How to Send a Script as Variable to the Meilix ISO with Travis and Meilix Generator

We wanted to add more features to Melix Generator web app to be able to customize Meilix ISO with more features so we thought of sending every customization we want to apply as a different variable and then use the scripts from Meilix Generator repo to generate ISO but that idea was bad as many variables are to be made and need to be maintained on both Heroku and Travis CI and keep growing with addition of features to web app.

So we thought of a better idea of creating a combined script with web app for each feature to be applied to ISO and send it as a variable to Travis CI.

Now another problem was how to send script as a variable after generating it as json do not support special characters inside the script. We tried escaping the special characters and the data was successfully sent to Travis CI and was shown in config but when setting that variable as an environment variable in Travis CI the whole value of variable was not taken as we had spaces in the script.

So to eliminate that problem we encoded the variable in the app as base64 and sent it to Travis CI and used it using following code.

To generate the variable from script.

with open('','rb') as f:
    os.environ["TRAVIS_SCRIPT"] = str(base64.b64encode([1:]


For this we have to import base64 module and open the script generated in binary mode and using base64 we encode the script and using Travis CI API we send variable as script to the Travis CI to build the ISO with script in chroot we were also required to make changes in Meilix to be able to decode the script and then copy it into chroot during the ISO build.

sudo su <<EOF
echo "$TRAVIS_SCRIPT" > edit/
mv edit/


Using script inside chroot.

chmod +x
echo "$(<" #to test the file


Base64 python documentation from

Base64 bash tutorial from by Scott Miller

su in a script from answered by Ankit

Including a Graph Component in the Remote Access Framework for PSLab

The remote-lab software of the pocket science lab enables users to access their devices remotely via the Internet. It includes an API server designed with Python Flask, and a web-app designed with EmberJS that allows users to access the API and carry out various tasks such as writing and executing Python scripts. In a series of blog posts, various aspects of this framework such as  remote execution of function strings, automatic deployment on various domains, creating and submitting python scripts which will be run on the remote server etc have already been explored.  This blog post deals with the inclusion of a graph component in the webapp that will be invoked when the user utilises the `plot` command in their scripts.

The JQPLOT library is being used for this purpose, and has been found to be quite lightweight and has a vast set of example code .

Task list for enabling the plotting feature
  • Add a plot method to the codeEvaluator module in the API server and allow access to it by adding it to the evalGlobals dictionary
  • Create an EmberJS component for handling plots
    • Create a named div in the template
    • Invoke the Jqplot initializer from the JS file and pass necessary arguments and data to the jqplot instance
  • Add a conditional statement to include the jqplot component whenever a plot subsection is present in the JSON object returned by the API server after executing a script
Adding a plot method to the API server

Thus far, in addition to the functions supported by the instance of PSLab, users had access to print, print_, and button functions. We shall now add a plot function.

def plot(self,x,y,**kwargs):


The X,Y datasets provided by the user are stacked in pairs because jqplot requires [x,y] pairs . not separate datasets.

We also need to add this to evalGlobals, so we shall modify the __init__ routine slightly:

Building an Ember component for handling plots

First, well need to install jqplot:   bower install –save jqplot

And this must be followed by including the following files using app.import statements in ember-cli-build.js

  • bower_components/jqplot/jquery.jqplot.min.js
  • bower_components/jqplot/plugins/jqplot.cursor.js
  • bower_components/jqplot/plugins/jqplot.highlighter.js
  • bower_components/jqplot/plugins/jqplot.pointLabels.js
  • bower_components/jqplot/jquery.jqplot.min.css

In addition to the jqplot js and css files, we have also included a couple of plugins we shall use later.

