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Wed, 21 Oct 2009

Perl 6 ticket life cycle


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The typical life cycle of a bug filed against Rakudo Perl 6 looks like this:

  • Somebody tries out a new feature, finds a bug, and submits it to rakudobug@perl.org. (Typically that's masak)
  • Somebody writes a failing test for that, and puts it into the test suite. (Typically that's kyle or me)
  • Somebody fixes the bug in Rakudo. (Typically that's pmichaud or jnthn).
  • The one who fixed the bug usually closes the ticket.

The second and third step are occasionally reversed - in that case either the implementor writes a test himself, or he assigns the ticket to me, asking for tests. I just act as a placeholder here for the "needs a test" stage. In any case a bug that can be tested with reasonable effort won't be closed unless there's a regression test present.

The tests are usually disabled, because often they cause Rakudo to die until it behaves at least mostly correct.

But sometimes it's a bit different: there is a subsystem that needs substantial refactoring or a rewrite, and lots of bug tickets queue up for that subsystem. Somebody invests much time and energy into that subsystem, starts a branch, develops the rewrite there, and finally merges the changes.

That happend this week when Jonathan implemented a new signature binder, which fixed both many problems with passing arguments to routines, and also enabled classes to see outer lexical variables.

We have a script called autounfudge which goes through all the test files, enables the disabled tests one by one, run them again, and if they pass, it writes a patch that enables them.

That's not only useful for enabling the tests, but also for finding the tickets which can be closed. A typical auto-generated patch looks like this:

--- t/spec/S02-builtin_data_types/anon_block.t	Wed Oct  7 13:54:31 2009
+++ RAKUDO815xU3/temps1BKu.t	Tue Oct 20 10:26:03 2009
@@ -44,7 +44,6 @@
 
         eval '$anon_block( foo => "RT #64844" )';
         ok $! ~~ Exception, 'too many parameters';
-        #?rakudo skip 'RT #64844'
         is ~$!, $errmsg, 'same error for named param as positional';
     }
 }

So after a big branch merge somebody will run the autounfudge script, and that spits out a list of closable RT tickets. In the case of the signature binder that were about 15 tickets, which would have taken ages to find without help in the 500+ open tickets.

All in all I'm rather happy with this infrastructure.

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