[gmx-developers] could somebody fix the regressiontests package?

Mark Abraham mark.j.abraham at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 18:51:01 CET 2013

On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 9:31 PM, Szilárd Páll <szilard.pall at cbr.su.se>wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM, Roland Schulz <roland at utk.edu> wrote:
>> On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:25 AM, Szilárd Páll <szilard.pall at cbr.su.se>wrote:
>>>  Bump!
>>>  I have not had time to figure out a solution. Does anybody have
>>> suggestions on how to fix this?
>> you simply upload a fixed version. I think the proper fix is that for the
>> git version, git is used to download. It only makes sense to download a TGZ
>> from http if the source is also a tar ball. But I was waiting for us to
>> decide whether we will change regressiontests to a submodule before I
>> change that.
> I see. I would still like to have it fixed asap and would have done it
> myself, but Mark suggested that one can not simply replace a file.
>>> I have a serious concern: as nobody has noticed this except me, I think
>>> people are simply running the regressiontests (while I do know that many
>>> people are using the source from git). I tend to think this is a problem of
>>> communication/documentation and we should try to improve on this aspect.
>>> Not only that if the tests are not used it was a half-futile effort to make
>>> them work, but knowing how fragile intrinsic-based kernels are, it is also
>>> dangerous.
>> According to https://code.google.com/p/gromacs/downloads/list the 4.6
>> was downloaded 328. I think this makes this useful. master was only
>> downloaded 15 so it seems that my assumption that it is mostly useful to
>> people with tar ball not git is mostly true.
> In general, I don't think we should jump to conclusions just yet because:

I'm not sure what the conclusion is to which you might be objecting. Users
have downloaded the tests, which is a good thing. We haven't had a forest
of complaints about it, but we can't know whether that's a good or bad

> - The feature has just been introduced;
> - I have the feeling that validating a GROMACS build has not been
> encouraged enough:
>   - I just realized hat even the release notes do not mention this new
> feature (added).
>   - The INSTALL file does not mention it;
>   - It might be a good idea to write a separate email about it to the
> mailing list (will do it, but I'd prefer to have the issue fixed first);
> - As the auto-download with git source has been buggy some might have
> simply switched to simply checking out the regressiontests repo exactly
> because of the bug.

Contributions of time are welcome. I'm paid to manage the development of
GROMACS, but if I fixed every little blemish any of us can see, then 5.0
will never happen. :-) If there's a reasonable way for users to find out
that we have some tests (e.g. the install guide on the web) and to run them
fairly easily (which they can do two different ways) then I think we've
done well.

While it is probably true that the tarballs are more useful for users
> downloading the source, I do think that it there are many advanced users
> using the git code-base who would benefit from it. I can only guess that
> these more advanced users are probably less likely to read through the
> install guide or simply be more confident that they'd notice if something
> goes wrong because of mis-compilation or other platform-specific bugs.
> Hence, although the number of users using git code is probably much smaller
> than source-tarball users, I would guess that these users are more likely
> to simply not be aware of the integrated regression-tests.

I don't follow you. If any kind of user won't scan the table of contents of
an install guide on the web, and thereby manages to remain ignorant that we
have some automated testing, that's a problem to which they've contributed.

If we offer an automated tarball download, then we should make it work
correctly. I have replaced the old tarball with one that works. I've also
built and uploaded a 4.6.1 test tarball, and updated the machinery by which
we do this for future patch releases.

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