Hello Debian policy, Ancient policy  frowned upon running automated check of runtime behavior of packages in debian/rules to save time for the autobuilders, and say that such test should be run by maintainers manually before uploading. According to some comment of James Troup and other autobuilders admins, I believe that autobuilder time is a less scarce ressource than porters time, so I would move for a revision of this practice for the following reasons: 1°) Maintainers can only tests binary packages they will upload. They can only test an autobuild package once it is part of unstable and is maybe already causing trouble. 2°) During toolchain transition, a package can be miscompiled in a way that let it suffer for runtime problem while the autobuilders does not report problems. Optimisation errors is an example. 3°) Once a package is successfully autobuild, it will soon be used by the autobuiders themself to build other packages that Build-Depends on it. That can lead to second-degree, or even third-degree damage that require the upload of three packages to fix the breakage. That the sort of things that delay migration to testing. 4°) When a package fails to build, the maintainer is notified and can read the buildlog to see what has happened. Sometimes it is possible to rebuild the package manually on one of the Debian port machine using fixed versions of the build tools. Since the package has not been uploaded already for this architecture, it can be uploaded without bumping the version, which is simpler and nicer. The most important packages (glibc, gcc) already include such automated checks. Of course the checks must be of run-time behavior and not of package content like lintian does. I see two possibility to implement this proposal: 1°) Let maintainers run tests in the build or binary target. Eventually we add a notest DEBBUILD_OPTION to disable it. 2°) We add a test target in debian/rules. Autobuilders will need to be modified to take advantage of this. We can then go farther and implement special testing facility. I am sorry for the long post, but I do believe we can make toolchain transitions and release easier with a proper automated test architecture for the autobuilder. Cheers, -- Bill. <firstname.lastname@example.org> Imagine a large red swirl here.  I was unable to find the reference. Maybe it was part of the old packaging manual. Any pointer welcome. The passage was something like "... You should not run checks in the Debian rules to avoid slowdown the autobuilders. Instead run the tests manually before uploading the package."
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