It’s all in the wrists

I got a few interesting questions recently, which was helpful because I was having a tough time finding good material for you guys and gals of late.  That’s the problem with working on the next Operating System, I can’t tell you about all the cool stuff yet. *g*

So here’s today’s question (in two parts);

1.) Do you use a single system to code, compile, verify and test a kernel driver?

Nope, pretty much, kinda sorta and nope.  We’re actually pretty wide open as far as coding environments around here.  Across this team alone you’ll find Visual Studio, gVIM, Slick Edit and probably 2 or 3 other IDEs in use (I’ve actually even seen notepad used once).  The only coding requirements are really based around formatting, naming convention(s) and the like.  Which is really fun when you get somebody who crafts a build script that goes out and checks for tabs rather than spaces in source code. 😉

Our compiler is a different story, pretty much everything we build is done so in very much the same environment shipped in the WDK.  Yes there are some caveats, but that’s only because I can’t speak for every team and some of our internal process isn’t really meant for general consumption.  But our compiler is linked to our source control environment which makes wrapping a full one stop shopping coding / compiling / source control environment more of a challenge.  There are a lot of great tools internally to get most of it done depending on your IDE of choice.  Personally (if you haven’t figured it out yet), I use Visual Studio as my source editor, a couple of internal tools to manage source control from within Visual Studio and then build in that external razzle environment.  Like I said before, I’m still not prone to giving up some of my past. 🙂

Verification is another tricky question (somewhat open ended really).  If we’re talking about compile time code verification, then yes we do have a somewhat unified system in place.  We use the same tools we ship in the WDK, PREfast and Static Driver Verifier.  Our internal build system actually runs PREfast for us as a post build process.

Finally our testing is a real Pandora’s Box type question.  We do use the same tools we ship externally, Application Verifier, Driver Verifier and WDF Verifier, but we also develop other tools internally to cover scenarios we just can’t reach using those tools.  Here again, it’s not a one stop shopping system across the Windows teams, but for those of you going to the DDC, Bob, Shyamal and Wei will be giving a shared secrets talk which will cover some more of what we do internally.

2.) How do you use virtualization software in the test and dev process?

This is my favorite one, I’ve been on a big push around here to get more people using virtual environments. Personally I’ve been using Virtual PC since 2005, I did some test work for them on that release, so I got in on the ground floor somewhat.  Anyway, I use VMs to extend test coverage primarily on down level OSes.  I keep “clean” installations of Windows XP SP1, SP2, SP3, Server 2003, Vista and Vista SP1 and some variants of those on my system.  A lot more people are starting to use HyperV and Virtual PC around here, but given some of the limitations of those environments (e.g. inability to map USB hardware) and other little nuisances we can’t use them for a full end to end test beds, this is a little more intrusive on the kernel side where you may require a piece of hardware.  I know there are other virtual environments out there that do allow these features, but we’re kind of prone to using our own products. 🙂

*Currently playing – King’s X Alone

Comments (1)

  1. sippy says:

    cool, thanks for sharing.

    I would offer the caveat that testing drivers in a VM isn’t very representative of a "real, live system".  You are almost always going to encounter something screwy with a system that’s been "broken in."