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Bug#720458: autopkgtest: allow tests to depend on Build-Depends installed

On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 04:46:20PM +0200, Martin Pitt wrote:
> Ansgar Burchardt [2013-08-22  9:24 +0200]:
> >   Depends: @, ${source:Build-Depends}
> > 
> > This would be useful for Perl modules where the test suite is already run at
> > build time. Otherwise one would have to maintain another copy of those
> > dependencies: there are alread build, test and runtime dependencies in
> > Build-Depends, runtime dependencies in Depends. Having to maintain another list
> > of test-only dependencies in d/tests/control is not nice.
> I'm not against providing this, but NB that this should be treated
> with some care: One important point of autopkgtest ist to verify
> correct packaging, which includes that your package's dependencies are
> correct. If you specify lots of extra dependencies which aren't
> directly related to running tests, it's more likely to paper over
> actually missing binary dependencies.

Right, I second this worry.

And I wonder if we couldn't have better support for it at a different
level. All in all, the need of the suggested feature seems to be
justified by the desire to avoid duplication of information which is
already written elsewhere (namely: in a *subset* of
Build-Dependencies). Can't we, say, build something more general on top
of, say, substvars to better support this need?

Another related worry is that of avoiding duplication of the places
where we run various kinds of test suites. What is great about
autopkgtest is that it allows to easily run "as installed" test suites
that were very hard to run at build time. But OTOH build-time test
suites are very easy to run, well, at build time.

Of course there is nothing worry with running build-time test suites
*again* via autopkgtest, but it does smell of bad design. Or are we
hinting here at the fact that it would be better (in an ideal world
we're only starting to scratch :)) to run *all* test suites via
autopkgtest, therefore relieving the buildds of the need of running
them?  An obvious problem with that idea is that we will probably never
have autopkgtest runners for all the architectures for which we have

Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack at upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Ma?tre de conf?rences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Former Debian Project Leader  . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
? the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club ?
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