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Re: serial-tests option and backwards compatibility

From: Russ Allbery
Subject: Re: serial-tests option and backwards compatibility
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 13:03:25 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.4 (gnu/linux)

Stefano Lattarini <address@hidden> writes:

> 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 ...

There are some cases where it's going to be quite difficult to ever run
tests in parallel.  Consider, for example, a package that builds a daemon
that listens to the network.  A lot of tests are probably going to start
that daemon on a non-standard port and then hammer on it and be sure that
the results are as expected.  Running those tests in parallel requires
picking different port numbers each time (and also ensuring that the
execution environment for the daemon is isolated to each test), which also
means that you can't document for the user running the test suite what
high-numbered port will be used.

All this is, of course, something that can be worked around, but given
that the only benefit is to speed up the execution of the test suite, I
suspect a lot of package maintainers are not going to want to bother.

Which, I suppose, is a long-winded way of saying that I think you're going
to want it to continue to be easy to run tests serially on an ongoing,
permanent basis, and may even want to consider some way to mark specific
tests as non-parallelizable (so that as many tests as possible can be run
in parallel anyway).

Russ Allbery (address@hidden)             <>

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