Now we need to set up a new component : ember g component jqplot-graph

Our component will accept an object as an input argument. This object will contain the various configuration options for the plot

Add the following line in templates/components/jqplot-graph.hbs:

style="solid gray 1px;" id="{{}}">

The JS file for this template must invoke the jqplot function in order to insert a complete plot into the previously defined <div> after it has been created. Therefore, the initialization routine must override the didInsertElement routine of the component.


import Ember from 'ember';

export default Ember.Component.extend({
  didInsertElement () {
        title: this.title,

        axes: {
          xaxis: {
            tickInterval: 1,
            rendererOptions: {
            minorTicks: 4
        highlighter: {
          show: true, 
          showLabel: true, 

          tooltipAxes: 'xy',
          sizeAdjust: 9.5 , tooltipLocation : 'ne'
        legend: {
          show: true,
          location: 'e',
          rendererOptions: {
            numberColumns: 1,
          show: true,


Our component is now ready to be used , and we must make the necessary changes to user-home.hbs in order to include the plot component if the output JSON of a script executed on the server contains it.

The following excerpt from the results modal shows how the plot component can be inserted

{{#each codeResults as |element|}}
	{{#if (eq element.type 'text')}}
	{{#if (eq element.type 'plot')}}
		{{jqplot-graph data=element}}

Most of the other components such as buttons and spans have been removed for clarity. Note that the element object is passed to the jqplot-graph component as an argument so that the component may configure itself accordingly.

In conclusion, the following screencast shows what we have created. A simple plot command creates a fancy plot in the output which includes data point highlighting, and can be easily configured to do a lot more. In the next blog post we shall explore how to use this plot to create a persistent application such as an oscilloscope.



PSLab Remote Lab: Automatically deploying the EmberJS WebApp and Flask API Server to different domains

The remote-lab software of the pocket science lab enables users to access their devices remotely via the internet. Its design involves an API server designed with Python Flask, and a web-app designed with EmberJS that allows users to access the API and carry out various tasks such as writing and executing Python scripts. For testing purposes, the repository needed to be setup to deploy both the backend as well as the webapp automatically when a build passes, and this blog post deals with how this can be achieved.

Deploying the API server

The Heroku PaaS was chosen due to its ease of use with a wide range of server software, and support for postgresql databases. It can be configured to automatically deploy branches from github repositories, and conditions such as passing of a linked CI can also be included. The following screenshot shows the Heroku configuration page of an app called pslab-test1. Most of the configuration actions can be carried out offline via the Heroku-Cli


In the above page, the pslab-test1 has been set to deploy automatically from the master branch of . The wait for CI to pass before deploy has been disabled since a CI has not been setup on the repository.

Files required for Heroku to deploy automatically

Once the Heroku PaaS has copied the latest commit made to the linked repository, it searches the base directory for a configuration file called runtime.txt which contains details about the language of the app and the version of the compiler/interpretor to use, and a Procfile which contains the command to launch the app once it is ready. Since the PSLab’s API server is written in Python, we also have a requirements.txt which is a list of dependencies to be installed before launching the application.


web: gunicorn app:app –log-file –




flask >= 0.10.1

But wait, our app cannot run yet, because it requires a postgresql database, and we did not do anything to set up one. The following steps will set up a postgres database using the heroku-cli usable from your command prompt.

  • Point Heroku-cli to our app
    $ heroku git:remote -a pslab-test1
  • Create a postgres database under the hobby-dev plan available for free users.
    $ heroku addons:create heroku-postgresql:hobby-dev

    Creating heroku-postgresql:hobby-dev on ⬢ pslab-test1… free
    Database has been created and is available
    ! This database is empty. If upgrading, you can transfer
    ! data from another database with pg:copy
    Created postgresql-slippery-81404 as HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_CHARCOAL_URL
    Use heroku addons:docs heroku-postgresql to view documentation

  • The previous step created a database along with an environment variable HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_CHARCOAL_URL . As a shorthand, we can also refer to it simply as CHARCOAL .
  • In order to make it our primary database, it must be promoted

    $ heroku pg:promote HEROKU_POSTGRESQL_CHARCOAL_URL
    The database will now be available via the environment variable DATABASE_URL

  • Further documentation on creating and modifying postgres databases on Heroku can be found in the articles section .

At this point, if the app is in good shape, Heroku will automatically deploy its contents to We can test it using a developer tool such as Postman, or make our own webapp to use it.

