IRC discussion of smoking and branching

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Allison Randal

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Mar 27, 2007, 4:45:57 PM3/27/07
to p2
A discussion of draft document
<http://rakudo.org/parrot/index.cgi?parallel_development_requirements>,
with some side threads edited out. See
<http://www.parrotcode.org/misc/parrotsketch-logs/irclog.parrotsketch-200703/irclog.parrotsketch.20070327>
for the full text.


...
<Coke> ok. This is basically a followup to discussions that have
occurred on #parrot and pp - what are our expectations about trunk in
terms of stability? how can we use branching and tools to support these
expectations?
<Coke> the outline of the various topics is on the wiki.
<Coke> (and I have a meeting in 8 minutes. =-)
<allison> ok, let's continue the conversation on the list, then
<bernhard> Have a bugfix branch for every release ?
<Coke> That's certainly a possibility, b.
<bernhard> Gives some freedom on trunk
<chromatic> Branches suck though.
<Coke> I would need you to specify the ways in which they suck. =-)
<chromatic> Merging between branches sucks.
<chromatic> Really sucks.
<Coke> chromatic: thank you.
<particle> parallel development sucks, just like multiple inheritance.
<chromatic> Pulling code from experimental branches into a stable
branch is a lot of work.
<particle> but we need it.
<chromatic> It's a lot of not-fun work.
<Coke> I think that svk or some other "sits in front of svn" method of
keeping track of thigns would work. especially if those svk repos were
public.
<chromatic> It doesn't work very well in Perl 5, and I fear that it
won't work very well anywhere else.
<particle> we need an svn-only solution
<Coke> then it's easy to keep things in sync.
<allison> coke: I've had terrible trouble with bugs in svk messing up
my repository, I've gone back to svn because it's reliable.
<Coke> particle: I disagree. We need something that does svn in the
back end, but I don't think we have to have the LCD be the solution
everyone uses.
<Steve_p> It works OK if everyone agrees that one ( or a very few)
access the maintanence branch
<bernhard> How many branches are we talking about 1,2 or 10 ?
<chromatic> Steve_p, I think Nicholas might disagree that it works okay.
<Coke> alrightee. General plan: update the wiki page with your notes.
Someone (probably me) will start a thread on p2p. Chromatic will herd
you for the remainder of this meeting. =-)
<Coke> any discussion that continues here, I or someone else will
capture and add to the wiki.
<pmichaud> thanks, Coke!
<particle> my proposed solution would support infinite branches,
infinite repositories. the main repository would have (at least) an
integration branch, and a stable branch
<Steve_p> Oh yes, and unfortunately, scm tools tend to mess up
branching. The human factor of branching comes int too.
<tewk> (chromatic's comments)++
<Coke> Roger. Hope everyone is having fun. (and let me know if you're not!)
<allison> the most important question is "what problem are we solving?"
<allison> once we have that, it'll make it much easier to pick the
right solution
<particle> we're aiming to solve multiple problems
<particle> ~ provide a stable branch
<chromatic> It sounds like the problem is "Some changes are too large
to keep stable in small patches."
<bernhard> Lessen fear of breaking things
<particle> parallel work on multiple subsystems may result in diverging
code. this is the hard part to manage
<pmichaud> out of curiosity (because I don't know), how do other large
systems like the Linux kernel handle it?
<jisom_> then we need a better test suite! :)
<jisom_> pmichaud, luck
<chromatic> pmichaud, the Linux kernel has lots of public trees, from
which various maintainers pull patchsets when they want to include them.
<chromatic> It's highly distributed, so there's no single stable trunk.
<pmichaud> chromatic: is that a function of maturity, then?
<chromatic> More a function of chaos.
<pmichaud> heh
<pmichaud> okay :-)
<pmichaud> answers my question!
<particle> pmichaud: linux kernel folk use 'git', a tool linus wrote
<particle> it's not portable enough for us, yet
<chromatic> They use git now, yes, but they used to mail patches around
and there was no central SCM besides Linus' inbox.
<pmichaud> particle: I meant more at a meta-level, in terms of managing
multiple repositories and dealing with parallel work on multiple subsystems
<particle> yes, it's a distributed vcs solution. we're used to, and i
think aiming for, a centralized solution
<pmichaud> I didn't follow some of the earlier discussions, but what
are some examples of specific obstacles we're encountering with the
present system?
<particle> presently, trunk breaks.
<particle> far too often.
<pmichaud> isn't that the historical purpose of trunk/head, though?
<allison> isn't that a matter of developer discipline?
<bernhard> And trunk gets fixed
<chromatic> My answers are no, yes, and hopefully.
<pmichaud> okay, I see the issue now
<particle> we have the ability to provide a stable codeline, so we
always have a release candidate.
<pmichaud> so, trunk is where stable things go, and developers should
be working in branches
<particle> why don't we offer it? it takes a little know-how, some
discipline, and programming.
<particle> not necessarially
<allison> pmichaud: or trunk is where work happens and branches are for
release candidates
<pmichaud> I meant as a general approach
<chromatic> Because branches have the tendency to grow and grow and
diverge further from trunk, which makes them much more difficult to merge.
<particle> i propose we have branches for shared/solo subsystem coding
<particle> a branch for integration
<particle> and a branch for stable code.
<particle> trunk is just another branch.
<particle> perhaps we rename 'trunk' to 'integration', or define it
that way.
<allison> particle: but we have the same problem then of branches
diverging rapidly, unless release branches are short-lived
<particle> or, maybe we rename/identify it as 'stable'
<particle> allison: as long as the development branches are kept
up-to-date wrt the stable branch, they won't diverge
<pmichaud> well, if we treat the trunk branch as being the stable one,
then there's a built-in incentive to get things checked into the trunk
because without that new features don't make it into the release
<chromatic> particle, that's never been my experience.
<pmichaud> s/checked in/merged in/
