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bug#49078: dejagnu-1.6.3 test failure

From: Jacob Bachmeyer
Subject: bug#49078: dejagnu-1.6.3 test failure
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2021 23:45:29 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090807 MultiZilla/ SeaMonkey/1.1.17 Mnenhy/

Xi Ruoyao wrote:
If building in the source directory is not
supported, we can update the LFS book

The GNU Coding Standards (7.2.1 "General Conventions for Makefiles" <URL:https://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/standards.html#Makefile-Basics>) emphasize that GNU packages should support building outside of the source directory, and this is generally a recommended practice. Building in the source directory is usually supported, but less often tested.

However, DejaGnu is unusual in that the "build procedure" only emits a message that DejaGnu is ready to install. This works because DejaGnu is written in a portable interpreted language (Tcl with Expect) and can, in fact, be used from an unpacked source tree or Git checkout without installing it at all. This latter option is new-ish and a modern equivalent for the very deprecated Cygnus tree layout used in the past.

Building in the source tree is supported in DejaGnu, but is less convenient for testing and therefore less extensively tested during development. Not that that is relevant here with this bug -- the tests pass in a source tree on my primary workstation.

These failures are due to a bug in Expect 5.45.4, confirmed to be an upstream issue because I was able to replicate this on a Fedora box to which I have access, that causes Expect to incorrectly treat certain input at an interactive prompt as if it were end-of-file. I am still looking into the root causes. Building in a separate directory is a workaround for the underlying Expect bug, since the command that is tickling the bug will be issued differently (specifically a different length) and thus not tickle the bug.

I am now looking into how to go about reporting this bug upstream, so far I have found a "maze of twisty little passages, all alike" and am not yet certain where to actually send the report when I finish it.

-- Jacob

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