Deploying the EmberJS WebApp

Since we are using the free plan on Heroku which only allows one dyno, our EmberJS webapp which shares the repository cannot be deployed on the same heroku server. Therefore, we must look for other domains where the frontend can be deployed. allows easy deployment of Ember apps, and we shall set up our CI’s configuration file .travis.yml to do this for us when a pull request is made, and the build passes

This excerpt from .travis.yml only shows parts relevant to deployment on

– pushd frontend
– bash
– popd

Once the build has passed, the after_success hook executes a script called which is located in the directory of the webapp.

Contents of

#!/usr/bin/env bash
if [ “$TRAVIS_PULL_REQUEST” == “false” ]; then
echo “Not a PR. Skipping surge deployment”
exit 0

ember build –environment=’production’


npm i -g surge

# Details of a dummy account. So can be added to vcs.
export SURGE_LOGIN=j********[email protected]
export SURGE_TOKEN=4********************************f
export DEPLOY_DOMAIN=https://${REPO_NAME}
surge –project ./dist –domain $DEPLOY_DOMAIN;

The variables SURGE_LOGIN and SURGE_TOKEN must be specified, otherwise Surge will open a login prompt, and since there is no way to feed details into a prompt in a Travis build, it will timeout and fail. The surge token can be obtained with a simple `surge login` followed by `surge token` on your system’s terminal.

Final Application

A user’s homepage on the webapp deployed at . The EmberJS app has been configured to send all AJAX requests to the API server located at .


Auto Deploying loklak Server on Google Cloud Using Travis

This is a setup for loklak server which want to check in only the source files, but have the development branch in Kubernetes deployment automatically updated with some compiled output every time the push using details from Travis build.

How to achieve it?

Unix commands and shell script is one of the best option to automate all deployment and build activities. I explored Kubernetes Gcloud which can be accessed through unix command.

1.Checking for Travis build details before deployment:

Firstly check whether the repository is loklak_server, pull request is available and branches are either master or development, and then decide to update the docker image or not. The code of the aforementioned things is as follows:

if [ "$TRAVIS_REPO_SLUG" != "loklak/loklak_server" ]; then
    echo "Skipping image update for repo $TRAVIS_REPO_SLUG"
    exit 0

if [ "$TRAVIS_PULL_REQUEST" != "false" ]; then
    echo "Skipping image update for pull request"
    exit 0

if [ "$TRAVIS_BRANCH" != "master" ] && [ "$TRAVIS_BRANCH" != "development" ]; then
    echo "Skipping image update for branch $TRAVIS_BRANCH"
    exit 0

2. Setting up Tag and Decrypting the credentials:

For the Kubernetes deployment, each time the travis build is successful, it takes the commit details from travis and appended into tag details for deployment and gcloud credentials is decrypted from the json file.

openssl aes-256-cbc -K $encrypted_48d01dc243a6_key -iv $encrypted_48d01dc243a6_iv  -in kubernetes/gcloud-credentials.json.enc -out kubernetes/gcloud-credentials.json -d

3. Install, Authenticate and Configure GCloud details with Kubernetes:

In this step, initially Google Cloud SDK should be installed with Kubernetes-

curl | bash > /dev/null
source ~/google-cloud-sdk/
gcloud components install kubectl


Then, Authenticate Google Cloud using the above mentioned decrypted credentials and finally configure the Google Cloud with the details like zone, project name, cluster details, number of nodes etc.

4. Update the Kubernetes deployment:

Since, in this issue it is specific to the loklak_server/development branch, so in here it checks if the branch is development or not and then updates the deployment using following command:

if [ $TRAVIS_BRANCH == "development" ]; then
    kubectl set image deployment/server --namespace=web server=$TAG



In this post, how to write a script in such a way that with each successful push after travis build how to update the deployment on Kubernetes GCloud.


Using Travis CI to Generate Sample Apks for Testing in Open Event Android

In the Open Event Android app we were using Travis already to push an apk of the Android app to the apk branch for easy testing after each commit in the repo. A better way to test the dynamic nature of the app would be to use the samples of different events from the Open Event repo to generate an apk for each sample. This could help us identify bugs and inconsistencies in the generator and the Android app easily. In this blog I will be talking about how this was implemented using Travis CI.

What is a CI?

