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Re: Test failures

On Wed, Mar 07, 2012 at 03:12:12AM -0500, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> B) I don't agree that automatic reversion -- or reversion at all -- of
>    changes that cause test failures is the right policy.  In some
>    cases, backing out an entire commit is the right thing to do, but in
>    others, it needlessly makes a mess of the revision history and
>    complictes life for everyone, but particularly the developer trying
>    to fix the problem.  Often a small fix is a much better and cleaner
>    solution than backing out an entire commit.

Just to make sure: I think you kind of missed the whole point. Reverting
changes is by definition a post hoc solution. No one is advocating something
like that. (Albeit commits that break the system for weeks should be reverted
IMO.) By contrast, proactive solutions run builds and test suites before a
commit even makes into the main repository. I have worked with such setups
and it works really well. But as has been noted in previous discussions,
in NetBSD the biggest problem is likely the size of the code base.

> The workflow you seem to want is wildly at odds with the one the hundreds
> of active NetBSD developers have used for decades.  By and large, what we
> have done in the past has worked well, and I would like to see it made
> incrementally better by any changes to take advantage of automatic testing,
> not completely thrown away and replaced with something new.

In my opinion the introduction of automatic testing provides solid
evidence that the development culture of past decades has had a lot of
disadvantages. If one wants to find good work patterns and productivity,
historical practices are probably the last place to start looking. Judging
from the the briefings, also the core group and board of directors of TNF
have pondered these issues for a long time.

- Jukka.

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