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Re: Micro releases and testsuite work

From: Peter Rosin
Subject: Re: Micro releases and testsuite work
Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 00:57:00 +0200
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On 2013-05-22 20:14, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
> Hi Peter.
> On 05/22/2013 06:35 PM, Peter Rosin wrote:
>> On 2013-05-22 15:57, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
>>> * t/ax/am-test-lib (null_install): New function.
>>> * t/ Use it instead of copied & pasted code.
>>> * t/ Likewise.
>>> * t/ Likewise.
>>> * t/ Likewise.
>>> * t/ Likewise.
>>> * t/ Likewise.
>>> * t/ Likewise.
>>> * t/ Likewise.
>> Hi!
>> Reading about micro releases in HACKING:
>> * Micro releases should be just bug-fixing releases; no new features
>>   should be added, and ideally, only trivial bugs, recent regressions,
>>   or documentation issues should be addressed by them.
>> Looking at this change (and possible others, I haven't checked
>> closely) I don't see the fit.
> Indeed, I think testsuite refactorings should be added to the list
> above (see patch below). After all, causing possible disruption or
> spurious failures in the testsuite is not nearly as serious as the
> introduction of a regression or a backward-incompatibility.  In fact,
> I'd even rather see such a disruption exposed early, in a micro release
> (where we can be much more confident about the overall correctness and
> health of the code base) than in a minor or major release, where it might
> be more difficult to discriminate between issues caused by work on
> the code and issues caused by work on the testsuite.
>> Now, I'm not complaining, but the above wording gave me the impression
>> that micro releases would contain very few commits, but it seems
>> that commits to micro are a lot more frequent than I anticipated.
> So far, apart from a minor bug fix, all the commits on 'micro' has
> been testsuite-related.  That is how it should be IMHO.  But you are
> right that this wasn't made clear at all in HACKING.
>> The disconnect is perhaps that changes to tests are not explicitly
>> mentioned?
> And that they do not influence how Automake will work on real-world
> packages.  That is, a testsuite regression is not going to annoy or
> inconvenience Automake users, but only the Automake developers.

Is that really true? If some silly mistake in a cleanup/refactoring
of the testsuite causes forty-eleven-something fails on a platform
noone has bothered to check, a user on that platform is going to be
less than impressed and would probably not trust the new micro version
and would thus be inconvenienced indeed. My opinion is that it is
best to make as few changes as possible for a micro release, while
still fixing the things that needs to be fixed of course. But hey,
your call obviously...

>> And since "non-trivial but mostly safe" cleanups are
>> allowed in minor releases, I would assume that trivial cleanups
>> fit in micro as well?
> Not really.  And in this case, the testsuite refactoring done in
> 'micro' so far are actually not very safe either (it took me a
> while to write them in a way that left the testsuite passing on
> FreeBSD, NetBSD and Solaris 10).  What makes them acceptable is
> that they touch only the testsuite.
>> Maybe that should be mentioned explicitly?
> The patch below should make things clearer.  WDYT?

Yes, now the text in HACKING matches the commits on 'micro'.

>> Anyway, I don't really care, I'm just a bit surprised...
> I hope thsi reply of mine clarifies things.

Indeed, thanks!


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