<allison> particle: it depends on someone actively watching and merging
changes, which is pretty much a full-time job for a volunteer
<allison> (and not a particularly fun job)
<particle> it's a job we all do already, in a way
<chromatic> As soon as someone checks in a change that's not
appropriate for whatever point you want to merge to, it blocks that
branch forever.
<allison> aye, but we'd be doing it twice
<particle> crap, somebody changed the code i was working on, i have
conflicts
<particle> i need to merge them in my working copy
<particle> chromatic, you can peel off your changes since the last
baseline (synchronization point between branches), apply the changes
from 'stable', and reapply your diffs
<allison> ouch
<particle> yes, it's merging. it's painful. but you have to do it at
some point anyway
<tewk> ouch++
<chromatic> Oh I agree that it's possible, but in my experience the
longer a branch lives on, the more difficult this is and the more likely
it is that there's an imcompatible change you just can't work around.
<allison> the question is whether the sacrifice is worth the gain
<particle> i don't get it. you MUST do this before your code is
committed to trunk now.
<particle> the pain is no different
<particle> if you wish to synchronize more frequently, you may.
<allison> merge and integrate changes? yeah, but I do it on a daily basis
<chromatic> The difference is that if you're always working off of
trunk, you have much less possibility to diverge strongly.
<pmichaud> also, when working off trunk you notice divergences earlier
<particle> so synch daily, and it's still no different
<pmichaud> s/divergences/conflicts/
<allison> but if we're keeping the two branches in sync daily, then
what's the point of having branches?
<particle> okay, let's think of trunk as an integration branch, instead
of a stable one.
<tewk> I svnup whenever I see a check-in, 5-10 times a day.
<particle> commits are only merged with the stable branch after they've
been smoked
<chromatic> It takes the same kind of developer discipline to manage a
long-lived branch as it does to keep the trunk stable, and managing
branches adds administrative overhead and latency.
<allison> either they diverge, in which case it leads to painful merges
down the road, or they stay the same and they're irrelevant. is there a
3rd option?
<allison> chromatic: point
<chromatic> The smoke/integrate option is interesting. Is this automatable?
<particle> of course it can be automated :)
<particle> but, we need better smoke tools
<allison> and what's the process when smokes fail?
<chromatic> When smokes fail, Paul Cochrane fixes a bunch of whitespace
issues.
<particle> pugs has a smokebot which notifys #pugs
<mugwump> Here's a little analagy: if a branch is a software
development transaction, trunk is like forced AUTOCOMMIT
<allison> particle: I meant human process
<tewk> guilty party get an email with the build report, and he checks
in a fix.
<particle> failures must be dealt with. a revision can't be considered
a release candidate until it smokes.
<allison> tewk: and if guilty party is on vacation?
<particle> we can have smoke results for each platform, and release
candidates for each platform
<particle> when the revisions converge across all platforms, we have a
true release candidate
<tewk> someone fixes it or reverts it.
<particle> smoke failures should be RT tix
<particle> no different than parrotbug
<allison> particle: I see the appeal, but I'm not yet convinced on the
cost/benefit side
<mugwump> so with branch based development, you snapshot the current
state, work on it, and eventually "commit" the transaction (merge)
<chromatic> Before we discuss branches, perhaps we need reliable
automated smokes.
<mugwump> with trunk based development, every change you make gets
"committed", there are no long-running transactions
<particle> chromatic: the smokes themselves aren't unreliable, but the
reports aren't great
<allison> that is, if we make it significantly harder to work on
parrot, it will reduce the number of new contributors we get, and we're
not at a good point to be turning people away because they don't
understand our arcane commit system
<particle> firstly, smoke reports are slow to render, secondly, they're
not easy to compare to others
<tewk> Lets get a rockin smoke system with IM and email notification to
guilty parties working first, then revisit the branching issue if it is
still relevant.
<chromatic> Do we have automated smokes though?
<particle> chromatic: yes, we do
<chromatic> Okay. Good. I didn't realize that we did.
<allison> I'm totally on board for improving our smoke system
<particle> ^conner_ and others have donated time and machines for that.
we can use more, of course.
<particle> Steve_p will be helping with that effort, i suspect :)
<particle> there has been one or more folks on #parrot and #perl6
talking about better smoke tools
<particle> *writing better ...
<tewk> So what we are really talking about here is a continuous
integration server on a bunch of platforms,
<chromatic> It sounds like we need to know, first off, how often trunk
breaks and then see how we can keep it stable.
<allison> tewk: yeah, which may have nothing to do with branching, when
we get down to it
<tewk> It has to be up and running all the time to be useful.
<allison> I'd be interested to talk to the mozilla group about their
build process
<tewk> I don't think trunk breaks across all platforms very often. A
check-in quite often doesn't work on say WIN32 or with FreeBSD's make
<particle> i have tests failing on win32 now.
<chromatic> It's much easier to fix things if we can relate them to one
specific checkin.
<particle> patrick committed a TODO just before his release ,which
caused an unexpected success on my platform
<particle> we get bug reports of "this test is broken" all the time
<bernhard> Can we smoke for every checkin and see the diffs?
<tewk> bernhard: that is what a continuous build server does, plus it
emails out reports and auto creates rt tickets
<particle> we can do every checkin, or every <time it takes to
realclean/config/make/test>, whichever is longer
<bernhard> continuous build server ++
<mugwump> if you're going to do that, why not get out of it a stable trunk
<mugwump> instead of just a bunch of rt tickets which is going to
create lots of work
<tewk> usually a continuous build server can do every checkin, it may
slip behind during heavy periods but can catch back up during lighter
workload periods.
