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Re: About the Makefile target "check"

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: About the Makefile target "check"
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 2015 10:39:33 -0500

   > I think that *if* there is going to be a change to the standards, then it 
   >   be that both "check" and "test" should be targets, one being an alias of 
the other.
   > Make check has been used for over thirty years in makefiles, whereas I can 
   > 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" 

   Being old doesn't mean it is good - for the reason I've written. But I do 
   that removing it would be too radical. Creating a "test" alias would be good
   enough and effectively would marginalize "check" over time.

Adding "make test" would lead to confusion, and breakage: should I use
this or that, will "make check" or "make test" work?

   > 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".

   "test" is known, from various tools and languages, by most programmers in the
   world, so it seems that your statement refers to usage of "check". And I also
   agree that it is minority, that's why I suggested to reconsider "test".

I don't know what you base that on, "make check" is very well
established, and known by everyone who has ever used the GNU build
system.  It is also been used by the GNU build system for the last
billion years to invoke a test suite.  On the other hand, I don't
think I have ever invoked "make test" -- my bubble is not your bubble.

   Standard is not mutually exclusive with evolution. Good standards should 
   to the changing world. "check" might have been good 30 years ago, because 
   were no other tools, but now the situation is totally different and only "a
   group of people" use "check". I've listed jut a few tools, but they are used 
   _most_ programmers in the world.

How has "make check" become obsolete? It runs a test suite, that is
it.  "make test" does the exact same thing, but under a different
name.  One has been in use for 30 year by us, the other one has not
and is in my experience never used.  Nor is one more intuitive than
the other.

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