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Re: I volunteer

From: Jacob Bachmeyer
Subject: Re: I volunteer
Date: Mon, 18 May 2020 17:36:08 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090807 MultiZilla/ SeaMonkey/1.1.17 Mnenhy/

Rob Savoye wrote:
On 5/18/20 2:16 PM, Jacob Bachmeyer wrote:
My work on DejaGnu is one of my hobbies.  However, DejaGnu is a
relatively stable project, so I do not expect it to require much time.

  To adequately test DejaGnu, you need to be able to build and test the
GNU toolchain, both native and cross. That's necessary to test patches,
or reproduce bugs. Once all that is setup, then yes testing patches
isn't too time consuming. Building several toolchains and setting up
cross testing is what sucks up most of the time. You don't need to be a
toolchain developer, but you do need to be able to work in that environment.
What is the minimal set needed for sufficient testing? (Which packages? GCC, GDB, ...? How many versions? Latest release/Past three releases/All supported releases/Something else? I have/have access to AMD64 (with 32-bit compatibility available); otherwise I will need to ask for an account on the GCC Compile Farm Andrew Pinski mentioned.)

How to run the testsuites with a testing version of DejaGnu? Is it as simple as specifying "RUNTEST=/path/to/testing/version/of/dejagnu/runtest" as an argument to "make check"? Is running diff on the *.log (or *.sum) files after running "make check" with both "old" and "new" DejaGnu sufficient to verify a proposed release?

  Luckily you can use my ABE tool (also GPLv3), which I built for
Linaro, and it fully automates the process of building and testing
native or cross toolchains.
It seems to have disappeared from the Linaro wiki... is it currently posted anywhere?

 I agree you've been deeper into the DejaGnu
code than anybody else these days, but unless you run the toolchain
testsuites in a cross build from git, you can never really be sure if
something doesn't break in obscure ways. Maybe others disagree with me
on this, but testing the toolchain is the primary purpose of DejaGnu.
Are released versions sufficient or do the tests also need to be run with Git checkouts of the toolchain packages?

  I'm open to an additional co-maintainer if you can survive getting
fully setup. ABE makes it easy, you just need a ton of disk space. While
it is possible to add bug fixes or features without much toolchain
testing, it's impossible to do a stable release without it. With
DejaGnu, all releases are long-term support... and we will  need to do a
release after the patch backlog is caught up.
Part of the reason I am now involved with writing tests for DejaGnu itself is to reduce this burden. Right now, the only way to know if a change causes problems is to run numerous testsuites for other (large) packages and "see if it breaks".

-- Jacob

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