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From: Thomas Witt (witt_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-06-04 15:01:14


Douglas Gregor wrote:
> On Jun 4, 2007, at 10:10 AM, Beman Dawes wrote:

I was going to write this email, but Doug beat me to it.


> Look at the 1.34 release series... the thing that's been holding us
> back most of all is that the testing and test reporting tools are
> broken. 1.34.1 is stalled because we have failures on one platform,
> but nobody can see what those failures actually are: the test
> reporting system removed all of the important information.

 From my point of view Doug is spot on. The proposal seems to assume
infinite resources in testing. The reality is we can not even test one
branch reliably and this despite considerable effort by a number of
people. With the current setup the process outlined is unworkable.

As an example on how bad things are: I would like to merge changes for
1.34.1 one at a time so that I can identify the change that broke
something. With the current turn-around time, even when the system works
as designed, this is impossible unless we aim for a X-mas release date.

> I agree with most of Beman's write-up, but it pre-supposes a robust
> testing system for Boost that just doesn't exist. I hypothesize that
> the vast majority of the problems with our release process would go
> away without a single change to our process, if only we had a robust
> testing system.

Agreed. Lets build the foundations first.

> We have only so much volunteer time we can spend.


It always strikes me as odd that we spend many man-hours discussing the
process while we are spending very little on fixing bugs. In my
experience the man-hours available for bug-fixing are severely limited.
I want to explicitly exclude Beman here. He fixed the outstanding bugs
_and_ spend the time for the paper. This is not the norm so.


> At
> this point, I think our best bet is to spend it making the regression
> testing infrastructure work well; then we can move on to a new
> process with its new tools.

 From my experience this is the only promising way forward. You can also
rephrase it as: "Let's stabilize something, before we destabilize
everything.". We will not ship 1.35.0 within the next year if we do
major surgery to our directory structure. It's just not going to happen.

I strongly urge us to do something simple and restricted in scope first.
That will give the biggest bang for the buck.


Thomas Witt

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