[Python-Dev] Possible language summit topic: buildbots

Mark Dickinson dickinsm at gmail.com
Sun Oct 25 09:54:46 CET 2009

Would it be worth spending some time discussing the buildbot situation
at the PyCon 2010 language summit?  In the past, I've found the
buildbots to be an incredibly valuable resource;  especially when
working with aspects of Python or C that tend to vary significantly
from platform to platform (for me, this usually means floating-point,
and platform math libraries, but there are surely many other things it
applies to).  But more recently there seem to have been some
difficulties keeping a reasonable number of buildbots up and running.
A secondary problem is that it can be awkward to debug some of the
more obscure test failures on buildbots without having direct access
to the machine.  From conversations on IRC, I don't think I'm alone in
wanting to find ways to make the buildbots more useful.

So the question is: how best to invest time and possibly money to
improve the buildbot situation (and as a result, I hope, improve the
quality of Python)?  What could be done to make maintenance of build
slaves easier?  Or to encourage interested third parties to donate
hardware and time?  Are there good alternatives to Buildbot that might
make a difference? What do other projects do?

These are probably the wrong questions;  I'm hoping that a discussion
would help produce the right questions, and possibly some answers.


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