[webkit-dev] Simplifying syntax in test_expectations.txt (bug 86691)

Ryosuke Niwa rniwa at webkit.org
Thu May 17 15:21:35 PDT 2012

On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 3:01 PM, Dirk Pranke <dpranke at chromium.org> wrote:
> As I said before, I believe they increase the readability of the file.

I see them as pure noise.

I believe the cost of learning to put delimiters in is near zero,

That clearly isn't near zero. Or else people wouldn't be complaining about
it. To quote Darin's response:

Seriously, syntax is a significant barrier. Having to know which special
> characters to use. I don’t see this “clear delineation” you speak of. Just
> special punctuation I have to use to satisfy the computer

Like I said, I'm also annoyed every time I edit test_expectations.txt
because I always forget about them.

Also, colon is a terrible delimiter in that we need to press a shift key to
type a colon on a standard 104 US keyboard. I would be less anal about it
if it it were "," or any other symbol that doesn't require me to press a
shift key in order to type. The same goes for modifiers and expectations.
It's annoying having to either enable caps-lock or press the shift key
while typing pass, text, and other modifiers and expectations just to
satisfy someone's preference.

Here's a thing. There appears to be a conflict of interests between two

   1. Being able to read or skim through expectations quickly as possible
   2. Being able to write new entries as quickly as possible

Perhaps we can address these two problems using some tools. e.g. I don't
care about the format of test_expectations.txt at all if there was a GUI
tool that lets me add/edit entries easily without ever having to look at
raw files. Similarly, people who are advocating to keep the current syntax
may not mind changing the format in the repository if there were a way to
view the file using the current format for easier readability.

- Ryosuke
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