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Automake misintegration and improving the DejaGnu testsuite

From: Jacob Bachmeyer
Subject: Automake misintegration and improving the DejaGnu testsuite
Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2018 18:48:32 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090807 MultiZilla/ SeaMonkey/1.1.17 Mnenhy/

As fallout from fixing the bug that finally pushed me to contact the DejaGnu project, I have found that the DejaGnu testsuite itself does not properly integrate with Automake. In particular, the tests driven by options.exp overwrite the site.exp file that Automake provides, and DejaGnu actually needs that file overwritten. Fixing this bug is a straightforward but significant change that I initially proposed on bug-dejangu in <URL:> and am reproposing here for discussion:

While the command line srcdir takes precedence over a value from site.exp, there is a window between reading site.exp and reparsing the command line, and the search for the tool init file occurs in this window.

I suggest adding a search path for the tool init file and specifically supporting running DejaGnu at both top-level and in the testsuite directory. (Both of those can currently work, so breaking either would be bad.) I suggest searching for a tool init file on


The last item on that path is the current behavior, on which some testsuites may depend. The first item is an enhancement proposal to allow tool init files to be kept separate from local testsuite library modules. Additional processing during the search would eliminate "testsuite/testsuite/" pairs if ${srcdir} ends with "testsuite".

Unless overridden, DejaGnu's srcdir should match Automake's srcdir.

There will need to be a different site.exp for the options tests eventually, but that is a different problem from DejaGnu misusing the Automake-provided site.exp. Also, where in the documentation should I insert a section for the configuration files DejaGnu searches? A new section in Reference?

-- Jacob

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