On 20 Mar. 2017 22:10, "Tom Lane" <t...@sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:

FWIW, the problem I've got with the TAP tests is that when one fails
in the buildfarm, you've got to dig through megabytes of all-alike-looking
output just to try to determine which one failed; and once you do, you
still know nothing because the script output never really says why it
thinks there was a problem.

Yeah, it's not super helpful.

I'd like to enable Carp's features to use confess for traces, and switch
all use of die to that. We could learn a lot about unplanned-for test
failures where a test script dies rather than failing a test if we used
carp effectively.

  If you're lucky, you can identify the
postmaster log file(s) corresponding to the failed test script

What's the problem with doing that?

Maybe we need to structure the build farm output better. Send an archive of
tmp_check/logs/ or mime-multipart it or something, so it's all cleanly
split up.

I am *absolutely* not in favor of adding anything to the scripts' routine
output, because it will just make this problem worse by bloating the
buildfarm logs even more.  What I'd like to see is for the scripts to
always report something along the lines of "this is what I got, this is
what I expected to get" --- but only when there is a failure.

That's what they -should- do already, with 'ok', 'is', etc tests. Though
sometimes diagnostic output is useful we should be using 'note' to dump it
in the script's log, not in its main output. Whenever possible we should be
using TAP facilities to only emit it when there is a failure - most
usefully just by testing the test return code e.g.

if (!is(some_test, 1, 'test description')) {
  diag "useful info: $relevant_variable";

TAP has a diag like function that dumps data structures too, Data::Dumper

Hm. Maybe the tap test readme needs a mini test writing style guide. Very

BTW I've used diag in a few and those should be either changed to note or
moved to post-fail. Will post a patch.

The less
output there is from a successful test, the better, IMO.

The trouble there is that we don't always know we're going to fail. Nor
will we always fail in a clean, anticipated way. A test script might die
because some setup it does fails with an unexpected ERROR for example.

That's why I think some diagnostic output is good. But it should definitely
be in the script logs not the main TAP output. And it should be moderate.

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