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From: Beman Dawes (bdawes_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-04-21 14:35:39

Dave Abrahams, Doug Gregor, Thomas Witt, and I had a discussion last week
at the C++ committee meeting about how to improve Boost regression testing,
and the whole process of getting ready for releases. Much of what we talked
about has already been discussed on this list, so our conclusions shouldn't
be much of a surprise:

* Making Boost regression testing as robust, automatic, distributed, and
timely as possible is the best way to help developers, release managers,
testers, and eventually, users.

* BuildBot ( looks like best way to
achieve those goals, based on experiments to date.

* It would be very helpful if a team coalesces around Rene Rivera to
develop BuildBot regression testing for Boost. They will need to stay
coordinated with the MetaCommunications folks, of course.

The rationale behind the "robust, automatic, and distributed" goals is that
many people are willing to volunteer machine resources for Boost regression
testing, but they say that other than downloading (and perhaps answering a
very few startup wizard questions) they don't have any of their own time
available. Thus the vision is of something like the SETI_at_home project which
lets people contribute spare machine cycles without burdening them further.

The rationale behind the "timely" goal is that developers will benefit
tremendously from faster feedback, both for HEAD and active branches.
Automating the feedback will free developers from having to track what is
happening on many different platforms.

The rationale behind encouraging a team to work on BuildBot regression
testing is that this is important to Boost, so it will benefit from a team
forming. That should improve and speed development, and ensure that several
people understand the system and can maintain the internals. Rene is the
logical leader since he has already stepped into that role for BuildBot.


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