<tewk> When the workload gets too high you add another build server.
<tewk> We don't have that many checkins per day.
<particle> we don't have many resources
<particle> and i'm not interested in testing every revision, when so
many might be coding standards
<allison> an hourly build is good enough
<allison> or even twice daily
<particle> if we can specify that all smokers should build a particular
revision...
<particle> then we can do that prior to release day
<allison> particle: not the latest revision?
<chromatic> The fewer changes between smokes, the better... but being
able to narrow a failure down to a particular range (10 commits perhaps)
is better than what we have now.
<tewk> every build lets you identify who broke it though.
<allison> tewk: aye, but it's a cost/benefit thing again
<allison> tewk: identifying it within a few hours of commits is good
enough, and doesn't require the purchase of additional hardware
<particle> now, we're only talking about smoking *one* branch, here
<allison> particle: yes
<mugwump> you only need to smoke the tip
<chromatic> Maybe in the future, we could do a binary search to the
previous commit point to find the failure.
<leo_> hi folks - greetings @all - if it's not too late I've got some
comments WRT recent discussion
<allison> please, dive in
<bernhard> Andreas König knows about binary searches
<mugwump> git-bisect++
<leo_> 'smoke ok' ne 'make test'
<allison> leo: true
<leo_> the former has multiple platforms
<leo_> the latter is your home machine
<leo_> but - I usually did not ci w/o 'make test'
<leo_> that already helps a lot
<particle> we can probably learn some from PITA
<chromatic> If more people did that, we'd have fewer coding standards
failures....
<leo_> re binary searches
<allison> leo: I hope most people are doing that much
<leo_> coke write a tool which is on CPAN, which just does that
<allison> chromatic: if not, we could use a developer education day
<leo_> wrote*
<leo_> and I'd really prefer to have stable := trunk
<particle> App::SVNBinarySearch ?? something like that
<allison> leo: stable == trunk == mainline
<leo_> search by author might help
<leo_> allison: yep
<allison> leo: agreed
<leo_> re branches - if you have a branch: merge trunk as often as you can
<pmichaud> I should note that for the case that particle cited (my
todo'd test), the problem is that I was on a platform (x86_64) where a
test failed but every other platform succeeded, and I didn't have a
convenient way to determine that. 'make smoke' doesn't mean anything in
that case
<allison> leo: but also agreed that we do need to do some work on
stability, it's just a matter if deciding the best use of efforts toward
stability
<pmichaud> thus we need a smoke server
<leo_> but that doesn't help against collisions of multiple branches of
course
<allison> pmichaud: hmm... the ability to smoke un checked in versions?
<mugwump> no, when a branch is merged the branch fails its first smoke
metric, which is mergability
<leo_> pmichaud: yep - being on x86-64 too I'm seeing this too
<mugwump> er, when a branch is merged, other branches that conflict
lose their mergability
<allison> mugwump: we're talking outside the branching model
<leo_> it just reduces failing tets - i.e. whitespace and such or
non-ansi, which is/ought to be tested anyway
<leo_> mugwump: if folks are working in different directions in the
same part of code ...
<leo_> that's a conflict, yes ;)
<allison> leo: then we have a bigger problem than just repository
maintenance :)
<pmichaud> allison: I don't know that "ability to smoke unchecked-in
versions" is what I was implying... I just know that some of the
problems being cited have to do with the fact that some developers don't
have access to all platforms
<leo_> indeed
<allison> pmichaud: yeah, that's where I was heading
<leo_> pmichaud: s/some/most of the/
<particle> how about s/unchecked-in/unstable/
<allison> pmichaud: access to devel servers
<mugwump> every change is an unstable change until it is smoked
<pmichaud> particle: but how do I know my particular commit is
'unstable' for a platform I'm not using?
<allison> particle: not exactly
<particle> a promotion model of dev -> integration -> stable
<pmichaud> mugwump: every change is unstable until it has been smoked
on every supported platform
<mugwump> right
<particle> it's unstable until it passes smoke, by definition
<pmichaud> thus my comment that 'make smoke' is insufficient
<pmichaud> it has to be 'make smoke' on lots of platforms
<leo_> as said: 'make smoke' := sum('make test') for @platforms - IMHO
<allison> leo: yes
<particle> yes, modulo new/unsupported platforms
<particle> like, say zaurus
<leo_> of course
<pmichaud> okay, I'd prefer a different name for this, then, because
'make smoke' is also a command we often use to submit smoke reports
<leo_> 'make smoke' is just: I submit a smoke test for my $platform
<particle> devsmoke/intsmoke?
<pmichaud> if 'smoke' := sum('make test') for @platforms, then I'm okay
with that
<allison> platform smoking
<allison> porter smoking
<chromatic> If the smokes fail, does the porter bellow?
<allison> he just asks for better tobacco
<allison> smoke farm
* particle drinks porter, he doesn't smoke it
<allison> hit the smoke farm
<chromatic> Alright, with bad puns it sounds like we're winding down.
<particle> finally!
<chromatic> To my mind, the discussion seems to have turned from
branching to a discussion of improving our smoke farm.
<allison> mmmm... yes
<particle> yes, we still need to support parallel development better
<chromatic> Specifically, we desire to have regular smokes run on our
necessary platforms on a regular basis.
<allison> which doesn't change the fact that we need a branching policy
<leo_> branching is just part of the whole thing
<mugwump> I've got to go to work, but I'll just leave with this
comment: overcome your fear of branches. branches are the way forward.
trunk is the way of pain. That's all :)
<leo_> as well as moking
<leo_> s*
<allison> but, smoking is the most important problem
<leo_> and it does need some machines
<allison> and is useful whether or not we decide branching is worth the
pain
<leo_> or many folks that just submit tests
<leo_> BTW the report at http://smoke.parrotcode.org/smoke/ is still
suboptimal as dates / platforms and versions are just summarized, but
you can't see any trend
<chromatic> So noted.
<leo_> maybe looks like one of the microgrant todo projects to make
that more useful
......

