During the year of 2017, 10 contributors managed to merge 146 commits into rdopkg.

3771 lines of code were added and 1975 lines deleted across 107 files.

54 unit tests were added on top of existing 32 tests - an increase of 169 % to total of 86 unit tests.

33 scenarios for 5 core rdopkg features were added in new feature tests spanning total of 228 test steps.

3 minor releases increased version from 0.42 to 0.45.0.

Let's talk about the most significant improvements.


rdopkg started as a developers' tool, basically a central repository to accumulate RPM packaging automation in a reusable manner. Quickly adding new features was easy, but making sure existing functionality works consistently as code is added and changed proved to be much greater challenge.

As rdopkg started shifting from developers' powertool to a module used in other automation systems, unevitable breakages started to become a problem and prompted me to adapt development accordingly. As a first step, I tried to practice Test-Driven Development (TDD) as opposed to writing tests after a breakage to prevent specific case. Unit tests helped discover and prevent various bugs introduced by new code, but testing complex behaviors was a frustrating experience where most of development time was spent on writing units tests for cases they weren't meant to cover.

Sounds like using a wrong tool for the job, right? And so I opened a rather urgent rdopkg RFE: test actions in a way that doesn't suck and started researching what cool kids use to develop and test python software without suffering.

Behavior-Driven Development

It would seem that cucumber started quite a revolution of Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) and I really like Gherkin, the Business Readable, Domain Specific Language that lets you describe software's behaviour without detailing how that behaviour is implemented. Gherkin serves two purposes — documentation and automated tests.

After some more research on python BDD tools, I liked behave's implementation, documentation and community the most so I integrated it into rdopkg and started using feature tests. They make it easy to describe and define expected behavior before writing code. New features now start with feature scenario which can be reviewed before writing any code. Covering existing behavior with feature tests helps ensuring they are both preserved and well defined/explained/documented. Big thanks goes to Jon Schlueter who contributed huge number of initial feature tests for core rdopkg features.

Here is an example of rdopkg fix scenario:

    Scenario: rdopkg fix
        Given a distgit
        When I run rdopkg fix
        When I add description to .spec changelog
        When I run rdopkg --continue
        Then spec file contains new changelog entry with 1 lines
        Then new commit was created
        Then rdopkg state file is not present
        Then last commit message is:

            - Description of a change

Proper CI/gating

Thanks to Software Factory, zuul and gerrit, every rdopkg change now needs to pass following automatic gate tests before it can be merged:

  • unit tests (python 2, python 3, Fedora, EPEL, CentOS)
  • feature tests (python 2, python 3, Fedora, EPEL, CentOS)
  • integration tests
  • code style check

In other words, master is now significantly harder to break!

Tests are managed as individual tox targets for convenience.

Paying back the Technical Debt

I tried to write rdopkg code with reusability and future extension in mind, yet in one point of development with big influx of new features/modifications, rdopkg approached critical mass of technical debt where it got into spiral of new functionality breaking existing functionality and with each fix two new bugs surfaced. This kept happening so I stopped adding new stuff and focused on ensuring rdopkg keeps doing what people use it for before extending(breaking) it further. This required quite a few core code refactors, proper integration of features that were hacked in on the clock, as well as leveraging new tools like software factory CI pipeline, and behave described above. But I think it was a success and rdopkg paid its technical debt in 2017 and is ready to face whatever community throws at it in near and far future.


Join Software Factory project

rdopkg became a part of Software Factory project and found a new home alongside DLRN.

Software Factory is an open source, software development forge with an emphasis on collaboration and ensuring code quality through Continuous Integration (CI). It is inspired by OpenStack's development workflow that has proven to be reliable for fast-changing, interdependent projects driven by large communities. Read more in Introducing Software Factory.

Specifically, rdopkg leverages following Software Factory features:

rdopkg repo is still mirrored to github and bugs are kept in Issues tracker there as well because github is accessible public open space.

