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=== Self-service buildd givebacks ===

Philipp Kern has [[https://debblog.philkern.de/2019/08/alpha-self-service-buildd-givebacks.html|created]] an *experimental* service that allows Debian members to perform self-service retries of failed package builds (aka give-backs). This service aims to reduce the time it takes for give-back requests to be processed, which was done manually by the wanna-build admins until now. The service is authenticated using the [[https://sso.debian.org/|Debian Single Signon]] service. Debian members are still expected to act responsibly when looking at build failures; do your due diligence and try reproducing the issue on a porterbox first. Access to this service is logged and logs will be audited by the admins.

-- Paul Wise


=== Removal of the mips architecture ===

Aurelien Jarno recently [[https://lists.debian.org/msgid-search/20190720104654.GA25138@aurel32.net|proposed]] the mips architecture (supporting 32-bit big-endian MIPS CPUs) for removal and then got it [[https://lists.debian.org/msgid-search/20190820131758.GB23914@aurel32.net|removed]]. This removal affects bullseye and sid but not buster or stretch. Please prepare to migrate your MIPS hardware to mipsel or mips64el, much recent MIPS hardware (such as Octeon CPUs) supports endian switching at runtime and can therefore be supported by the other MIPS ports.

The removal was due to the limited 2GB virtual address space and because the architecture is one of the last big-endian architecture Debian supports, the porting effort became increasingly difficult. On the other hand the level of interest for this architecture is going down, and with it the human resources available for porting is going down.

-- Paul Wise

=== Superficial package testing ===

A number of Debian packages use `cmd --version` or `cmd --help` as an autopkgtest. This solely tests the command-line and options parsing of the command but does not test any significant functionality of the command. Such tests do not provide significant test coverage, so if they pass, that does not necessarily mean that the package under test is actually functional in any useful way. autopkgtest supports marking such tests with the [[https://salsa.debian.org/ci-team/autopkgtest/blob/master/doc/README.package-tests.rst#L302|superficial tag]] for the Restrictions field. Please check your package tests and make sure they are using {{{Restrictions: superficial}}} where appropriate. A request for a lintian complaint for common cases of this issue has been [[https://bugs.debian.org/932862|filed]] but many of the superficial tests in Debian will not be detectable by lintian because doing so would require parsing shell and deciding what it tests and if that is superficial or not.

Superficial tests are useful to detect severe breakage but please also ensure that your package has some non-superficial tests that actually test significant functionality of your package.

-- Paul Wise
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=== Superficial package testing ===

A number of Debian packages use `cmd --version` or `cmd --help` as an autopkgtest. This solely tests the command-line and options parsing of the command but does not test any significant functionality of the command. Such tests do not provide significant test coverage, so if they pass, that does not necessarily mean that the package under test is actually functional in any useful way. autopkgtest supports marking such tests with the [[https://salsa.debian.org/ci-team/autopkgtest/blob/master/doc/README.package-tests.rst#L302|superficial tag]] for the Restrictions field. Please check your package tests and make sure they are using {{{Restrictions: superficial}}} where appropriate. A request for a lintian complaint for common cases of this issue has been [[https://bugs.debian.org/932862|filed]] but many of the superficial tests in Debian will not be detectable by lintian because doing so would require parsing shell and deciding what it tests and if that is superficial or not.

Superficial tests are useful to detect severe breakage but please also ensure that your package has some non-superficial tests that actually test significant functionality of your package.

-- Paul Wise

Translation(s) : English - español - Français - 日本語

News for Debian developers

This wiki page collects small news that all developers should know but that are not worth a dedicated mail to debian-devel-announce. Follow the template "Example of news" and add your news below it. See /Help for more information on how to write entries. If you have any questions, please ask the publicity team or the the Debian English localisation mailing-list.

If you are able to post to debian-devel-announce (all Debian members can) and there are 5 or more items below, you might want to send out the news. To send out a new issue, you can use this helper script to generate the email version of this page. After generating the mail, proof-read it, correct any spelling, formatting or grammatical errors and send out the mail. Once the mail is sent and archived, please delete the items that were sent, add a link to the archived mail in the Previous news section and mention the mail in ProjectNews.

Example of news

This is a sample news. Copy it and edit the title, content and signature... You can use links like this. Put real news below this sample.

-- Your Name

Self-service buildd givebacks

Philipp Kern has created an *experimental* service that allows Debian members to perform self-service retries of failed package builds (aka give-backs). This service aims to reduce the time it takes for give-back requests to be processed, which was done manually by the wanna-build admins until now. The service is authenticated using the Debian Single Signon service. Debian members are still expected to act responsibly when looking at build failures; do your due diligence and try reproducing the issue on a porterbox first. Access to this service is logged and logs will be audited by the admins.

-- Paul Wise

Removal of the mips architecture

Aurelien Jarno recently proposed the mips architecture (supporting 32-bit big-endian MIPS CPUs) for removal and then got it removed. This removal affects bullseye and sid but not buster or stretch. Please prepare to migrate your MIPS hardware to mipsel or mips64el, much recent MIPS hardware (such as Octeon CPUs) supports endian switching at runtime and can therefore be supported by the other MIPS ports.

The removal was due to the limited 2GB virtual address space and because the architecture is one of the last big-endian architecture Debian supports, the porting effort became increasingly difficult. On the other hand the level of interest for this architecture is going down, and with it the human resources available for porting is going down.

-- Paul Wise

Superficial package testing

A number of Debian packages use cmd --version or cmd --help as an autopkgtest. This solely tests the command-line and options parsing of the command but does not test any significant functionality of the command. Such tests do not provide significant test coverage, so if they pass, that does not necessarily mean that the package under test is actually functional in any useful way. autopkgtest supports marking such tests with the superficial tag for the Restrictions field. Please check your package tests and make sure they are using Restrictions: superficial where appropriate. A request for a lintian complaint for common cases of this issue has been filed but many of the superficial tests in Debian will not be detectable by lintian because doing so would require parsing shell and deciding what it tests and if that is superficial or not.

Superficial tests are useful to detect severe breakage but please also ensure that your package has some non-superficial tests that actually test significant functionality of your package.

-- Paul Wise

Debian Developers Reference now maintained as ReStructuredText

After 22 years of the Debian Developers Reference being maintained as an SGML document, the sources are now maintained as ?ReStructuredText, while the translations remain .po files.

Please note that this is work in progress and that there will be bugs. Please do file them, with or without patches.

Big kudos and many thanks to Osamu Aoki for doing most of the work on this. Obviously also many thanks to everyone else involved, both upstream and in Debian!

-- Holger Levsen

Scope of debian-mentors broadened to help with infrastructure questions

Debian-mentors explicitly endorses questions about Debian infrastructure projects on the mailinglist and IRC channel. This is the result of a discussion on debian-project and debian-mentors. There seems to be some consensus that such infrastructure projects are the ones in Debian that most badly need more contributors. At the same time, our infrastructure projects/teams have a rather high entry barrier. Apparently, one reason is that understaffed teams with high workload usually lack the time and resources to mentor new contributors. This basically means that new contributors can send their questions regarding Debian infrastructure projects to debian-mentors, *and* infrastructure groups that lack the time to reply to newbie questions are invited to redirect those questions there.

The debian-mentors FAQ has been updated accordingly.

-- Jonas Meurer

Hiding package tracker action items

The Debian package tracker lists action items for each package. Some of these may not apply to individual visitors to the package tracker. For example, people who have enough packages to maintain already probably don't want to see suggestions to adopt orphaned dependencies of packages. The Debian package tracker now applies an action-item-* CSS class to each action item representing the type of the action item. You can use this via the Stylus WebExtension (not yet in Debian) or Firefox's userContent.css. For example, this CSS will hide items suggesting adoption of orphaned dependencies:

.action-item-debian-depneedsmaint { display: none; }

-- Paul Wise

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