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Re: New ELF linker code added to GNU binutils

Some random observations:

I notice the testsuite isn't using DejaGnu.  No doubt this is convenient 
for initial implementation, but DejaGnu tests support several features of 
value in practice.  In particular:

* Testing an installed toolchain through creating a site.exp file and 
running runtest with appropriate options, rather than testing in the build 
directory, so you can test the (relocatable) tools in exactly the 
arrangements in which they will be distributed and used, or compare two 
different tool versions on the same testsuite version.

(Long term, I hope all toolchain testing will be installed testing, with 
build-tree testing installing first to a staging directory within the 
build tree.  That way, testsuites (and DejaGnu itself) will no longer need 
to know details of how to locate bits of build trees and pass long series 
of -B and other special options; they can just use tools as they will be 
used when installed, relying on the toolchain's relocatability.  Note, for 
example, that all code looking for ld/ld-new won't work with gold: but 
such code shouldn't really need to exist, either in testsuites or in 
unified tree support, with staged installs.)

* Testing tools running on a remote host, with runtest --host_board, which 
has worked OK in binutils since the patch 

(That patch may seem complicated, but I'd hope a new testsuite could keep 
things simpler by defining more common infrastructure used by all tests 
from the start, rather than having so much special Tcl code as in the 
present binutils testsuites.  Perhaps gold should eventually be able to 
run the existing ld testsuite, as modified for cases where gold generates 
different but correct output - but those modifications are probably big 
enough that tests would need to be copied over rather than shared.)

* If you should wish to have tests executing programs on the target (and 
some features are most easily tested that way, rather than trying to 
verify dumps for large GOTs by hand, for example), then all the target 
board support from DejaGnu becomes of use as well.

The --version output is a bit strange:

GNU gold (GNU binutils (GNU Binutils) version 1.4

(note the "GNU binutils (GNU Binutils)").  BFD_VERSION_STRING includes 
both the package version ("(GNU Binutils)" by default, possibly overridden 
by --with-pkgversion) and a version number - it's not expected for 
binutils components to have their own independent version numbers such as 
"1.4".  The word "version" isn't part of the standard --version output.

The --help output doesn't include the bug-reporting URL (REPORT_BUGS_TO in 

Joseph S. Myers

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