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Re: package testing, autopkgtest, and all that

On Wed, Feb 02, 2011 at 02:28:14PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> One point I would like to make is that people who are now raising
> objections to fundamental design decisions are, I think, five and a
> half years too late.  
> The design, both in principle and detail, was discussed in November
> 2005 on various Debian lists.  Amongst other people, you, Stefano,
> participated.  In February 2006 I reported that I had an initial
> implementation.
> I don't think going back the drawing board now is a very good idea.
> What we are lacking is deployment (and, sorry for my part in the lack
> of that).

I don't think anyone in this thread was suggesting to go back to the
drawing board; I surely wasn't. That is the case not because "we should
have done so 5 years ago": if there is some design flaw that wasn't spot
back then---which is possible given that deployment is missing---it
should be fixed nonetheless. Rather it is the case because there is an
implementation (thanks to you) and barking around that tree without
having an alternative implementation (or a patch) to propose is

I was merely looking for rationales that explain the interface gap
between the expectations of some participants of this thread and what is
currently available in the implementation. Looking at the arguments you
provided later on, I'm convinced that the source package wrapping is no
big overhead. My main use case of maintaining tests in some $VCS
separate from archive packages can be easily implemented by just having
a proper debian/ dir stored in that repository, which is fair enough.

Regarding the DEP (which I fully agree is just "marketing", although
that kind of marketing is part of any deployment strategy in a volunteer
community), what I'm still trying to figure out are the success criteria
and the final place where the specification should land. Would policy be
a reasonable expectation, once (and if) we reach wide spread adoption?


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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