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Re: About the Makefile target "check"

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: About the Makefile target "check"
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2015 13:01:42 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

I think that *if* there is going to be a change to the standards, then it should
 be that both "check" and "test" should be targets, one being an alias of the 
Make check has been used for over thirty years in makefiles, whereas I can only
think of one significant project where this is called "test".  It would 
set a cat among the pigeons if we were to start removing the "check" target.

The only argument that has been presented so far in this discussion, amounts to
"because me and my friends are used to it that way".  I honestly think this is a
trivial issue and the GNU standards should not change just because a group of 
people like it better (especially when the argument revolves around a single 

I *do* think that what other systems do is orthogonal to the question of what 
GNU standards should require.


On Sun, Nov 01, 2015 at 12:17:13PM +0100, Przemys??aw Wojnowski wrote:
     Hello everybody,
     Sorry to resurrect the dead [1], but the proposal IMHO have been dismissed 
     early, without proper consideration.
     I agree that having both "test" and "check" is unnecessary
     choice. But I also think that "check" is less intuitive than
     "test" for running tests and should be dismissed.
     What I mean by intuitive is that many other build tools [2], which have
     standard tasks, use the name "test" for exactly this purpose. So,
     many programmers can immediately reuse their knowledge to such
     simple tasks as running tests, which makes it easier (at least a
     bit) to join a project.
     Reuse of their knowledge _is_ better solution that making them to read 
     The argument that "[check] is well known by the community" is negligible,
     because the community use also other build tools and very well know "test" 
     Moreover, "test" is already known (by most of the programming world, as 
you can
     see below) to those that are outside the community and maybe someday would 
     to join.
     Kindest Regards,
     1. http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-standards/2015-10/msg00000.html
     2. Maven 
        Leiningen (https://github.com/technomancy/leiningen)
        NPM (https://docs.npmjs.com/cli/test)
        SBT (http://www.scala-sbt.org/0.12.4/docs/Detailed-Topics/Testing.html)
        Raco (http://docs.racket-lang.org/raco/test.html)
        Python (python -m unittest discover <test_directory>) - not
     exactly test, bust still very close

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