Did I meantion you can login to Software Factory using github account?

Finally, big thanks to Javier Peña, who paved the way towards Software Factory with DLRN.

Continuous Integration

rdopkg has been using human code reviews for quite some time, and it proved very useful even though I often +2/+1 my own reviews due to lack of reviewers. However, people unevitably make mistakes. There are decent unit and feature tests now to detect mistakes, so we fight human error with computing power and automation.

Each review and thus each code change to rdopkg is gated - all unit tests, feature tests, integration tests and code style checks need to pass before human reviewers consider accepting the change.

Instead of setting up machines and testing environments and installing requirements and waiting for tests to pass, this boring process is now automated on supported distributions and humans can focus on the changes themselves.

Integration with Fedora, EPEL and CentOS

rdopkg is now finally available directly from Fedora/EPEL repositories, so install instructions on Fedora 25+ systems boiled down to:

dnf install rdopkg

On CentOS 7+, EPEL is needed:

yum install epel-release
yum install rdopkg

Fun fact: to update Fedora rdopkg package, I use rdopkg:

fedpkg clone rdopkg
cd rdopkg
rdopkg new-version -bN
fedpkg mockbuild
# testing
fedpkg push
fedpkg build
fedpkg update

So rdopkg is officially packaging itself while also being packaged by itself.

Please nuke jruzicka/rdopkg copr if you were using it previously, it is now obsolete.


rdopkg documentation was cleand up, proof-read, extended with more details and updated with latest information and links.

Feature scenarios are now available as man pages thanks to mhu.

Packaging and Distribution

Python 3 compatibility

By popular demand, rdopkg now supports Python 3. There are Python 3 unit tests and python3-rdopkg RPM package.

Adopt pbr for Versioning

Most of initial patches rdopkg was handling in the very beginning were related to distutils and pbr, the OpenStack packaging meta-library, specifically making it work on a distribution with integrated package management and old conservative packages.

Amusingly, pbr was integrated into rdopkg (well, it actually does solve some problems aside from creating new ones) and in order to release the new rdopkg version with pbr on CentOS/EPEL 7, I had to disable hardcoded pbr>=2.1.0 checks on update of python-pymod2pkg because older version of pbr is available from EPEL 7. I removed the check (in two different places) as I did so many times before and it works fine.

As a tribute to all the fun I had with pbr and distutils, here is a link to my first nuke bogus requirements patch of 2018.

Aside from being consistent with OpenStack related projects, rdopkg adopted strict sematic versioning that pbr uses, which means that releases are always going to have 3 version numbers from now on:

0.45 -> 0.45.0
1.0  -> 1.0.0

And More!

Aside from the big changes mentioned above, large amount of new feature tests and numerous not-so-exciting fixes, here is a list of changes might be worth mentioning:

  • unify rdopkg patch and rdopkg update-patches and use alias
  • rdopkg pkgenv shows more information and better color coding for easy telling of a distgit state and branches setup
  • preserve Change-Id when amending a commit
  • allow fully unattended runs of core actions.
  • commit messages created by all rdopkg actions are now clearer, more consistent and can be overriden using -H/--commit-header-file.
  • better error messages on missing patches in all actions
  • git config can be used to override patches remote, pranch, user name and email
  • improved handling of patches_base and patches_ignore including tests
  • improved handling of %changelog
  • improved new/old patcehs detection
  • improved packaging as suggested in Fedora review
  • improved naming in git and specfile modules
  • properly handle state files
  • linting cleanup and better code style checks
  • python 3 support
  • improve unicode support
  • handle VX.Y.Z tags
  • split bloated utils.cmd into utils.git module
  • merge legacy rdopkg.utils.exception so there is only single module for exceptions now
  • refactor unreasonable default atomic=False affecting action definitions
  • remove legacy rdopkg coprbuild action

Thank you, rdopkg community!