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

Dirk Pranke dpranke at chromium.org
Thu May 17 15:37:00 PDT 2012

On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 3:21 PM, Ryosuke Niwa <rniwa at webkit.org> wrote:
> 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.

Clearly, different people can have different syntactic preferences :).

>> 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

You don't have to re-quote this, I already did in this thread (and
responded to it).

With all due respect to Maciej and Darin, neither of them have spent
any significant amount of time working with test_expectations.txt
files. While I appreciate that it's nice for the syntax to be
approachable for newbies, I'm not inclined to bias in favor of newbies
over people who are experienced. Of the people who have actually used
the file, so far you're the only person who's spoken up as not liking
them. Since different people prefer different things, I'm inclined to
go with the majority of experienced users here. I am sorry if that
means you lose out; I don't like it if anyone is unhappy and would
prefer it if we could please everyone.

As I have said before, I'm open to other syntax proposals that don't
(IMO) decrease the readability. I've even said I liked some of your
other suggestions.

> Being able to read or skim through expectations quickly as possible
> Being able to write new entries as quickly as possible

As in most other source code, I suspect things are read a lot more
than they are written. It's also pretty easy to write macros using
your editor of choice, or even to just copy&paste the required lines
in from the NRWT output.

> 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.

Sure. Perhaps it would be more useful to spend time working on adding
suppression support to garden-o-matic and getting other ports to use
that instead of worrying about hand-editing files.

-- Dirk

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