Kinds are the focal point of this system. They provide an interface between the large-scale graph-generation process and the small-scale task-definition needs of different kinds of tasks. A kind.yml file contains data about the kind, as well as referring to a Python class implementing the kind in its implementation key. These Python classes can either be part of standard Taskgraph, or custom transforms that extend Taskgraph functionality.

Certain attributes - such as kind-dependencies - can be used to determine which kind should be loaded before another. This is useful when the kind will use the list of already-created tasks to determine which tasks to create, for example loading an android-toolchain (to install sdk and accept licenses) before every (android) build task. In some cases, you’ll need to use a custom loader to avoid scheduling a task until the task it depends on is completed.

But dependencies can also be used to schedule follow-up work such as summarizing test results. In the latter case, the summarization task will “pull in” all of the tasks it depends on, even if those tasks might otherwise be optimized away.

How to Read a Kind

One of Taskgraph’s features is the ability to extend standard taskgraph code with custom transforms and loaders. However, it can be confusing to understand which parts of a kind are standard taskgraph and which are custom code. If we look at a simple build kind example, you’ll notice at the top the loader and transforms are defined. These point to standard taskgraph, but if you wanted to use a custom loader or transform it would be defined here pointing to your_project_name_taskgraph directory, eg my_project_name_taskgraph.transforms.job.

This can also be a clue of where to look if you are trying to understand what a specific yaml attribute does in an existing kind file (keeping in mind that these are written in snake case and the corresponding python functions aren’t).

loader: taskgraph.loader.transform:loader

    - taskgraph.transforms.docker_image:transforms
    - taskgraph.transforms.cached_tasks:transforms
    - taskgraph.transforms.task:transforms

    android-build:  <-- this android-build image task is dependent on the the base image below, and will be referenced in a build kind.
        symbol: I(agb)
        parent: base
        symbol: I(base)
        symbol: I(ui-tests)
        parent: base