testing migration aging and reproducible builds

Ivo De Decker ivodd at debian.org
Mon Jul 22 18:59:26 BST 2019

Hi Chris,

On 7/21/19 4:09 PM, Chris Lamb wrote:
> So, the devil is very much in the details here, alas. Whilst I am a
> definite +1 on this idea the day-to-day experience may not be ideal
> so your thoughts are very welcome.
> Just to take one recent example: I noticed yesterday a regression
> whereby one of our tools (strip-nondeterminism) is causing a fair
> number of Java packages to be unreproducible — it would seem a little
> antisocial to block them from migrating to testing when it was "our"
> fault. It is not really within the power or remit of the maintainers
> in-question to fix this particular issue, and we should not implicitly
> encourage maintainers to manually (!) fix it in each of the affected
> packages just to get it to migrate...
> Similar mishaps or problems with the testing framework itself are
> usually more typical than the above but would have the same effect of
> directing a lot of distracting and demotivating blowback in our
> direction.

Thanks for raising this concern. As with other policies, we should try 
to find a balance. I also expect this to be something that needs to be 
fine-tuned over time. The details haven't been worked out yet, and there 
have already been a number of interesting suggestions in this thread.

I guess a lot will depends on the impact of the delay. If the difference 
in migration delay is small enough, then there would still be an 
incentive to make packages reproducible, but it wouldn't create too much 
of an issue if there is a temporary problem that makes some packages 
unreproducible in a way the maintainer can't fix.

Adding a long delay or even blocking unreproducible packages doesn't 
seem to be appropriate at this point.

Note that (temporary) breakage, causing unexpected FTBFS, is 
(unfortunately) already fairly common in unstable. This is part of the 
way unstable works. If some change makes a number of packages 
unreproducible, people can always try to fix that themselves (worst case 
with an NMU). If these kinds of issues are rare enough, it should be OK. 
If not, the policy might need to be relaxed.

If infrastructure issues cause the reproducibility information to be 
unreliable, the impact on testing migration should be disabled.

As with autopkgtests, we can always (temporarily) add overrides for 
certain issues if development is being stalled by them.

> Note that delaying migration here has quite a different consent
> and social dynamic to autopkgtest failures as the maintainers have,
> by uploading a package that contains autopkgtests, implicitly opted
> into the committment to ensure they continue to pass.

Just FTR: this isn't correct: if package A, which depends on package B, 
adds an autopkgtest, this can block the migration of package B, even 
though package B didn't opt in.

> Anyway, your thoughts on this important angle?

Once we have worked out what tests should actually be used for this and 
how the information about them is exchanged, we can create an 
implementation to see the impact, and improve it based on the results we 
see over time.



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