Continuous Integration is a DevOps software development practice where developers regularly push their code changes into a central repository. After the merge automated builds and tests are run on the code that has been pushed. This helps developers to identify bugs in code quite easily. There are many CI’s available such as Travis, Codecov etc.

Now that we are all caught up with let’s dive into the code.

Script for replacing a line in a file (

The main role of this script would be to replace a line in the config.json file. Why do we need this? This would be used to reconfigure the Api_Link in the config.json file according to our build parameters. If we want the apk for Mozilla All Hands 2017 to be built, I would use this  script to replace the Api_Link in the config.json file to the one for Mozilla All Hands 2017.

This is what the config.json file for the app looks like.

   "Email": "[email protected]",
   "App_Name": "Open Event",
   "Api_Link": ""

We are going to replace line 4 of this file with


 while read line
 if [ "$VAR" = 4 ]; then
 echo "$STRING1"
 echo "$line"
 done < app/src/main/assets/config.json

The script above reads the file line by line. If it reaches line 4 it would print out the string that was given into the script as a parameter else it just prints out the line in the file.

This script would print the required file for us in the terminal if called but NOT create the required file. So we redirect the output of this file into the same file config.json.

Now let’s move on to the main script which is responsible for the building of the apks.

Build Script(

Main components of the script

  • Build the apk for the default sample i.e FOSSASIA17 using the build scripts ./gradlew build and ./gradlew assembleRelease.
  • Store all the Api_Links and apk names for which we need the apks for different arrays
  • Replace the Api_Link in the json file found under android/app/src/main/assets/config.json using the
  • Run the build scripts ./gradlew build and ./gradlew assembleRelease to generate the apk.
  • Move the generated apk from app/build/outputs/apk/ to a folder called daily where we store all the generated apks.
  • We then repeat this process for the other Api_Links in the array.

As of now we are generating the apks for the following events:

  1. FOSSASIA 17
  2. Mozilla All Hands 17
  3. Google I/O 17
  4. Facebook Developer Conference 17

Care is also taken to avoid all these builds if it is a PR. All the apks are generated only when there is a commit on the development branch i.e when the PR is merged.

Usage of Scripts in .travis.yml

To add Travis integration for the repo we need to include a file named .travis.yml in the repo which indicates Travis CI what to build.

language: android
 jdk: oraclejdk8
   - cd android
   - chmod +x
   - chmod +x
   - ./
   - bash <(curl -s
   - cd ..
   - chmod +x
   - ./

In this file we need to define the language for which Travis will build. Here we indicate that it is android. We also specify the jdk version to be used.

Now let’s talk about the other parts of this snippet.

  • before_script : Executes the bash instructions before the travis build starts. Here we do cd android so that we can access gradlew for building the apk.
  • script : This section consists of the instruction to be executed for the build. Here we give executable rights to the two scripts that we have written sh and . Then ./generate_apks is called and the project build starts. All the apks get saved to the folder daily.
  • after_success : This section consists the instructions that are run after the script executes successfully. Here we see that we run a script called sh. This script is responsible of pushing the generated apk files in an orphan branch called apk.

Some points of Interest

  • If the user/developer testing the apk is in the offline state and then comes online there will be database inconsistencies as data from the local assets as well as the data from the Api_Link would appear in the app.
  • When the app generator CLI is ready we can use it to trigger the builds instead of just replacing the Api_Link. This would also be effective in testing the app generator simultaneously.

Now we have everything setup to trigger builds for various samples after each commit.


Flask App to Upload Wallpaper On the Server for Meilix Generator

We had a problem of getting a wallpaper from the user using Meilix Generator and use the wallpaper with the Meilix build scripts to generate the ISO. So, we were required to host the wallpaper on the server and downloaded by Travis CI during the build to include it in the ISO.

A solution is to render HTML templates and access data sent by POST using the request object from the flask. Redirect and url_for will be used to redirect the user once the upload is done and send_from_directory will help us to host the file under the /uploads that the user just uploaded which will be downloaded by the Travis for building the ISO.

We start by creating the HTML form marked with enctype=multipart/form-data.

<form action="upload" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
        <input type="file" name="file"><br /><br />
        <input type="submit" value="Upload">


First, we need imports of modules required. Most important is werkzeug.secure_filename().

import os
from flask import Flask, render_template, request, redirect, url_for, send_from_directory
from werkzeug import secure_file


Now, we’ll define where to upload and the type of file allowed for uploading. The path to upload directory on the server is defined by the extensions in app.config which is uploads/ here.

app.config['UPLOAD_FOLDER'] = 'uploads/'
app.config['ALLOWED_EXTENSIONS'] = set(['png', 'jpg', 'jpeg'])


This functions will check for valid extension for the wallpaper which are png, jpg and jpeg in this case defined above in app.config.

def allowed_file(filename):
    return '.' in filename and \
           filename.rsplit('.', 1)[1] in app.config['ALLOWED_EXTENSIONS']


After, getting the name of uploaded file from the user then using above function check if there are allowed file type and store it in a variable filename after that it move the files to the upload folder to save it.

Upload function check if the file name is safe and remove unsupported characters (line 3) after that moves it from a temporal folder to the upload folder. After moving, it renames the file as wallpaper so that the download link is same always which we have used in Meilix build script to download from server.

def upload():
    file = request.files['file']
    if file and allowed_file(file.filename):
        filename = secure_filename(file.filename)['UPLOAD_FOLDER'], filename))
         os.rename(UPLOAD_FOLDER + filename, UPLOAD_FOLDER+'wallpaper')
         filename = 'wallpaper'


At this point, we have only uploaded the wallpaper and renamed the uploaded file to ‘wallpaper’ only. We cannot access the file outside the server it will result in 403 error so to make it available, the uploaded file need to be registered and then hosted using below code snippet.

We can also register uploaded_file as build_only rule and use the SharedDataMiddleware.

def uploaded_file(filename):
    return send_from_directory(app.config['UPLOAD_FOLDER'],filename)

The hosted wallpaper is used by Meilix in Travis CI to generate ISO using the download link which remains same for the uploaded wallpaper.

Why should we use secure secure_filename() function?

just imagine someone sends the following information as the filename to your app.

filename = "../../../../home/username/.sh"


If the number of ../ is correct and you would join this with your UPLOAD_FOLDER the hacker might have the ability to modify a file on the server’s filesystem that he or she should not modify.

Now, let’s look how the function works.


Improving the uploads

We can add validation to the size of the file to be uploaded so that in case a user tries to upload a file too much big that may increase load on the server.

from flask import Flask, Request
app = Flask(__name__)
app.config['MAX_CONTENT_LENGTH'] = 16 * 1024 * 1024


Auto Deploying on gh-pages

While migrating web apps from susi server repository to repository. Our team autodeployed on gh-pages branch i.e., each time changes are made to code, it gets auto deployed on gh-pages branch. And changes are automatically live and visible on site.

To do this we have to setup travis in our repository. Travis can be easily set in github repository just by adding .travis.yml file into root directory your repo. Depending on type of repository you are dealing with, the configuration of travis changes. For, It is a written on top of ReactJs framework. So we used the following code.

sudo: required
dist: trusty
language: node_js
  - 6
  - npm test
  provider: script
  script: "./"
  - ENCRYPTION_LABEL: "<.... encryption label from previous step ....>"
  - COMMIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL: "[email protected]"
    - node_modules
    - master


The above travis configuration file, After every commit checks whether the build is passing or not by running npm test command. After checking the commit, next script is run on the commit. The last line tells us to only execute this script for commits in master branch. can be placed anywhere, we jus need to modify its path in .tavis.yml file. Here is code of :

set -e 


if [ "$TRAVIS_PULL_REQUEST" != "false" -o "$TRAVIS_BRANCH" != "$SOURCE_BRANCH" ]; then
    echo "Skipping deploy; just doing a build."
    exit 0
# Save some useful information
REPO=`git config remote.origin.url`
SHA=`git rev-parse --verify HEAD`

git clone $REPO out
cd out
git checkout $TARGET_BRANCH || git checkout --orphan $TARGET_BRANCH
cd ..
git config "Travis CI"
git config "[email protected]"

if git diff --quiet; then
    echo "No changes to the output on this push; exiting."
    exit 0