Chromatic

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Mar 29, 2007, 4:14:23 PM3/29/07
to p2, Nicholas Clark
On Thursday 29 March 2007 13:05, Nicholas Clark wrote:

> I don't think that the stable/development spit in Perl 5 land is broken.
> There is a problem that there aren't enough people with good enough
> knowledge to be committers, and in particular to want to review and apply
> patches supplied by non-committers, which are often for areas that no-one
> is totally comfortable with. [Also, there are patches that turn out to be
> "works for me" whereas really for something as widespread and production
> critical as Perl 5 you want "I understand this code, and this is the right
> way to solve it" patches]
>
> Slightly detached from this is that very few people want to diagnose or fix
> bugs. (Which is a job, rather than fun, unless your sense of fun is
> somewhat puritanical*). You don't need commit access for this.

Okay, if not broken it's slightly bent.

> > <chromatic> When smokes fail, Paul Cochrane fixes a bunch of
> > whitespace issues.
>

> Why do smokes fail?

Sometimes there are platform-specific problems.

> Are people committing things without running make test?

Not me, but I can't speak for everyone.

> If I arrange to kidnap Paul Cochrane, will it force a proper solution? :-)

More likely, we'll learn to live with more broken windows.

> > <allison> I'm totally on board for improving our smoke system
>

> Most Perl 5 smoke systems report the bad tidings of black smoke to
> perl5-porters. I've never noticed a failing Parrot smoke report to this
> list, so I infer that they aren't set up this way. Would changing that help
> focus minds?

That's the plan.

> > <particle> and i'm not interested in testing every revision,
> > when so many might be coding standards

> Why are people even checking things in that fail coding standards?

The line-ending coding standards tests can be a problem in some cases, where
Windows developers add new files with their native format and forget to set
the svn:eol-style=native property on the files, so those standards fail on
Unix and Unix-like platforms.

I honestly thought we had a little program that added files, updated the
MANIFEST appropriately, and set the right properties, but I can't find it
anymore. I know I've written that program for a handful of projects already
anyway.

As for the rest, I can't speculate.

