Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] Process discussions
From: Vladimir Prus (vladimir_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-02-01 04:15:20

John Maddock wrote:

>> Maybe I suggest that for some time, we outright ban freeform discussion
>> about
>> process, and instead, we restrict them to threads started by a Boost
>> developers
>> and saying this: "I am maintainer of X, and had N commits and M trac
>> changes
>> in the last year. I most hate P1, P2 and P3. I would propose that we use
>> T1,
>> T2, and T3 to fix that". Then, everybody could join to suggest better
>> way of fixing P1, P2 and P3 -- without making up other supposed problems.
> OK let me give my pet hates:
> * The only tool comment I have is that SVN is awfully slow for big merges
> (Math lib docs for example), I probably need to find a better way of using
> the tool better though.

I can't shake the feeling that SVN performance is specific to our instance,
at least other SVN servers I use feel faster. It would be worthwhile to
experiment with different setups, including using svn+ssh instead of https,
or using FSFS repository format on the server (if it uses BDB) now.

Alas, I am not sure anybody is in position to try this.

> * I think we could organize the testing more efficiently for faster
> turnaround and better integration testing, and much to my surprise I'm
> coming round to Robert Ramey's suggestion that we reorganize testing on a
> library-by-library basis, with each library tested against the current
> release/stable branch.
> * Test machine pulls changes for lib X from version control (whatever tool
> that is).
> * Iff there are changes (either to lib X or to release), only then run the
> tests for that library against current release branch.
> * The testers machine builds it's own test results pages - ideally these
> should go into some form of version control as well so we can roll back and
> see what broke when.
> * When a tester first starts testing they would add a short meta-description
> to a script, and run the script to generate the test results index pages.
> ie there would be no need for a separate machine collecting and processing
> the results.
> * The test script should run much of the above *in parallel* if requested.
> The aim would be to speed processing of testing by reducing the cycle time
> (most libraries most of the time don't need re-testing).

I suppose an alternative approach would be just make the incremental testing
work. Boost.Build, obviously, can rebuild and rerun just the necessary tests,
but the regression framework used to have issues, like reporting stale
tests. I think it should give the same increase in testing time, and not
really sure which approach is harder to implement.

> I have one concern about this model - from time to time my stuff depends
> upon some bleeding edge feature from another library or Boost tool -
> sometimes too development of that new feature goes hand in hand with my
> usage - which is to say it's developed specifically to handle problem X, and
> the only way to really shake down the new feature is to put it to work. For
> example Boost.Build's "check-target-builds" rule was developed for and
> tested with Boost.Regex's ICU usage requirements. Development of the
> Boost.Build and Regex went hand in hand. Not sure how we deal with this in
> the new model?

That's why I prefer 'test whole trunk, incrementally' model to the
'test each library individually, against last release' model.

- Volodya

Vladimir Prus
Mentor Graphics
+7 (812) 677-68-40

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at