# Commit the "changes", i.e. the new version.
# The delta will show diffs between new and old versions.
git add -A .
git commit -m "Deploy to GitHub Pages: ${SHA}"

# Get the deploy key by using Travis's stored variables to decrypt deploy_key.enc
openssl aes-256-cbc -K $ENCRYPTED_KEY -iv $ENCRYPTED_IV -in ../deploy_key.enc -out ../deploy_key -d
chmod 600 ../deploy_key
eval `ssh-agent -s`
ssh-add deploy_key

# Now that we're all set up, we can push.
git push $SSH_REPO $TARGET_BRANCH is automatically deploying master on gh pages branch. To perform this task, it needs admin authorisation of github repo. We do this authentication by encrypted keys.
To create encrypted keys we need to generate a new SSH key, SSH keys can be generated by running following command in terminal.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "[email protected]"


Then add this key to your project’s git repository at the github repo of project.<your name>/<your repo>/settings/keys

Now, We can generate encrypted keys by running following command.

travis encrypt-file deploy_key


This command generates deploy_key.enc file, which shall be placed in the repo. Its location needs to be updated in the placeholders of .travis.yml and

Hence, we achieved the task of auto deployment to gh-pages in Please ensure that account through which encrypted keys are created, always have admin access to repository for continued deployment.

Arch Linux for Travis CI

Travis CI does not provide Arch Linux as a testing environment but if you need to test some script or some app specifically on Arch Linux, you would have to do that manually for every change made into code and that would waste time. I had a similar problem when I was trying to test the Event Linux build scripts based on Arch Linux which required the Arch Linux environment to be able to run build scripts which take around 25 to 30 minutes to be tested for every change

How to use Arch travis script for Travis CI?

To solve the problem we need to use Arch as chroot in Travis CI. To do so we are going to use this script (link) which will deploy Arch Linux chroot on travis for us to start testing
For using it we need to configure the travis.yml like this :-

sudo: required
  - archlinuxfr=$arch
  # pacman packages
  - yaourt
  - archiso

  - ./build-repo
  - sudo ./ -v

 - "travis_wait 30 sleep 1800 &"
 - curl -s | bash

arch.packages defines a list of packages (from official repository or AUR) to be installed before running the build.
For eg:

  # pacman packages
  - python
  - perl
  # aur packages
  - go-git
  # packages from custom repo
  - yaourt

Here in arch.repos we define custom repository required for the package which is required during testing.

For eg. in above code repo :$arch is used to install yaourt we could have used AUR too but that will increase our build testing time as the AUR will first download the pkgbuild and then build the package which can result in increase of time

arch.script defines a list of scripts to run as part of the build. Like in above example we have used ./build-repo and sudo ./build -v

Anything defined in the arch.script list will run from the base of the repository as a normal user called travis CI . sudo is available as well as any packages installed in the setup. The path of the build dir (or repository base), is stored in the TRAVIS_BUILD_DIR environment variable inside the chroot.

At the end of example we have used
Which defines the scripts to be run by travis, this is where arch-travis was initialized and then we pipe it

Usage of travis-wait function


- travis_wait 30 sleep 1800 &
 - curl -s | bash

We cannot use travis wait function inside the chroot neither we can export it so we apply the travis wait function at the point where we have initialised the Arch-travis

Example usage for pkgbuild scripts

sudo: required # this to get sudo permissions

arch: # anything to be tested under Arch is defined below this
  - makepkg app.pkgbuild # this will test the pkgbuild script

script: #for setting up arch chroot using the arch travis script
 - curl -s | bash


  • Increases build time by about 1-3 min.
  • Does not work on travis container-based infrastructure because sudo is required.
  • Limited configuration.
  • Does not include base group packages.

Integrating Travis CI and Codacy in PSLab Repositories

Continuous Integration Testing and Automated Code Review tools are really useful for developing better software, improving code and overall quality of the project. Continuous integration can help catch bugs by running tests automatically and to merge your code with confidence.