-- c

Nicholas Clark

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Mar 29, 2007, 4:05:51 PM3/29/07
to p2
On Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 01:45:57PM -0700, Allison Randal wrote:

> <Steve_p> It works OK if everyone agrees that one ( or a very
> few) access the maintanence branch
> <bernhard> How many branches are we talking about 1,2 or 10 ?
> <chromatic> Steve_p, I think Nicholas might disagree that it
> works okay.

Yes and no.

I don't think that the stable/development spit in Perl 5 land is broken.
There is a problem that there aren't enough people with good enough knowledge
to be committers, and in particular to want to review and apply patches
supplied by non-committers, which are often for areas that no-one is totally
comfortable with. [Also, there are patches that turn out to be "works for me"
whereas really for something as widespread and production critical as Perl
5 you want "I understand this code, and this is the right way to solve it"
patches]

Slightly detached from this is that very few people want to diagnose or fix
bugs. (Which is a job, rather than fun, unless your sense of fun is somewhat
puritanical*). You don't need commit access for this.

> <particle> allison: as long as the development branches are
> kept up-to-date wrt the stable branch, they won't diverge
> <pmichaud> well, if we treat the trunk branch as being the
> stable one, then there's a built-in incentive to get things checked into
> the trunk because without that new features don't make it into the release
> <chromatic> particle, that's never been my experience.
> <pmichaud> s/checked in/merged in/
> <allison> particle: it depends on someone actively watching
> and merging changes, which is pretty much a full-time job for a volunteer
> <allison> (and not a particularly fun job)
> <particle> it's a job we all do already, in a way

My estimate is that for Perl 5, keeping the maintenance branch maintained is
about 1 day per week. I think Rafael said that it takes about 1 day per week
to keep on top of incoming patches for Perl 5. So it is a lot for a volunteer.

> <chromatic> It takes the same kind of developer discipline to
> manage a long-lived branch as it does to keep the trunk stable, and
> managing branches adds administrative overhead and latency.

In Perl 5, there is no 5.10 branch. It's the trunk.
The principle reason to have a maintenance branch is that 5.8.$n+1 is binary
compatible with 5.8.$n, which means that not all changes on the trunk are
suitable for 5.8.x.

Applying the Perl 5 philosophy to Parrot, there wouldn't be any need for a
branch until 1.0 is released.

> <chromatic> When smokes fail, Paul Cochrane fixes a bunch of
> whitespace issues.

Why do smokes fail?


Are people committing things without running make test?

If I arrange to kidnap Paul Cochrane, will it force a proper solution? :-)

> <allison> I'm totally on board for improving our smoke system

Most Perl 5 smoke systems report the bad tidings of black smoke to


perl5-porters. I've never noticed a failing Parrot smoke report to this list,
so I infer that they aren't set up this way. Would changing that help focus
minds?

> <particle> and i'm not interested in testing every revision,

> when so many might be coding standards

Why are people even checking things in that fail coding standards?

Nicholas Clark

* there's a better word than this, but it slips my mind. It's not
Presbyterian, but it's a word I'd associate with it.

Jerry Gay

unread,
Mar 29, 2007, 5:20:00 PM3/29/07
to p2
On 3/29/07, Nicholas Clark <ni...@ccl4.org> wrote:
> > <particle> and i'm not interested in testing every revision,
> > when so many might be coding standards
>
> Why are people even checking things in that fail coding standards?

because not all coding standard tests are run with 'make test'. some
tests were still under development, or too noisy, or took too long.
this means that running
make test
and running
prove t/codingstd

will give you *very* different results. the correctness and
performance problems with coding standard tests have largely been
solved, and i'm now in favor of enabling all these tests during make
test. this will require a large number of commits up front to fix the
current list of failures, but would prevent developers from committing
code that's not up to snuff.

~jerry

Paul Cochrane

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Mar 29, 2007, 5:25:38 PM3/29/07
to chromatic, p2, Nicholas Clark
> > > <particle> and i'm not interested in testing every revision,
> > > when so many might be coding standards
>
> > Why are people even checking things in that fail coding standards?
>
> The line-ending coding standards tests can be a problem in some cases, where
> Windows developers add new files with their native format and forget to set
> the svn:eol-style=native property on the files, so those standards fail on
> Unix and Unix-like platforms.

Hopefully this problem won't turn up so often as I've added
t/distro/file_metadata.t to the default list of tests for 'make test'
. This does depend on people using 'make test' before committing....

(and as much as I feel I'm helping out with fixing whitespace issues,
I still wish I could fix other broken windows)

Paul

Eric Hanchrow

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Mar 29, 2007, 5:38:44 PM3/29/07
to perl6-i...@perl.org
>>>>> "chromatic" == chromatic <chro...@wgz.org> writes:

chromatic> The line-ending coding standards tests can be a problem
chromatic> in some cases, where Windows developers add new files
chromatic> with their native format and forget to set the
chromatic> svn:eol-style=native property on the files, so those
chromatic> standards fail on Unix and Unix-like platforms.

