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autopkgtest results influencing migration from unstable to testing

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Hi all,

tl;dr: migration from unstable to testing is influenced by the results
of autopkgtest tests of your own package as well as those of your
reverse dependencies. Without regression, your package will migrate
*faster*, with regression it will migrate *slower*. If your package
doesn't have autopkgtest tests, and neither do your reverse
dependencies, nothing changes.

For several years already, maintainers can add autopkgtest test cases to
their packages, which are then run on the continuous integration
platform on ci.debian.net [ci]. debci, the framework that runs that site
has recently been enhanced to test individual packages from unstable in
testing. We have enabled logic in britney to talk to debci to trigger
tests for packages that are candidate for migration from unstable to
testing and use the results to influence the required age in unstable
before the package can migrate to testing. The idea is that a package
that is candidate for migration is updated in testing to its candidate
version and that the autopkgtest case(s) of the package *and* those of
all reverse dependencies are run. Regression in the results with respect
to the current situation in testing will *add* to the required time a
package needs to be in unstable (via the age policy). This extra time
can then be used to investigate the situation and file proper bugs to
the appropriate package(s), if there is a bug somewhere. On the
other hand, if a package has (a) successful autopkgtest(s) and no
regression otherwise, it will be rewarded with a reduced required age.
Information on what happens is added to the excuses [excuses].

It is the intention that in the (far) future regressions will become
blocking for migration, but until then the added age will probably be
raised over time as a semi-block.

There is one important note to make here on how to go about regressions
in test cases from reverse dependencies. We recommend direct
communication between the maintainers of the involved packages as one
party has insight in what changed and the other party insight in what is
being tested. More information is available in the britney documentation

In case of issues, please contact the release team and ci team:
debian-release@lists.debian.org debian-ci@lists.debian.org

On behalf of the release team and the ci team.

[ci] https://ci.debian.net/ maintained by terceiro
[excuses] https://release.debian.org/britney/update_excuses.html



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