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Bug#759753: autopkgtest: support an include directive in test control files

Package: autopkgtest
Version: 3.4
Severity: wishlist
X-Debbugs-Cc: debian-perl@lists.debian.org

We're looking at adding autopkgtest support to the ~3000 packages
maintained by the pkg-perl team. As these packages are generally very
similar to each other, we expect to come up with generic tests that cover
90% or 95% of these, so that only a small minority of the packages need
to be customized.

While there's no avoiding having to do source uploads of all the packages
for this [1], we'd like to find a way to do it so that future changes
to these generic tests or adding new tests don't require touching each
source package.

A few levels of indirection seems to get us pretty close to this [2],
but having an 'include' directive of some sort in debian/tests/control
would offer a cleaner and more extensible interface.

I'm thinking of something like

Include: <binary-package> /some/file

which would make autopkgtest install <binary-package> and read /some/file
for test definitions. This would mean that new tests would only need
changes to <binary-package>, and be picked up by the other packages

Does this make sense? Is it hard to add new keywords to the test metadata
language? I'm not sure if there are other consumers that would need to
be changed too.

[1] Antonio Terceiro is setting up a shortcut for us on ci.debian.net,
    but longer term I suppose we want proper test control fields
    in the packages
[2] https://lists.debian.org/debian-perl/2014/08/msg00077.html

Many thanks for your work,
Niko Tyni   ntyni@debian.org

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