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Generating testsuite at maintainer not build time

From: Luke Mewburn
Subject: Generating testsuite at maintainer not build time
Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 11:47:04 +1000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

I've been using autoconf + autotest + automake for a few projects,
and I've run into an issue with a build-time dependency upon autoconf
when generating the testsuite.

Currently I use a host with recent versions of autoconf (2.65)
and automake (1.11.1) installed to regenerate the configure
and heirarchy for the project using 'autoreconf'.
The results of this is committed back to our CVS repo.

We then build the software on other systems which often have
an older version of autoconf (e.g, the vendor provided 2.59
on CentOS 5).  This has caused us problems where we've
unintentionally used autotest features & fixes in 2.65 not
present in 2.59 (e.g, AT_CHECK_UNQUOTED, and a working
'testsuite -k kw1 -k kw2 -k kw3', which doesn't work on 
testsuites generated by 2.59).

I would like to extend the procedure of using autoreconf
on our "maintainer system" to regenerate tests/testsuite
to be committed along with configure & **/,
so that we don't need or use need autoconf on our
"build and test systems".

Is there a good pattern for doing this?

Our method of creating the testsuite is similar to
section 19.4 of the current autoconf manual, except that
we generate testsuite in $(builddir) not $(srcdir).
Even after converting to use $(srcdir), we're still
stuck with something like the following to regenerate
the configure & testsuite:
        mkdir scratch && cd scratch
        cd tests && make testsuite
        cd ../..


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