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Re: Getting rid of DejaGnu: thoughts?

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: Getting rid of DejaGnu: thoughts?
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 17:31:11 -0600
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On 04/18/2010 07:51 AM, James Youngman wrote:
> The current findutils test suite uses DejaGnu.   This is a test suite
> support system written in Except, which is a specialization of Tcl.
> If DejaGnu, Except and Tcl are not all present, the findutils build
> scripts are simply skipped during "make check".   That is, no checking
> is actually done.   This means that fewer people fully test findutils
> than could be the case.   People not using a GNU/Linux system are
> especially unlikely to run the tests.
> This is not ideal.
> Also, DejaGnu runs all the tests in series; on today's machines, we
> can probably afford to run more of them in parallel.  Getting some
> speed-up there makes it much more convenient to re-run the test suite
> before every check-in.

Autotest is rather nice at summarizing test logs, and can indeed perform
in parallel (but only for really good shells; most systems outside of
GNU/Linux end up with serial execution anyway).  Automake has an
alternative to writing parallel tests that is a bit more portable to
multiple platforms than autotest, by relying on make instead of shell
for the parallelism, but I don't have as much experience with it.  So I
could help more from the autotest side of things.

> 1. Must work on any system it is possible to build and run findutils
> on (i.e. support for cross-compiled builds is not necessary)

I think both autotest and automake qualify here.

> 2. Speed, speed, speed and speed.

I'm not sure which is faster of those two, but they probably both lose
to dejagnu in the number of forks (which is more noticeable when testing
on windows).

> 3. Ideally it would also be possible to migrate the existing tests
> either incrementally or automatically

Both autotest and automake can run simple shell wrappers that invoke
dejagnu under the hood, at which point you can then focus on converting
one dejagnu test at a time into straight shell.  So I think this is doable.

Eric Blake   address@hidden    +1-801-349-2682
Libvirt virtualization library http://libvirt.org

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