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Re: Automated testing - design and interfaces

On Thu, Nov 17, 2005 at 06:43:32PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> So, what do you think ?

Currently Debian packages are tested through a lot of channel:

-- At build-time, if the package run a test-suite in debian/rules,
   which is strongly encouraged.

-- By the maintainer before uploading them.

-- Dependencies are checked by the testing scripts.

-- Packaging standards are checked by lintian.debian.org

-- Some developers try to rebuild the whole distribution from
   scratch to check for FTBFS regression.

-- Now we start to use piuparts to check for maintainer scripts
   behaviour and upgradability.

-- Developers run scripts to check for various issues varying from typo
   in description to menu hierachy inbalance.

-- etc...

Debian is an organisation which can afford a lot of decentralisation,
but where centralisation is very expensive (debian-admin time, etc.). 
Doing the checks in debian/rules is not perfect, but it happens before
the package is uploaded, is performed for all architecture and more
importantly is done with the current infrastructure.  

Going toward a centralised testing facility where packages are checked
before they go to unstable might be nice but even if the software was
ready today, it would take ages before we could adapt the infrastructure
to take advantage of it.

It might be that Ubuntu is a different organisation with different
ressources and the Debian way is not the most efficient for Ubuntu.

If Ubuntu want to improve the testing coverage, you could start by
submitting patches to packages that don't run test-suite in
debian/rules. That would profit both Debian and Ubuntu and there are
lot of work to do there.

Bill. <ballombe@debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here. 

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