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Regression Testing (was Re: patch #1 ...)

From: Chad Walstrom
Subject: Regression Testing (was Re: patch #1 ...)
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 11:41:36 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040907i

Mel Hatzis wrote:
> If there's general interest in incorporating the test suite I have,
> I'd be happy to try and set something up.

Sounds like a great idea.  Regression testing is always welcome.

> There's a perl component in it though...for setting up a test database
> against which the regression tests are run. I'm not sure how people
> feel about adding a perl dependency to the mix.

As long as the dependency is for development purposes only, I don't see
a problem.  Though, committing a generated database to CVS wouldn't be
an awful idea either. ;-)

> My original idea was to have the tests run via a 'make test, but this
> was not possible since GNATS needs to be (partly) installed in order
> to run...the binaries all have a hard-wired reference to the
> 'databases' file. We could fairly easily overcome this by modifying
> the binaries to allow the databases file to be supplied...either by
> environment variable or command line option (or both).

Right.  Make test could also be run after a test install directory were
created.  As was mentioned in a reply to this post, it's possible to set
up the prefix to a usable test installation directory.  My configure
call is usually something like this:

        $ mkdir +build +install ; cd +build
        $ ../configure --prefix=`pwd`/../+install \
        > --with-gnats-user=$logname
        $ make install
        $ cd ../+install/usr/libexec/...

I do agree that enhancing command-line options would help immensely.

> The perl requirement could perhaps, be resolved, by simply committing
> the generated database to the mix.

We could always start another CVS repository for the test data and test
suite if that would be "easier".  I would be fine with simply creating a
"test" directory.  Is your testing suite a unit-test style?

I had been looking at GNU Nana [1]_ for design-by-contract patterns that
might be helpful.  The CPP macros work best with gcc and gdb, so it's
not 100% portable to other compilers/debuggers.  Might be worth looking
at, in any case.

.. [1]

Chad Walstrom <address@hidden> 
           assert(expired(knowledge)); /* core dump */

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