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News & Views

Posted by Barbie
on 29th December 2009

At the London Perl Workshop, I spoke with Leo Lapworth, who mentioned that he'd shown one of his colleagues the CPAN Testers Reports site. His colleague highlighted that the distribution pages were slightly upside down, as what he wanted to see first was the summary PASS matrix, as this gave him a better perspective of how successful the distribution was.

He makes a good point, and I began by simply bringing the summary matrix to the top of the page. However, the matrix just contained the counts of successes, which while encouraging, doesn't differentiate between versions and perhaps most importantly contained all the perl versions that had been tested, including all the patched versions. As such the matrix has now been reworked to only include non-patched versions of perl and to highlight the last version containing a pass. This hopefully gives a better first impression of a particular distribution.

For each distribution, there is a link to further matrices on the CPAN Testers PASS Matrix site, which now includes on the associated distribution page the full perl version matrices for both the latest version with a PASS report, and the count of PASS reports (as it was originally on the Reports distribution page). Examples of the new matrices can be seen here and here.

Further rework of the matrices on the site are planned at some point, but work on the other sites is planned for the new year, as well progress on CPAN Testers 2.0.

Posted by Barbie
on 2nd April 2009

Last night Slaven emailed me to let me know that the CPAN Testers Matrix that he runs had lost its domain. Thankfully he still has the site running on a new IP. As such from here on in, if you have the old URL bookmarked or referenced in documentation or on websites, you'll now need to use the sub-domain previously set up under the cpantesters.org domain.

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Last month marked quite a momentous occasion, as David Cantrell submitted the one millionth report. I think Chris was after that accolade, but he'll just have to make do with being the highest test report submitter :) Thanks to the increased interest in bulk testing from our current top testers, we reach this point much sooner than I would have expected a few years ago. Thanks to these guys a large portion of CPAN has already been tested on 5.10, and we now have many reports across nearly all versions of Perl 5, certainly those known to be available in production environments.

Slaven Rezić's CPAN Testers Matrix is now accessible from each CPAN distribution page, as is David Cantrell's CPAN Dependencies site, although with the expected increase in traffic, Dave is currently moving the site to a new box. Using the database generated for the stats site, Andy Armstrong has created a slightly different presentation of the success/failure graph that's on the stats site. I currently create all the graphs statically, which is fine when I'm updating once a month. However, if I get the site updated more frequently, then it would be useful to enable you to click on the report you would like to see and create more professional looking graph/chart. I may well investigate more of manyeyes later.

Interest in CPAN Testing is increasing, even if some authors still appear to be completely unaware of who and what CPAN Testers are. One thing for anyone confused by these reports, they are generated by computer, and are often unattended. As such instructions in the README file don't get read. If you have a prerequisite that is outside of the MakeMaker or Module::Build prerequisite framework, try and detect it using Devel-CheckLib. The Notes For CPAN Authors wiki page was specifically written for authors who need pointers to enable them to achieve a clean install. Although it should be noted, that while CPAN Testers aren't necessarily average users, they are trying to recreate environments that a brand new user would likely experience. The reports aren't there to harangue or berate you, they are trying to highlight problems that occurred during the build and testing processes. In some cases this may highlight problems in the automated test environment, which testers try very hard to resolve as soon as possible, but in the bigger picture we are making CPAN a more reliable and enviable code repository.

17 more addresses mappings, including 8 new testers. Welcome aboard folks.