If it helps any: it's possible to fiddle with one's
~/.subversion/config file so that it automatically puts that property
(or any property, really) on newly-added files whose names match a
pattern. This isn't a foolproof solution, because it requires that
every committer make this change on every box on which they hack, and
I don't know if there's an equivalent mechanism for those who use git
or svk. But it could be a start. Here's the relevant bits from my
config file:

[miscellany]
### Set enable-auto-props to 'yes' to enable automatic properties
### for 'svn add' and 'svn import', it defaults to 'no'.
### Automatic properties are defined in the section 'auto-props'.
enable-auto-props = yes

[auto-props]
*.pl = svn:eol-style=native;svn:executable;svn:keywords=Id
*.pm = svn:eol-style=native;svn:keywords=Id

--
Покажи мне твой .emacs, и я скажу, кто ты.
-- Russian Proverb

James E Keenan

unread,
Mar 29, 2007, 9:18:06 PM3/29/07
to perl6-i...@perl.org, Eric Hanchrow, perl6-i...@perl.org
Eric Hanchrow wrote:
Here's the relevant bits from my
> config file:
>
> [miscellany]
> ### Set enable-auto-props to 'yes' to enable automatic properties
> ### for 'svn add' and 'svn import', it defaults to 'no'.
> ### Automatic properties are defined in the section 'auto-props'.
> enable-auto-props = yes
>
> [auto-props]
> *.pl = svn:eol-style=native;svn:executable;svn:keywords=Id
> *.pm = svn:eol-style=native;svn:keywords=Id
>

To which you might want to add:

*.t = svn:eol-style=native;svn:keywords=Id;svn:mime-type=text/plain

James E Keenan

unread,
Mar 29, 2007, 9:18:35 PM3/29/07
to perl6-i...@perl.org, Eric Hanchrow, perl6-i...@perl.org
Eric Hanchrow wrote:
Here's the relevant bits from my
> config file:
>
> [miscellany]
> ### Set enable-auto-props to 'yes' to enable automatic properties
> ### for 'svn add' and 'svn import', it defaults to 'no'.
> ### Automatic properties are defined in the section 'auto-props'.
> enable-auto-props = yes
>
> [auto-props]
> *.pl = svn:eol-style=native;svn:executable;svn:keywords=Id
> *.pm = svn:eol-style=native;svn:keywords=Id
>

To which you might want to add:

*.t = svn:eol-style=native;svn:keywords=Id;svn:mime-type=text/plain

Will Coleda

unread,
Mar 29, 2007, 11:14:17 PM3/29/07
to p2

On Mar 27, 2007, at 4:45 PM, Allison Randal wrote:

> <particle> but, we need better smoke tools


So lets document what we need. Right now 'make smoke' generates an
HTML report which is uploaded to the smoke server.

Talk has happened in the past about making this more DB like instead
of rendered output, but my concern is for the user visible features
we're lacking. Perhaps:

1) Notify mailing list on failure (threshold of 9x%?)
2) Notify mailing list on new platform/compiler?
3) Better GUI on the server, including:
a - sort by <foo>?
b - highlight platforms with failures on summary screen?
c - ability to which tests are failing across platforms. only on
single platform?


Pugs has done some nifty stuff with their smokes since we originally
borrowed the concept. Perhaps we can rebase to their current code.

Once we've decided what we want/need, we can open a ticket (or
tickets on various components) and worry about implementation.

Feedback, please.

--
Will "Coke" Coleda
wi...@coleda.com


Joshua Isom

unread,
Mar 30, 2007, 2:03:36 AM3/30/07
to perl6-internals List
On Mar 29, 2007, at 10:14 PM, Will Coleda wrote:

>
> On Mar 27, 2007, at 4:45 PM, Allison Randal wrote:
>
>> <particle> but, we need better smoke tools
>
>
> So lets document what we need. Right now 'make smoke' generates an
> HTML report which is uploaded to the smoke server.
>
> Talk has happened in the past about making this more DB like instead
> of rendered output, but my concern is for the user visible features
> we're lacking. Perhaps:
>
> 1) Notify mailing list on failure (threshold of 9x%?)
> 2) Notify mailing list on new platform/compiler?
> 3) Better GUI on the server, including:
> a - sort by <foo>?
> b - highlight platforms with failures on summary screen?
> c - ability to which tests are failing across platforms. only on
> single platform?

4) Not have to search through a whole page to find that one failing
test, or "unexpected succeeded" test, etc.

5) Easily compare different revisions of one platform, and two
platforms with near revisions, since unless we get cluster of very
heterogeneous computers, we must rely on user submissions. Updates to
languages/ don't really matter unless you're smoking languages for
instance, and sometimes a lot of the revision updates are to
languages/. Without a lot of work, I can't go to the smoke page and
find out the failing differences between revision, say 16000 and 17000.

> Pugs has done some nifty stuff with their smokes since we originally
> borrowed the concept. Perhaps we can rebase to their current code.
>
> Once we've decided what we want/need, we can open a ticket (or tickets
> on various components) and worry about implementation.
>
> Feedback, please.

