Project:SPARC/Arch tester/Procedures

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This Guide shows you how to test packages for stablization/inclusion into the testing tree.

Marking Stable: When and How?

The imlate file is there to show which packages on sparc are lagging behind on x86 and need to be tested and eventually marked stable. It's very useful to have people systematically testing these packages - it helps to keep sparc as up-to-date as possible. The following guidelines are specifically aimed at Gentoo/SPARC Arch Testers (ATs) doing testing.

  • Check the newest version of the package is marked ~sparc (TESTING), if not please read the next section of the document for the steps to follow to quickly/efficiently have a package keyworded ~sparc.
  • If the package is already ~sparc, then:
    • Check to see when it was marked ~sparc. There should be a date in the package changelog, but if there isn't please use the ViewCVS functionality on to look for the date it was keyworded ~sparc. If it was less than 30 days ago, the package is not eligible to be marked stable, but testing and feedback are still greatly appreciated.
    • Check for bugs on this particular version of the package. If a bug has been open in the last 30 days, it is not eligible.
    • If it has been in testing for more than 30 days, and has not had an open bug in the last 30 days, you need to test it in a thorough and systematic manner. Every conceivable permutation should be checked and rechecked - if it breaks you need to go onto Bugzilla and open a relevent bug. If it doesn't break and you are totally satisfied it's stable, continue to the final step -- but beware, its your head if this package breaks!
    • Assuming it meets all the criteria (tested for 30+ days, no bugs in the last 30 days, AT tested) you may open a bug with the title '<category>/<package>-<version> is stable on SPARC'. Assign the bug directly to to avoid making more work for the poor Bug Wranglers. You should include the output of your 'emerge --info' and keyword the bug STABLE . Just wait a while, a developer will review the bug, and mark stable.

Marking Testing: What's the drill?

In some cases the imlate file may show packages where the latest version is not yet ~sparc, or a new and popular package needs to be keyworded ~sparc. In these cases, we need to have them 'marked testing' - so when they're bug free for thirty days they can be made sparc stable.

  • Check the package hasn't already got any open bugs regarding it being marked testing. Quite often users will prod us about popular packages needing a keyword before any devs/ATs even notice ;)
  • If the package doesn't have a bug yet, go ahead and start:
    • Check to see whether previous versions of the package were in testing or stable on SPARC. If the version increment is only a minor one (1.4.0 to 1.4.1) and previous version was stable, it's slightly different to where a package has had a major version increment or has never been ~sparc/sparc.
      • Previous version keyworded, minor version increment Check the changelog for the version increment, install the package and test any new, improved or otherwise modified features. Check the install is smooth, everyday functionality is there and there are no glaringly obvious bugs. If you see any bugs, file them on Bugzilla and when they're resolved test again. If everything seems okay, proceed to the final stage (putting in the ~sparc request).
      • Previous version keyworded, major version increment Check the changelog, install the package and test all the new and improved features. Check for bugs in previous versions, see if they have been fixed and be especially careful to see whether new ones crept in with all the new code. Test all the other functionality, even stuff which you 'think' will work - a major version increment means a lot of changes, and it's treated almost like a new addition to the tree - everything has to be tested and verified. If you're happy it seems to be running okay, proceed to the final stage.
      • New package, not keyworded before Anything which has never been sparc keyworded before is a little more tricky to process. You don't have a nice changelog to refer to for a list of things to test, a previous version which worked to use as reference or much other help. You need to install the package and then test thoroughly:
  1. Package should install without errors and be ready to run 'out of the box' with minimal effort on the part of user.
  2. Major functionality (which isn't hard to test) should all work with no significant errors. Minor errors like a typo are probably acceptable, and we understand you can't go through every operation possible, but it should work in an acceptable manner for day-to-day usage by a user.
  3. Package shouldn't break anything related...

Assuming it installs, loads and works pretty well with no major errors - please proceed to the final step and congratulate your computer on adding yet another package to the expanding arsenal!

  • Package requires patches that are in Make a comment in your bug stating that these patches fix issues with the package, and CC the maintainer of the package. Developers will then wait 7-30 days to commit if maintainer does not handle the bug. The types of patches in this category include: arch specific patches, multi-lib strict, etc.

  • Assuming your testing efforts above went well, and all procedures were followed, you are now ready to open a bug and metaphysically prod a dev into committing the change.
    • Open a bug with '<category>/<package>-<version> is TESTED on SPARC' as the title. Assign the bug a keyword: TESTED
    • Assign the bug directly to - saves giving those Bug Wranglers yet another grey hair on their already snowy heads.
    • Include a short description of the package, what you tested and your 'emerge info'. Explicitly specify you wish the ~sparc to be added to the keywords, it helps us grumpy old developers focus at 3am in the morning when sleep is probably a good idea ;)
    • Sit back and wait, someone will resolve the bug ASAP.


We would like to thank the following authors and editors for their contributions to this guide: