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Bug#905030: lintian: please verify debian/tests/control contains more tests than "Test-Command: /bin/true"

Package: lintian
Version: 2.5.93
Severity: normal
X-Debbugs-CC: debian-ci@lists.debian.org
User: debian-ci@lists.debian.org
Usertags: issue

Dear lintian maintainers,

The Release Team has expressed their wish [1] that autopkgtest does not
simply contain /bin/true as test command:
For this proposal to make sense, all deployed autopkgtests must
actually test the package involved to some extent.  We trust it will
not be necessary to establish a technical solution for this part.

This has been confirmed on IRC #debian-release on 2018-07-28. Using
/bin/true is not a problem in itself, but packages that have a passing
autopkgtest of their own (and no regression otherwise) are rewarded with
a reduced age. It is this reward that is undesirable for this class of
packages as installability is already tested by piuparts (which is
considered superior in this respect) and which failure already results
in a block.

It would be great if lintian could detect it when an autopkgtest:
- has only one test
- the test command is /bin/true
This would even be true if the sole purpose of adding this check would
be, to see if such a technical solution is warranted.

Proposed text (feel free to use something more in line with other
lintian texts):

This package has an autopkgtest which will always pass if the package
can be installed as it uses the test command "/bin/true". Because the
results of autopkgtest influence [2] the migration from unstable to
testing this is not desirable [1]. Installability is better tested with
piuparts (which is also used to influence migration).
Please, update your autopkgtest to actually test the binary package(s)
as installed. You're welcome to have this test *additionally* to actual

Thanks for your great work on lintian.


[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2013/08/msg00006.html
[2] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2018/05/msg00001.html

-- System Information:
Debian Release: buster/sid
  APT prefers testing-debug
  APT policy: (500, 'testing-debug'), (500, 'testing'), (200,
'testing'), (50, 'testing')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 4.17.0-1-amd64 (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8),
LANGUAGE=en_US:en (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash
Init: systemd (via /run/systemd/system)
LSM: AppArmor: enabled

Versions of packages lintian depends on:
ii  binutils                       2.31.1-1
ii  bzip2                          1.0.6-8.1
ii  diffstat                       1.61-1+b1
ii  dpkg                 
ii  file                           1:5.33-3
ii  gettext              
ii  intltool-debian                0.35.0+20060710.4
ii  libapt-pkg-perl                0.1.34
ii  libarchive-zip-perl            1.60-1
ii  libclass-accessor-perl         0.51-1
ii  libclone-perl                  0.39-1
ii  libdpkg-perl         
ii  libemail-valid-perl            1.202-1
ii  libfile-basedir-perl           0.08-1
ii  libipc-run-perl                20180523.0-1
ii  liblist-moreutils-perl         0.416-1+b3
ii  libparse-debianchangelog-perl  1.2.0-12
ii  libtext-levenshtein-perl       0.13-1
ii  libtimedate-perl               2.3000-2
ii  liburi-perl                    1.74-1
ii  libxml-simple-perl             2.25-1
ii  libyaml-libyaml-perl           0.72+repack-1
ii  man-db                         2.8.3-2
ii  patchutils                     0.3.4-2
ii  perl [libdigest-sha-perl]      5.26.2-6
ii  t1utils                        1.41-2
ii  xz-utils                       5.2.2-1.3

Versions of packages lintian recommends:
ii  libperlio-gzip-perl  0.19-1+b4

Versions of packages lintian suggests:
pn  binutils-multiarch     <none>
ii  dpkg-dev     
ii  libhtml-parser-perl    3.72-3+b2
ii  libtext-template-perl  1.53-1

-- no debconf information

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