While working on my GsoC-16 project, my mentors guided and helped me to integrate Travis CI and Codacy in PSLab github repositories. This blog post is all about integrating these tools in my github repos, problems faced, errors occurred and the test results.

travisTravis CI is a hosted continuous integration and deployment system. It is used to build and test software projects hosted on github. There are two versions of it, for private repositories, and for public repositories.

Read : Getting started with Travis CI

Travis is configured with the “.travis.yml” file in your repository to tell Travis CI what to build. Following is the code from ‘.travis.yml‘ file in our PSLab repository. This repo contains python communication library for PSLab.

language: python
  - "2.6"
  - "2.7"
  - "3.2"
  - "3.3"
  - "3.4"
# - "3.5"
# command to install dependencies
# install: "pip install -r requirements.txt"
# command to run tests
script: nosetests

With this code everything worked out of the box (except few initial builds which errored because of missing ‘requirements.txt‘ file) and build passed successfuly 🙂 🙂

Later Mario Behling added integration to FOSSASIA Slack Channel.

Slack notifications

Travis CI supports notifying  Slack channels about build results. On Slack, set up a new Travis CI integration. Select a channel, and you’ll find the details to paste into your ‘.travis.yml’. Just copy and paste the settings, which already include the proper token and you’re done.

The simplest configuration requires your account name and the token.

  slack: '<account>:<token>'     
  slack: fossasia:***tokenishidden****

Import errors in Travis builds of PSLab-apps Repository

PSLab-apps repository contains PyQt bases apps for various experiments. The ‘.travis.yml‘ file mentioned above gave several module import errors.

$ python --version
Python 3.2.5
$ pip --version
pip 6.0.7 from /home/travis/virtualenv/python3.2.5/lib/python3.2/site-packages (python 3.2)
Could not locate requirements.txt. Override the install: key in your .travis.yml to install dependencies.
0.33s$ nosetests
ERROR: Failure: ImportError (No module named sip)

The repo is installable and PSLab was working fine on popular linux distributions without any errors. I was not able to find the reason for build errors. Even after adding proper ‘requirements.txt‘ file,  travis builds errored.

On exploring the documentation I could figure out the problem.

Travis CI Environment uses separate virtualenv instances for each Python version. System Python is not used and should not be relied on. If you need to install Python packages, do it via pip and not apt. If you decide to use apt anyway, note that Python system packages only include Python 2.7 libraries (default python version). This means that the packages installed from the repositories are not available in other virtualenvs even if you use the –system-site-packages option. Therefore I was getting Import module errors.

This problem was solved by making following changes in the ‘.travis.yml‘ file

language: python

  #- "2.6"
  - "2.7"
  #- "2.7_with_system_site_packages"
  - "3.2"
  #- "3.2_with_system_site_packages"
  - "3.3"
  - "3.4"
    - sudo mkdir -p /downloads
    - sudo chmod a+rw /downloads
    - curl -L -o /downloads/sip.tar.gz 
    - curl -L -o /downloads/pyqt4.tar.gz
    # Builds
    - sudo mkdir -p /builds
    - sudo chmod a+rw /builds

    - export DISPLAY=:99.0
    - sh -e /etc/init.d/xvfb start
    - sudo apt-get install -y libqt4-dev
    - sudo apt-get install -y mesa-common-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev
#    - sudo apt-get install -y python3-sip python3-sip-dev python3-pyqt4 cmake
    # Qt4
    - pushd /builds
    # SIP
    - tar xzf /downloads/sip.tar.gz --keep-newer-files
    - pushd sip-4.16.5
    - python
    - make
    - sudo make install
    - popd
    # PyQt4
    - tar xzf /downloads/pyqt4.tar.gz --keep-newer-files
    - pushd PyQt-x11-gpl-4.11.3
    - python -c --confirm-license --no-designer-plugin -e QtCore -e QtGui -e QtTest
    - make
    - sudo make install
    - popd
 # - "3.5"
# command to install dependencies
#install: "pip install -r requirements.txt"
# command to run tests
script: nosetests

  slack: fossasia:*****tokenishidden*******


Codacy is an automated code analysis and review tool that helps developers ship better software, faster. With Codacy integration one can get static analysis, code complexity, code duplication and code coverage changes in every commit and pull request.