One other thing I've noticed is that todo tests sometimes become
forgotten tests. And since they're sometimes platform specific, they
don't get fixed for that platform because feature x doesn't have the
code support. Other than doing a grep of t/ or something similar,
there's no simple way for being aware of bugs that are todo'd.

Chromatic

unread,
Mar 30, 2007, 2:06:40 AM3/30/07
to perl6-i...@perl.org, Joshua Isom
On Thursday 29 March 2007 23:03, Joshua Isom wrote:

> One other thing I've noticed is that todo tests sometimes become
> forgotten tests.  And since they're sometimes platform specific, they
> don't get fixed for that platform because feature x doesn't have the
> code support.  Other than doing a grep of t/ or something similar,
> there's no simple way for being aware of bugs that are todo'd.

I have a prototype harness that uses TAP::Parser to report these:

http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2007/03/cpan_module_review_tapparser.html

-- c

Joshua Isom

unread,
Mar 30, 2007, 2:49:03 AM3/30/07
to jerry gay, p2

Should we even require all of these tests to be ran by default? These
tests should never fail for a user compiling a release version of
parrot, so should they need to test them? They're good for developers,
but only developers. And from a prove t/codingstd, should parrot's
tests test any of languages? A language's coding standards should be a
personal preference of the language author. Plus, some of the failures
are from the tests testing documentation as well as source, so it seems
to be slightly exaggerated.

Jerry Gay

unread,
Mar 30, 2007, 9:46:17 AM3/30/07
to Joshua Isom, p2
until we stop actively developing major subsystems we should be
running these tests regularly. no test should fail for a user
compiling a release version of parrot. should we run any tests at all?
of course.

we exclude languages from coding standard tests as a general rule. if
some tests are testing languages/ files, either the test is broken, or
the authors requested it (e.g. t/codingstd/perlcritic.t.) there have
been tickets entered for this in the past, and just yesterday i
cleaned up two test files that were testing languages--work in this
area continues. this is part of the correctness measure i mentioned
has "largely been solved." please enter tickets for anything that
looks wrong, we'll get it fixed up.

our documentation has standards, too. for example, every op should
have a doc; no trailing spaces; line length, etc. i can't see a reason
not to test documentation.

~jerry

Allison Randal

unread,
Mar 30, 2007, 11:58:19 AM3/30/07
to jerry gay, Joshua Isom, p2
jerry gay wrote:
>>
>> Should we even require all of these tests to be ran by default? These
>> tests should never fail for a user compiling a release version of
>> parrot, so should they need to test them? They're good for developers,
>> but only developers.
>>
> until we stop actively developing major subsystems we should be
> running these tests regularly. no test should fail for a user
> compiling a release version of parrot. should we run any tests at all?
> of course.

I concur that the user shouldn't get failing tests for things like
whitespace at the end of lines. More importantly, the user shouldn't be
wasting time running tests for coding standards and documentation. How
about a 'make devtest' target that runs standards/doc tests first, and
then the ordinary 'make test' target?

It would require all developers to get into the habit of running 'make
devtest' instead of 'make test', but that's not a heavy burden.

Allison

Allison Randal

unread,
Mar 30, 2007, 12:01:27 PM3/30/07
to Will Coleda, p2
Will Coleda wrote:
> So lets document what we need. Right now 'make smoke' generates an HTML
> report which is uploaded to the smoke server.
>
> Talk has happened in the past about making this more DB like instead of
> rendered output, but my concern is for the user visible features we're
> lacking. Perhaps:
>
> 1) Notify mailing list on failure (threshold of 9x%?)
> 2) Notify mailing list on new platform/compiler?
> 3) Better GUI on the server, including:
> a - sort by <foo>?
> b - highlight platforms with failures on summary screen?
> c - ability to which tests are failing across platforms. only on
> single platform?

All good, with (1) being the first priority.

> Once we've decided what we want/need, we can open a ticket (or tickets
> on various components) and worry about implementation.

Yes, please proceed.

And I suggest looking at Mozilla's Tinderbox, when we get to thinking
about implementation.

Allison

Nicholas Clark

unread,
Mar 30, 2007, 12:36:04 PM3/30/07
to Allison Randal, jerry gay, Joshua Isom, p2
On Fri, Mar 30, 2007 at 08:58:19AM -0700, Allison Randal wrote:

> I concur that the user shouldn't get failing tests for things like
> whitespace at the end of lines. More importantly, the user shouldn't be
> wasting time running tests for coding standards and documentation. How
> about a 'make devtest' target that runs standards/doc tests first, and
> then the ordinary 'make test' target?
>
> It would require all developers to get into the habit of running 'make
> devtest' instead of 'make test', but that's not a heavy burden.

An alternative is to have C<make test> be an alias, either to C<make devtest>
by default, and a smaller C<make usertest> (or somesuch) when the source
tree is an official release. Having the source tree know when it's an official
release (perhaps by including or not including a file) would also allow the
parrot executable to report accurately whether it's the official release, or
one patched in some local way.

