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News & Views

To begin with, a huge thank you to Nestoria, who selected CPAN Testers as their module of the month. Although we kind of break the mould of a module, we are exceptionally grateful for the donation via Gratipay, and for the promotion. As mentioned several times over the last few months, CPAN Testers are looking towards companies to help fund the servers we currently run, so donations from companies such as Nestoria are very gratefully received, and hopefully will help us to continue for many years to come. It is also nice to hear how CPAN Testers helped them too, when releasing Number-Format-SouthAsian.

We have been in discussions with a few other people and will have further announcements about sponsors and donations soon, but in the meantime, if you or your company would be willing to make a donation to CPAN Testers, you can do so via Gratipay, The CPAN Testers Fund, and/or by contacting me (Barbie), and we'll make sure you get suitable recognition for your contribution.

During December some initial thoughts were put together in preparation for the QA Hackathon 2015. The event in Berlin brings together several key people within CPAN Testers, as well as CPAN and Test communities, and will be an ideal opportunity to look at how we are processing the reports. In the first instance, I want to re-engineer the way the feeds are read, and how pages are built. Working with MessageQueues and Enterprise Service Buses recently, has hightlighted that we can make use of these technologies to speed processing up. As a consequence, I now have some areas of coding that I plan to start before the Hackathon, and hopefully provide some key parties a chance to review and improve the designs.

Although happening in January, I did want to pick up on an outage that happened earlier this month. My thanks to Bytemark for helping to resurrect the server for us. Thankfully, only one index table was knocked out, but after rebuilding, everything does appear to be back on track. Another task for the QA Hackathon is to look at a better way to reduce the risk for these indices. We also want to hopefully plan a move to MongoDB for the Metabase, which will stablise things considerably.

Sadly once again a bit delayed this month, but I do promise to improve in the coming months.

Posted by Barbie
on 2nd July 2014

For quite some time, CPAN Testers have hosted the other public mirror of BackPAN. It's there mainly to help with the statistics and analysis for CPAN Testers, but it always helps to have another place to look for things should the primary BackPAN go down, or suffer a network outage. The mirror has been ticking along quite nicely for several years, but it doesn't have the glamour of a CPAN mirror. It also doesn't have any indexes.

Earlier this year, Neil Bowers had the idea to create some indexes for BackPAN. He wanted to perform analysis on everything uploaded to CPAN, including what wasn't on CPAN anymore. After several iterations, and a few ideas being thrown back and forth, Neil wrote BackPAN::Index::Create. I set this up on the server and we got a lot of new indexes. Except just having them on the server, wasn't really enough.

Neil then had the bright idea of revamping the index page. The basic page only contained a directory link, which didn't really say very much about what BackPAN. Between us we created a new index page. It could probably do with someone making it as pretty as the CPAN index page, but for now it's fine. It gives the directory link as before, but it now includes a bit of history and explanation for anyone new to BackAPN, and most importantly it includes the indexes. For the moment the indexes are only available on the CPAN Testers BackPAN, but if anyone wants to set them up on their own servers, take a look at Neil's module, and in particular the example script I use to create the indexes.

For more of the gory details, read Neil's blog post,  A new BackPAN index (generator).