Testing Your Project with Rubinius on Travis

Brian Shirai 03 December 2013

Travis CI has been a tremendously useful tool for automating testing and has provided Ruby implementations with valuable feedback. However, it can be a trial-and-error process to find the right incantations for .travis.yml to get your preferred selection of Ruby implementations running. This post explains how to test your project on Rubinius.

With the Rubinius 2.0 release, there are no longer language modes. Rubinius is presently working on compatibility with the upcoming MRI 2.1 release. There are still compatibility issues to be fixed, primarily keyword syntax and some core library API changes. What this means for your .travis.yml file is that 'rbx-18mode' and 'rbx-19mode' are no longer supported. We submitted a patch to the Travis lint tool to check for this, so please use the linter!

So, if those language modes are no longer available, what should you add to your .travis.yml file? Remember that Rubinius is releasing new versions every week or so. Together with recent changes to RVM, this gives four options for how specific you want to be about the Rubinius version you test against. The following list of Rubinius options is from least-to-most specific:

  1. 'rbx' - This means the most recent Rubinius release. Every time your tests run, the most recently released binary will be used.
  2. 'rbx-X' - This means the most recent Major release. For example, if you use 'rbx-2' (which is the only one available right now), your tests will run on the most recent 2.Y.Z release, but would not run on 3.Y.Z.
  3. 'rbx-X.Y' - This means the most recent Minor release. If you use 'rbx-2.2', your tests will run on the most recent 2.2.Z release, but will not use the 2.3.Z or 2.1.Z release.
  4. 'rbx-X.Y.Z' - This means precisely the specified release. So, 'rbx-2.2.1' will run only on the 2.1.1 releease and no other release.

This method of designating the version of Rubinius you wish to run against should look similar to specifying versions of gems with the pessimistic operator (~>). It is intended to give you the same flexibility while allowing for stability constraints that you choose.

Since each of these designations is independent, you can mix and match them as you wish. For example, if you know that Rubinius 2.2.1 is green for your project, you can specify both 'rbx-2.2.1' and 'rbx'. Or you can always stay on the cutting edge by just using 'rbx'.

If you need help getting your project set up or updated on Travis, please let us know. I've created a simple project called travis-canary that you can check to see if the ways of specifying Rubinius listed above are currently working on Travis.

Happy testing!

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