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Re: warnings in unit tests

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: warnings in unit tests
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2021 21:51:05 +0200
User-agent: KMail/5.1.3 (Linux/4.4.0-210-generic; KDE/5.18.0; x86_64; ; )

Simon Josefsson wrote:
> Most of my projects have multiple gnulib instances in
> them, which gnulib self-tests does not support.

Yes, this situation is not supported.

> I try to have gnulib tests enabled, but sometimes I disable them because
> having them enabled leads to problems that are too time-consuming to
> debug and fix.  ...
> I've seen over the years a number of cases where old releases of my
> packages fail to 'make check' correctly only because of a gnulib
> self-test that was 1) simply buggy, or 2) the gnulib replacement code
> had bugs in them on some platform, or 3) the self-test tested a
> corner-case that newer platforms (for valid reasons) chose to behave
> differently for.

Failing tests can happen, yes. That's true for all test suites.

But it shouldn't be you as a package maintainer who debugs these tests.
(Only the tests for the modules that you contributed; i.e. wearing your
Gnulib contributor hat :-).

> I think there is room for improvements in this field

>From what you are telling, the first improvement should be to clarify
where to report failing tests. Done as follows:

2021-06-10  Bruno Haible  <bruno@clisp.org>

        Clarify where to report test failures from Gnulib tests.
        * gnulib-tool (func_emit_tests_Makefile_am): Emit a dependency of
        'check-am' on 'check-notice' that prints a notice.

diff --git a/gnulib-tool b/gnulib-tool
index d41d58c..4f97e63 100755
--- a/gnulib-tool
+++ b/gnulib-tool
@@ -4275,6 +4275,14 @@ func_emit_tests_Makefile_am ()
   echo "       @echo '## You can ignore compiler warnings in this directory.  
   echo "       @echo '## ---------------------------------------------------- 
+  # Arrange to print a message before executing the tests in this directory.
+  echo "check-am: check-notice"
+  echo "check-notice:"
+  echo "       @echo '## ---------------------------------------------------- 
+  echo "       @echo '## ------------------- Gnulib tests ------------------- 
+  echo "       @echo '## Please report test failures to <bug-gnulib@gnu.org>. 
+  echo "       @echo '## ---------------------------------------------------- 
+  echo
   echo "# Clean up after Solaris cc."
   echo "clean-local:"
   echo "       rm -rf SunWS_cache"

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