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Re: [Nmh-workers] Volunteer Capacity.

From: Bob Carragher
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Volunteer Capacity.
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:34:30 -0700

Okay, thanks guys!

I'll start with at least seeing if I can get things to work for
me.  I'm familiar with git(1) for straightforward usage -- I'm in
charge of a couple of simple projects where development is very
linear (though we still use merge requests to keep folks from
stomping on each others' stuff), and we don't use tags.  I
shouldn't have any problems creating new development branches,
and am happy to wait for project veterans to approve/merge them
into "master."  I'm also fine with generating patch(1) output for
someone else to toss into a git branch for proper committing.

I'll look at .../test/README and trying "make gcov" to start,
after I've managed to configure things properly.  I'll also look
specifically at .../test/forw/test-forw-coverage for an example
of recent test coding (though not necessarily as defined template
for all aspects of testing going forward -- in particular, that
just checking the exit status is sufficient).

Note:  I've not yet upgraded from the ancient (and unsupported)
Ubuntu 13.10.  I'm planning to upgrade to the latest LTS
soon-ish.  Do you think that will pose issues that I should
investigate (and deal with) before getting too far into things?


On Sat, 22 Jul 2017 13:23:48 +0100 Ralph Corderoy <address@hidden> sez:

> Hi Bob,
> > Out of curiosity, would it help to have "micro-volunteers" to update
> > the testing?
> I'd have thought so, though David is, I think, the main person behind
> the test suite.
> > namely having (sufficient) test coverage,
> ...
> > If enough of us do that, maybe we could significantly improve
> > coverage?
> Yes, I think so, even if it's just a few plugging away steadily.
> I played about with gcov(1) coverage testing on nmh a while
> back and should do so again and write up how to do it this
> time.  Because I was just trying to get more lines executed by
> the tests, I added command-invocation tests that didn't check
> standard output or error, just the exit status.  An example is
> http://git.savannah.nongnu.org/cgit/nmh.git/tree/test/forw/test-forw-coverage
> Knowing the tests cover more lines makes running them under
> valgrind(1) more useful.
> The idea was to chase the low-hanging fruit by looking at
> gcov's annotated source and spot the easy bits to get coverage
> on.  It may seem that it's only an if statement and an error
> message, but they're often calling routines and so have a
> knock-on effect for coverage.  I thought once that "easy" outer
> veneer was exercised we could look again at gcov's results and
> pick a chunk of "library" routines on the next level down and
> work backwards to see what caller we can run.  At this point,
> we'll probably be more interested in the command output
> matching expectations, i.e. did the library routines not just
> run but work correctly, so the added tests would be more like
> the existing ones.
> > Of course, one of the main developers still needs to "approve" any
> > commits, so that doesn't completely eliminate work on testing.
> I think a few canned git(1) commands, for those that don't know
> it, would get you a long way, and they can prepare a patch for
> email that those with commit rights can easily apply whilst
> still attributing the original author.  Once they've got the
> hang of it and want to keep going then the tester can sign up
> on nongnu.org themselves.

On Sun, 23 Jul 2017 08:07:12 -0400 David Levine <address@hidden> sez:

> Ken writes:
> > Ralph has already given you specific answers, but more
> > generally ... yes!  If you or anyone want to volunteer to do
> > ANYTHING for nmh, it would help!  No task is too small.
> I agree completely.
> And I agree that the test suite is a good place to start, and
> "make gcov" within that.  tests/README has some guidelines.
> The existing tests could use a general cleanup, including
> picking one way to do something, such as starting an individual
> check, naming output files, or reporting failure.

On Sun, 23 Jul 2017 09:13:55 -0400 David Levine <address@hidden> sez:

> I wrote:
> > tests/README has some guidelines.
> That should be test/README

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