Read : Integrating Codacy in github is here.

Codacy integration has really helped me to understand and enforce code quality standard. Codacy gives you impact of every pull request in terms of quality and errors directly into GitHub.

codacy check

Codacy also grades your project in different categories like Code Complexity, Compatibility, security, code style, error prone etc. to help you better understand the overall project quality and what are the areas you should improve.

Here is a screen-shot of Codacy review for PSLab-apps repository.


I am extremely happy to share that my learning adventure has got  Project Certification at ‘A’ grade. Project quality analysis shows that more than 90% of the work has A grade 🙂 🙂

Travis CI and Codacy Badges for my GSoC Repositories:

PSLab : Python Library for Communication with PSLab

Travis CI Badge         Codacy Badge

PSLab-apps : Qt based GUI applications for PSLab

Travis CI Badge         Codacy Badge

Pocket Science Lab : ExpEYES Programs, Sensor Plugins

Travis CI Badge         Codacy Badge

That’s all for now. Have a happy coding, testing and learning 🙂 🙂

Unit Testing and Travis

Tests are an important part of any software development process. We need to write test codes for any feature that we develop to check if that feature is working properly.
In this post, I am gonna talk about writing Unit tests and running those test codes.

If you are a developer, I assume you have heard about unit tests. Most of you probably even wrote one in your life. Unit testing is becoming more and more popular in software development. Let’s first talk about what Unit testing is:

What is unit testing?

Unit testing is the process through which units of source code are tested to verify if they work properly. Performing unit tests is a way to ensure that all functionalities of an application are working as they should. Unit tests inform the developer when a change in one unit interferes with the functionality of another. Modern unit testing frameworks are typically implemented using the same code used by the system under test. This enables a developer who is writing application code in a particular language to write their unit tests in that language as well.

What is a unit testing framework?

Unit testing frameworks are developed for the purpose of simplifying the process of unit-testing. Those frameworks enable the creation of Test Fixtures, which are classes that have specific attributes enabling them to be picked up by a Test Runner.

Although it is possible to perform unit tests without such a framework, the process can be difficult, complicated and very manual.

There are a lot of unit testing frameworks available. Each of the frameworks has its own merits and selecting one depends on what features are needed and the level of expertise of the development team. For my project, Engelsystem I choose PHPUnit as the testing framework.


With PHPUnit, the most basic thing you’ll write is a test case. A test case is just a term for a class with several different tests all related to the same functionality. There are a few rules you’ll need to worry about when writing your cases so that they’ll work with PHPUnit:

  • The test class would extend the PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase class.
  • The test parameters will never receive any parameters.

Below is an example of a test code from my project, Engelsystem


class ShiftTypes_Model_test extends PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase {

private $shift_id = null;

public function create_ShiftType(){
$this->shift_id = ShiftType_create('test', '1', 'test_description');

public function test_ShiftType_create() {
$count = count(ShiftTypes());

// There should be one more ShiftTypes now
$this->assertEquals(count(ShiftTypes()), $count + 1);

public function test_ShiftType(){
$shift_type = ShiftType($this->shift_id);
$this->assertTrue(count(ShiftTypes()) > 0);
$this->assertEquals($shift_type['name'], 'test');
$this->assertEquals(count(ShiftTypes()), 0);

public function teardown() {
if ($this->shift_id != null)



We can use different Assertions to test the functionality.

We are running these tests on Travis-CI

What is Travis-CI?

Travis CI is a hosted, distributed continuous integration service used to build and test software projects hosted on GitHub.

Open source projects may be tested at no charge via Private projects may be tested at the same location on a fee basis. TravisPro provides custom deployments of a proprietary version on the customer’s own hardware.

Although the source is technically free software and available piecemeal on GitHub under permissive licenses, the company notes that it is unlikely that casual users could successfully integrate it on their own platforms.

To get started with Travis-CI, visit the following link, Getting started with Travis-CI.

We are developing new feature for Engelsystem.  Developers who are interested in contributing can work with us.

Development:             Issues/Bugs: