Testing ports/patches on non-i386 (such as amd64)
cswiger at mac.com
Sun Jun 20 10:40:44 PDT 2004
Daniel Roethlisberger wrote:
> What's the best way to handle such a situation as port maintainer?
> Should I file a PR asking for a committer to test my patches? Or should
> I find someone able and willing to do some testing for me through other
> means, such as posting patches to this list? Or should I just go ahead
> and have the untested patches committed, and wait for the bento logs to
> tell me about success or failure? (I don't particularly like this one).
> Any other options?
If you want to make sure your port works properly on the SPARC or Alpha, for
example, having access to a machine of that type is very helpful. You might
ask on the appropriate freebsd-sparc, freebsd-alpha, etc mailing list whether
someone will test your port or give you a login so you can do the testing
If noone responds, it's likely that you can not worry about that platform
until someone does run your port and does run into a problem. :-)
In the meantime, you can make changes to the software in a fashion that are
platform-independent using C99 concepts; use portable datatypes such as
intXX_t's rather than depending on sizeof(short) = 2 and sizeof(int) = 4, etc,
particularly in struct's which are persisted in data files or sent over the
network; you can avoid depending on fancy platform-specific analysis like GNU
autoconf ; compile using -Wall and fix any warnings, pay attention to
implicit conversions and casting when dereferencing pointers, etc.
While you're there, one can also herd the code towards using snprintf() rather
than sprintf() to try to avoid buffer overflows, using malloc() and [*gasp*]
actually checking it's return value, rather than using automaticly allocated
arrays on the stack, and so forth. None of this is rocket science. There's a
lot of sloppy code of there, though...
: The notion of conditional code which depends on actual tests of the local
platforms capabilities is fine, to the extent that doing so is actually
useful. However, autoconf has long since passed the point of being the tail
wagging the dog in that it often takes longer to run ./configure than it does
to actually build the program itself, when every ./configure run contains
hundreds of lines of the same tests as every other, when the program code
contains a maze of twisty little #ifdefs, all alike, when testing for
sizeof(int) and the like encourages people to write code which depends on
these conditionals rather than simply using a portable approach from the
start, testing the maximum size of the argument list (and wasting lots of CPU
time doing so) and hardcoding that value into the executable when that
"maximum size" may well change if someone switches which shell they use or
recompile the kernel, etc.
[ I guess I pressed one of my own buttons here. :-) ]
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