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Re: What should an autobuilder do?

On Tue, May 29, 2001 at 02:57:07PM -0400, Steve M. Robbins wrote:
> What should a generic package builder be on the lookout for?

There are some simple things you can do, and it's really all that is
necessary IMHO.

1. Be sure your package compiles when none of its binary packages are
   installed, and freshly unpacked with dpkg-source -x.
   Sometimes packages that build libs and apps using them fails if the libs
   are not available.  This makes bootstrapping harder.

2. Be sure you list all required build dependencies, at least the more exotic
   ones.  If you can, build the package in a chroot with only the (build)
   essential packages and your build dependencies installed.

3. Fix bugs that affect other ports beside those you are testing for
   promptly if you can ;)

4. Try to understand why a reported bug is a bug and how it was fixed. 
   Try to avoid that bug in the future, and in other packages you maintain.

5. If the porting bug comes with a patch, and you want to change it, and you
   are not sure about what you do, ask back rather than changing silently.   
   Sometimes the differences are subtle (at least for Hurd porting patches),
   and if you introduced new bugs with your changes, it is faster to notice
   them immediately then go through the upload/download/autobuilder test

6. For porting bugs, it is especially interesting to have them forwarded to
   the upstream author.  Please do so or ask the submitter to do it if you
   don't feel you can make a good case for the patch yourself (probably because
   you don't know the issues good enough).

7. Don't assume Linux as the underlying kernel. ;)

There is hardly anything you can do in advance, except 1 and 2 (and 7).
For the Hurd specially, you could monitor the source for known Hurd
incompatibilities, but there is no complete list of these, and it requires
some intimate knowledge of the Hurd and a bit experience to spot those.

Some autobuilders provide build logs at some web page.  You could try to
keep an eye on those, so you spot problems before the overworked porters
come to it.


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org brinkmd@debian.org
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org

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