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package testing, autopkgtest, and all that

On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 12:19:32AM +0100, Iustin Pop wrote:
> First, tests run during a package build are good, but they do not
> ensure, for example, that the package as installed is working OK. I've
> been thinking that (also) providing tests to be run after the package is
> installed (and not on the build results) would be most useful in
> ensuring that both the build process and the packaging is correct. 

We clearly, and badly, need something like that. Going that direction is
the only way we could reasonably claim, in the near future, that we care
about quality in Debian: doing test rebuilds as we do is good, but won't
be enough pretty soon.

Regarding this specific point (tests run on packages as if they were
installed), IIRC Ian Jackson worked a bit on the matter, producing some
code (autopkgtest---as mentioned elsewhere in this thread) and a
specification of the interaction among tests and packages.  Ian: would
you mind summarizing the status of that effort and comment on whether,
in your opinion, people interested on this topic should continue from
there or start over?

Having a specification and some code to run the tests early on in the
Wheezy release cycle would be amazing, as it will enable maintainers to
add tests to their packages during the expected package updates for


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, |  .  |. I've fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante -- V. Capossela .......| ..: |.......... -- C. Adams

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