Upcoming changes to Lintian (in 2.5.22)

The next version of Lintian, 2.5.22, is long overdue – mostly because 2.5.21 FTBFS in sid. Besides fixing test failures, 2.5.22 also fixes:

  • False-negative for most/all JAR related tags caused by file(1) changing its output for these files.
  • A performance regression in checks/cruft.pm. For large source packages, this could severely affect performance of Lintian.  This is #738342.
  • A regression where lintian would not parse options appearing after file arguments.
  • Some false-positives in the “GFDL with invariants” check.

Besides bug fixes, we also added a couple of new features/nice changes:

  • The –color option now defaults to “auto” instead of “never”.
  • The homepage now links to the generated API-docs and thus, also the developer tutorial.
    • Patches extending/improving either/both are more than welcome.
  • The test-suite runner now caches test artifacts meaning that subsequent test runs become vastly faster.
  • The test-suite runner can now run tests under “Devel::Cover“, so we can now collect statistics about how much of the code is covered by the test suite.
  • The “html_reports” tool (used e.g. on lintian.d.o) has been optimised. In particular, it only calls gnuplot twice, instead of once per data file (of which there was basically one per tag).
  • The html-pages generated by the “html_reports” tool now uses “content”-based names for resources (e.g. images and the .css file). This allows them to be cached vastly longer, since any content changes will rename the resource and force browser to refetch them.
    • All resources handled this way are now stored in “resources/”.  As a side-effect, this means that images files are moved from “images/” to “resources/”.
    • A notable exception to this is the auto-generated (.svg) graphs.

We just need to do some final tweaks and get the tag descriptions reviewed before we are ready to release the next version.

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