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Re: Bits from the Release Team (Jessie freeze info)

On 2013-10-19 16:38, Jeremiah C. Foster wrote:
> Hello,
> On Sun, Oct 13, 2013 at 05:01:31PM +0200, Niels Thykier wrote:
> [snip freeze policy]


I s/-arm/-ports/'ed the CC, since I figured the rest of the porters
would find the answer equally interesting.

>> Results of porter roll-call
>> ===========================
>> [...]
>> That said, we would like to encourage porters behind all ports to
>> ensure that the toolchain is up to date and working.  We are aware of
>> at least gcc on mips having its test suite disabled[GCC].  Other ports
>> may suffer from similar issues and we hope to have those resolved
>> sooner rather than later.  We are currently waiting for the gcc
>> maintainers to compile a list of such issues.
> So I can extrapolate from this that ensuring that the toolchain is up
> to date and working is a key activity of a porter.

Yes; build-essential being broken is obviously a problem.  But also
having the same default compiler on all architectures is also desired.

> If my assumption is
> correct, is there a complete definition of the "toolchain" as we see
> it in Debian that a porter might reasonably be expected to use to do
> thier porting?

I do not have an complete list of packages, although it will definitely
include build-essential.  My intuition is that "toolchain" should
include any compiler used by packages on that architecture[1] (e.g. if
the arch has built haskell packages, it should have a working haskell
compiler as well).  But as said, that is my personally view and not an
official statement.

> In addition, I wonder if there is a way to report the status of the
> toolchain and what sort of expectations are there around "up to date"?

I would love for us to have an automated system to give us a
"weather-report" on the toolchain for each architecture.  It would be
nice both for us to see how ports are doing and for porters to spot and
fix problems early.
  As for up-to-date, I don't have a complete answer here.  I seem to
remember the GCC maintainers being frustrated at having to maintain
gcc-4.6 (it is apparently still default for some architectures) despite
gcc-4.8 being the latest stable release.

> Is it expected to build Debian toolchain nightly and run a specific
> test suite? Is the expectation that one uses pbuilder and builds a set
> of packages?

What we got in the policy so far[2]:

Installer: The architecture must have a working,tested installer.

Archive coverage: The architecture needs to have successfully compiled
the current version of the overwhelming part of the archive [...]

Which implies "a set of packages" being "the current version of the
overwhelming part of the archive" plus all of d-i.  However, that is not
something you "just build", so having a smaller set as a basic test
would probably be way more useful.  I am not aware of such a "basic test
set", so feel free to propose one.

I like the "toolchain nightly" thing as well. I don't think it is
"required", but it sounds like the kind of thing that would help people
spot issues sooner rather than later!

> Perhaps this is outlined on the wiki somewhere and if not
> perhaps it ought to be?
> Regards,
> Jeremiah

Having documentation on it would definitely be a good thing.  For actual
requirements, we should add them to the policy[2], but having a
wiki-page of "recommended porter practises/tests" would probably be a
nice addition too.


[1] My rationale for this is that we would like to be able to
rebuild/reproduce builds, which would require a working compiler.

[2] http://release.debian.org/jessie/arch_policy.html

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