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Re: automake 1.11.3 check-TESTS and command line length

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: automake 1.11.3 check-TESTS and command line length
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 14:22:58 -0600 (CST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Wed, 22 Feb 2012, Stefano Lattarini wrote:

I don't understand how that patch could actually work ...  If there are
too many tests in $(TESTS), there will be too many logs in $(TEST_LOGS),
and since the recipe for $(TEST_SUITE_LOG) contents the expansion of
$(TEST_LOGS), the command line length limit for "/bin/sh -c" will be
exceeded anyway ...

I don't claim to understand how the patch functions other than that it seems to delegate responsibility to a subordinate make.

A GNU make dependency would be a real problem.  A dependency on a
properly-working standard make would not be such a problem.

Is the test suite actually failing due to "exceeded command line length"
on any system different from Cygwin or MinGW?  If not, I don't see how a
GNU make dependency would be a problem (if not for the fact that it
uglifies the already hideous patch even more).

I have only observed it on MinGW/MSYS but that does not mean it will not appear on some Unix OS with unusually short command line length. A GNU make dependency would be a problem if it depends on GNU make for other systems.

On MinGW, /bin/sh throws an error but I don't recall that it provides a useful diagnostic like "exceeded command line length". It seemed to me that the argument list was truncated.

I have not run into any problems when using Ralf's patch, but it apparently
does not address all issues so Ralf backed it out.

In fact, it fundamentally fails to address the issues -- that's why Ralf
backed it out.

All I know is that with the patch I did not experience a failure on any system.

Are you referring to the GraphicsMagick testsuite?  If yes, it seems to me
that it could benefit greatly from the use of TAP once automake 1.12 is out;
for example, all the 314 'tests/rwfile*.sh' tests could be rewritten as one
single TAP test (and similarly for many other auto-generated tests), thus
removing the need for a huge number of files without reducing granularity
of the results.

Yes, this is for the GraphicsMagick test suite. There is little doubt that the test suite is grossly inefficient. The good news is that the test suite scripts are generated by a Makefile target (manually invoked) so it should be possible to output the tests in some other format.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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