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ASDF Status desiderata
Friday, April 7, 2006

I've been slowly moving back towards ASDF-Install-tester and ASDF-Status. Part of the reason they've been slow to improve (aside from my being too busy by half) is that I'm dissatisfied with their putative architecture. I'd like this pair to be tools for the ASDF-Install portion of the Lisp community and there are too many kludges and half-assed solutions in the current implementations for that to happen. Here are some of the things I think would be good.

  • Better data management - save lots and lots of data every time AIT runs. Use this to track historical trends.
  • Don't keep checking a dead horse - don't test a system unless it (or one of the systems on which it depends) has changed. This might tie in with ASDF-Upgrade.
  • Better communication - provide RSS feeds of everything, selected sub-systems, selected Lisps, etc. Let system authors sign up to receive alerts if a test fails.
  • Share the load intelligently - AIT should be provide an assembly line mechanism whereby it can dole out tasks to computers that are donating CPUs for testing. Tests don't take that long to run so that is more about testing on many platforms rather than worrying about CPU overload.
  • Let system authors ping AIT to start tests immediately (this is more a wishlist item since it ought to be possible for system authors to setup AIT on their own boxes but anything that adds a barrier to entry is a bad-thing).
  • Do more than just install. Many systems have a test-op. Use it if its there and report the results. The the compiler output to help system authors find out what went wrong where.

I'm sure that there are more thoughts out there in the community (let me know). I think that there are even other ideas I've had that are already lost in the ever-deepening flow of synapses and memories from my skull.

The short sharp shock is that I'm intending to smush SQLite into ASDF-Status and integrate ASDF-Install-Tester with a lisp based web server (probably Araneida). This makes for a much bigger project (but also a much more interesting one). I'll keep the inquiring world informed!


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