We've not figured out a good way to do this for Perl 5 yet.

For Perl I'd really like it if even perl -v (the short version output) said
"I'm patched somewhere", so that it was almost impossible to submit a bug
report without that piece of information being forthcoming.
(You don't need to know what the patches are immediately, because at least
you now have enough information to ask the bug reporter to run perl -V
or the equivalent, to actually find the information out)

I assume that in the position of maintaining Parrot I'd like the same
information about whether the release is vanilla and unmolested when I
got a bug report.

Nicholas Clark

Chromatic

unread,
Mar 30, 2007, 12:48:40 PM3/30/07
to p2
On Friday 30 March 2007 09:36, Nicholas Clark wrote:

> An alternative is to have C<make test> be an alias, either to C<make
> devtest> by default, and a smaller C<make usertest> (or somesuch) when the
> source tree is an official release. Having the source tree know when it's
> an official release (perhaps by including or not including a file) would
> also allow the parrot executable to report accurately whether it's the
> official release, or one patched in some local way.

I like this idea. The easiest way not to make a mistake is if you don't have
the option to make a mistake.

> For Perl I'd really like it if even perl -v (the short version output) said
> "I'm patched somewhere", so that it was almost impossible to submit a bug
> report without that piece of information being forthcoming.
> (You don't need to know what the patches are immediately, because at least
> you now have enough information to ask the bug reporter to run perl -V
> or the equivalent, to actually find the information out)
>
> I assume that in the position of maintaining Parrot I'd like the same
> information about whether the release is vanilla and unmolested when I
> got a bug report.

This one too.

-- c

Mike Mattie

unread,
Apr 1, 2007, 10:44:02 AM4/1/07
to parrot ML
Hello,

The discussion on smoking and branching is driven by the need to maintain quality across a wide
range of compilers and "target"(1) machines. I would add a couple of points.

0. When working through the review process the tool I wanted the most was a simple way
to test cross-platform/compiler after I had passed the test-suite on my machine. I
have both a Linux and a Darwin platform but that is a fraction of the list.

Waiting for some other kind soul to test things out for you on other platforms was slow,
and would have been impossible without the usual suspects in #parrot .

Could patches in a very specific format be mailed to a build farm, where compile
tests/smoke tests would run against the HEAD + patches in the mail ?

The reply could contain the test results , and even some sort of "stamp", if it passed,
that I could attach to the RT.

With the build/smoke farm merit badge the reviewer of the changes can
look at the "meat" of the changes without robotic and mind-numbing repetition of
the test-suite. The time could be spent better considering the merits of the changes.

1. branching and merging in SVN is very primitive. tracking the last common ancestor
must be done in the changelogs, failure to do so is a disaster.

* This is an existing merge tool that matches up with the parallel development
requirements: http://www.orcaware.com/svn/wiki/Svnmerge.py

* This seems to be the official subversion page on merge-tracking
http://subversion.tigris.org/merge-tracking/

* cherry picking never seems to work quite as well as you would
want. The weak link is diff/patch.

Unless the patches are extremely fine-grained you many times end up
hand-editing hunks or doing post patch merges. I have tried
subversion,git, hand-editing hunks (diff mode), and ediff.

Only the last patch in a sequence of dependant changes can be
modified without causing a tidal wave (good analogy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami) of rejects. The end result
is changes are not broken up, merger falls back on pass/reject.

Are you ready for cherry picking ?

1. Is every whitespace cleanup, bug fix, refactor, and feature
change a separate commit ?

2. Are your feature changes layered in even more separate commits ?
each one compile/test-suite checked ?

A. Why not wait until SVN has proper support for merging ?

B. definitely need a tool of some sort to ensure the last common ancestor
information is not mistakenly dropped.

C. If there is a branch that is forked why not make it the stable branch ?

The HEAD assuming the parrot project is flying along like we would all
want it to is going to/does have heavy commit traffic on it.

The number of changes you want in the stable is low. Put the expensive
review checking on the merge "from head" -> "to stable", so the work-set
can be reduced by a quick scan of the changelog to cherry pick which things
could even be considered canidates.

my 2 cents on the branching issue.

I have been developing for myself tools to enhance
svn for cherry picking, branching etc. I have working code; but that
project is on the back-burner since diff/patch is the real problem,
cherry picking/merging are the symptoms. All RCS systems use the patch/diff
hunk as the fundamental change mechanism. There is just to much information
dropped in a diff to handle conflicts cleanly, or rather the wrong kind of
information to resolve conflicts in source code as well as it could.

With that said I think the build/smoke farm would give developers a tool to widely
test their changes, without expecting them to have a room full of computers.

The branching model could be used, but it must be used in a way that is not going
to push the current tools beyond their working use-cases, if that happens it
will take alot of manual labor to compensate.

Cheers,
Mike Mattie

(1) Autoconf lingo for the machine the program runs on.

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