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Re: subversion client test suite

From: Mo DeJong <mdejong_at_cygnus.com>
Date: 2001-03-08 02:23:33 CET

On 7 Mar 2001, Ben Collins-Sussman wrote:

> Greg Hudson <ghudson@MIT.EDU> writes:
> > As a site integrator, I find it obnoxious when packages rely on perl
> > for any part of the build or regression test procedure. (Regression
> > tests are valuble to site integrators as well as developers.)
> I don't understand your objection. Why is it obnoxious?

Software should strive to depend as little as possible
on "external" bits. That just makes it harder to get
up an running.

> I mean, seriously, are there *any* systems out there that don't come
> with perl pre-installed these days? Or, are there any site
> integrators out there that don't use perl in *some* respect to do
> their jobs (thereby guaranteeing that perl is available)?

Many systems come with Perl, many do not. The problem shows
up when you depend on having that piece of software
installed before yours will work. This is even more
critical when it comes to your tests cases. Suppose
you run the test cases and they all fail. What is
at fault? Is the version of Perl (or whatever,
I am not attacking Perl here) installed on the system
broken? Is Perl installed at all? Is it a different
version than your test cases expected? Is it your code?

> It seems like you're worrying about extreme edge-cases.

I don't think they are edge cases. If you want to
depend on Perl then it should be included in the
source tree. If folks have that exact same
version installed on the system, they can
pass --with-perl=PATH to use it. Otherwise, a
known version should be built from the source
tree. You don't have to install it, but you
should use it to run the test cases.

> Writing code in sh or C to examine the contents of SVN/ files runs the
> risk of being extremely awkward and painful for all current and future
> svn developers; whereas perl is the perfect tool for such a task.

Writing regression tests in C is a bad idea, no argument there.

> The real issue is the trade-off here. Even if I grant you that an
> perl-based test suite might annoy some small group of site
> integrators, isn't this a far lesser evil than annoying all the svn
> developers? (Remember that the regression tests will -most- often be
> run (and written) by developers, which is a larger group IMO.)

The test suite is for developers, but it needs to be easy
to use so that people can verify that a build or new
port is working as expected.

Mo DeJong
Red Hat Inc
Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:25 2006

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