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19.4 Making testsuite Scripts

For putting Autotest into movement, you need some configuration and makefile machinery. We recommend, at least if your package uses deep or shallow hierarchies, that you use tests/ as the name of the directory holding all your tests and their makefile. Here is a check list of things to do.

With Automake, here is a minimal example for inclusion in tests/, in order to link ‘make check’ with a validation suite.

     # The `:;' works around a Bash 3.2 bug when the output is not writeable.
     $(srcdir)/package.m4: $(top_srcdir)/
             :;{ \
               echo '# Signature of the current package.' && \
               echo 'm4_define([AT_PACKAGE_NAME],' && \
               echo '  [$(PACKAGE_NAME)])' && \
               echo 'm4_define([AT_PACKAGE_TARNAME],' && \
               echo '  [$(PACKAGE_TARNAME)])' && \
               echo 'm4_define([AT_PACKAGE_VERSION],' && \
               echo '  [$(PACKAGE_VERSION)])' && \
               echo 'm4_define([AT_PACKAGE_STRING],' && \
               echo '  [$(PACKAGE_STRING)])' && \
               echo 'm4_define([AT_PACKAGE_BUGREPORT],' && \
               echo '  [$(PACKAGE_BUGREPORT)])'; \
               echo 'm4_define([AT_PACKAGE_URL],' && \
               echo '  [$(PACKAGE_URL)])'; \
             } >'$(srcdir)/package.m4'
     EXTRA_DIST = $(srcdir)/package.m4 $(TESTSUITE)
     TESTSUITE = $(srcdir)/testsuite
     check-local: atconfig atlocal $(TESTSUITE)
     installcheck-local: atconfig atlocal $(TESTSUITE)
             $(SHELL) '$(TESTSUITE)' AUTOTEST_PATH='$(bindir)' \
             test ! -f '$(TESTSUITE)' || \
              $(SHELL) '$(TESTSUITE)' --clean
     AUTOM4TE = $(SHELL) $(srcdir)/build-aux/missing --run autom4te
     AUTOTEST = $(AUTOM4TE) --language=autotest
     $(TESTSUITE): $(srcdir)/ $(srcdir)/package.m4
             $(AUTOTEST) -I '$(srcdir)' -o $@.tmp $
             mv $@.tmp $@

Note that the built testsuite is distributed; this is necessary because users might not have Autoconf installed, and thus would not be able to rebuild it. Likewise, the use of missing provides the user with a nicer error message if they modify a source file to the testsuite, and accidentally trigger the rebuild rules.

You might want to list explicitly the dependencies, i.e., the list of the files includes.

If you don't use Automake, you should include the above example in tests/, along with additional lines inspired from the following:

     subdir = tests
     atconfig: $(top_builddir)/config.status
             cd $(top_builddir) && \
                $(SHELL) ./config.status $(subdir)/$@
     atlocal: $(srcdir)/ $(top_builddir)/config.status
             cd $(top_builddir) && \
                $(SHELL) ./config.status $(subdir)/$@

and manage to have $(EXTRA_DIST) distributed. You will also want to distribute the file build-aux/missing from the Automake project; a copy of this file resides in the Autoconf source tree.

With all this in place, and if you have not initialized ‘TESTSUITEFLAGS’ within your makefile, you can fine-tune test suite execution with this variable, for example:

     make check TESTSUITEFLAGS='-v -d -x 75 -k AC_PROG_CC CFLAGS=-g'