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Re: serial-tests option and backwards compatibility

From: Brandon Black
Subject: Re: serial-tests option and backwards compatibility
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 09:50:18 -0600

On Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:12 AM, Stefano Lattarini <
address@hidden> wrote:

> > There doesn't seem to be a way to set up my such that my
> tests
> > will run in serial mode on both older and newer versions of automake
> >
> Since the parallel test harness is already present in Automake 1.11, and
> it is in many many ways superior to the old serial driver, my suggestion
> would be switch to in your package.  But assuming you have good reasons
> not to do so ...

In general that seems like a good idea.  However, the setup for my tests is
fairly complex (creating temporary directory structures and files in the
builddir for the tests to execute against), and depends on data which is
optionally downloaded from the internet (via an optional "make
check-download" step, and then the lack of these files being present causes
a subset of the tests to be skipped), etc.  It's going to be a painful
conversion for sure, and the type that's likely to stretch other corner
cases in the relatively-new parallel-tests harness.

Given I don't really have the extra time to deal with that conversion right
now, and the statement in the manual: "This harness is still somewhat
experimental and may undergo changes in order to satisfy additional
portability requirements" which likely means my complex conversion will hit
new snags with further changes to this evolving feature, I'd just rather
not convert at this time.

What's bugging me right now is that currently I have my own test-runner
which takes care of everything and is seen as a single test by automake,
and it needs to tell the user things like "Hey we didn't see the optional
test data, so we've skipped those tests, run 'make check-download' first if
you want to run those tests, but be warned that it will download several
megabytes of data from the public Internet.".  The default parallel-tests
execution in 1.13 hides this info from the user.

The reason for the 1.11.6 dependency, by the way, is that current
Debian/Ubuntu releases are still on that version.  Bumping my requirement
to 1.12 would mean anyone working with the code on those platforms would
have to download their own local automake update and put it in /usr/local
or whatever, which seems silly given I don't really need any 1.12+ features
(well, aside from a working "serial-tests" option).

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