepted students' proposals so they can have a look at what the accepted proposals looked like. So I thought I would post my proposal here.

Title: Code coverage analysis of and improvements to Python3k Core's testing framework
Student: muhammad shuaib khan

Abstract: This project proposes improvements to and extension of the Python3k testing framework by adding more test cases for increased code coverage, integration of the C code with the Python code coverage, and easy to generate integrated report.


GSoC Proposal
Name: Muhammad Shuaib Khan
Phone: +923435286646


Code coverage analysis of and improvements to Python3k Core's testing framework


Testing phase of any big software project is critically essential in order to ensure flawless execution of the tool in real world enterprise environment. Python is no exception, and being a widely used programming language to code programs that are of critical importance to organizations, it is even more essential to have a solid testing framework for the language which is easy to use, improve, extend, and covers all the aspects of the core code. Python3k has a testing infrastructure that needs to be extended and improved. This would prove to be useful for code coverage analysis for both experienced core developers and new developers to ensure that the changes they have made to the code didn't break other pieces of the software.

Benefits to Community:

The need for a solid testing framework for Python interpreter and its branches is something that has been getting a good amount of attention in the recent times. Python3k has a relatively well defined test-cases development methodology as mentioned in the document But it is important to notice that not all code gets tested by the testcases that are already laid out. Measuring the code coverage both of the Py3k C code and the python code, and getting the code coverage percentage to a higher numeral by writing new tests for the standard library and the core itself will be part of this project. The community will greatly benefit from this as they'll have an easy to use testing framework to ensure that their code hasn't broken down anything, and the confidence that all the aspects of the code have been tested for successful execution.


The project is aiming to improve the code coverage of Py3k by writing new tests, and make it easy to analyze the code coverage achieved. Keeping the main motive in mind, the following deliverables can be chalked out:

1- Study the existing tests implemented and identify parts/modules that need improved testing.
2- Write new test cases to improve the code coverage.
3- Do the test coverage on Linux and Windows platforms. (Would be nice if done for Mac OS X as well, but I do not have access to this platform)
4- Integration of the C Code coverage with the Python code coverage, and generating an integrated report.


Whenever new code is added to Python as a module or as functionality to an existing module, it is of essence to add the corresponding test code as well that tests the added functionality for situations where the code might be used in ways the programmer didn't intend it to be used. But this is not the way things get done always and there is a good amount of code in the Py3k that needs test cases. As a GSoC project, I intend to improve the situation by analyzing the code coverage and add more tests for the C code and the python code, integrate the tests for both, and provide easy to generate integrated report mechanism

The guideline for test additions documents three different ways of adding the test cases. The unittest bases tests, doctest based tests, and the traditional way of test cases that uses hackish ways of testing such as comparing the output of functionality to expected output by comparing the two and looking for mismatches.

Related work:

Professor Titus Brown ( was kind enough to point me to some existing documentation related to this project. Brett Cannon has been writing invaluable posts on his blog ( about Python test coverage and ways of improving it.

Biographical Information:

- I am undergraduate Computer Software Engineering student at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) - Pakistan.
- I was selected as a Summer Student for CERN Openlab in Geneva, Switzerland (, where I worked on developing a testing framework in Python for a Linux performance monitoring tool called "Perfmon".
- I have been writing about open source software and have been published numerous times on
* Lguest: A simple virtualization platform for Linux ( Feb 20, 2008
* Chess engines for Linux ( Mar 22, 2007
* CLI Magic: Linux troubleshooting tools 101 ( Feb 19, 2007
* A survey of open source cluster management systems ( Sep 21, 2006
* Setting up a Condor cluster ( Sep 01, 2006
- I've won a number of national software project and programming competitions.
- I'm also a Teaching Assistant (TA) at a national university where I conduct lab sessions of undergraduate students for Fundamentals of Programming and Object Oriented Programming courses.
- At my home institute, I've also been involved with a research group that targeted the development of an operating system with built in Grid management facilities.

This is my last semester of my bachelors degree and I've less courses to take. Only one and a half hour of lectures on weekdays on average. This gives me the opportunity to dedicate suitable time to my GSoC project. I'm familiar to all the major communication ways on the Internet and can be found on IRC, Skype, IM, Twitter. I've a good response time on the email.

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