testing/mozbase/mozinfo/README.md
author Myk Melez <myk@mozilla.org>
Tue, 14 Aug 2012 15:27:26 -0700
changeset 102403 07b53bdc212ac3876cea6c2c7906e3106985043e
parent 98125 a9fda5347abd578680813882ebb09980de955223
permissions -rw-r--r--
bug 770770: refactor webapp runtime test harness to reduce complexity/special-casing; r=adw

Throughout [mozmill](https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Mozmill)
and other Mozilla python code, checking the underlying
platform is done in many different ways.  The various checks needed
lead to a lot of copy+pasting, leaving the reader to wonder....is this
specific check necessary for (e.g.) an operating system?  Because
information is not consolidated, checks are not done consistently, nor
is it defined what we are checking for.

[MozInfo](https://github.com/mozilla/mozbase/tree/master/mozinfo)
proposes to solve this problem.  MozInfo is a bridge interface,
making the underlying (complex) plethora of OS and architecture
combinations conform to a subset of values of relavence to 
Mozilla software. The current implementation exposes relavent key,
values: `os`, `version`, `bits`, and `processor`.  Additionally, the
service pack in use is available on the windows platform.


# API Usage

MozInfo is a python package.  Downloading the software and running
`python setup.py develop` will allow you to do `import mozinfo`
from python.  
[mozinfo.py](https://github.com/mozilla/mozbase/blob/master/mozinfo/mozinfo.py)
is the only file contained is this package,
so if you need a single-file solution, you can just download or call
this file through the web.

The top level attributes (`os`, `version`, `bits`, `processor`) are
available as module globals:

    if mozinfo.os == 'win': ...

In addition, mozinfo exports a dictionary, `mozinfo.info`, that
contain these values.  mozinfo also exports:

- `choices`: a dictionary of possible values for os, bits, and
  processor
- `main`: the console_script entry point for mozinfo
- `unknown`: a singleton denoting a value that cannot be determined

`unknown` has the string representation `"UNKNOWN"`. unknown will evaluate
as `False` in python:

    if not mozinfo.os: ... # unknown!


# Command Line Usage

MozInfo comes with a command line, `mozinfo` which may be used to
diagnose one's current system.

Example output:

    os: linux
    version: Ubuntu 10.10
    bits: 32
    processor: x86

Three of these fields, os, bits, and processor, have a finite set of
choices.  You may display the value of these choices using 
`mozinfo --os`, `mozinfo --bits`, and `mozinfo --processor`. 
`mozinfo --help` documents command-line usage.