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News & Views

The server upgrade is now complete. The final pieces of the puzzle were to implement the mailers for reports. After a lot of head scratching, Robert figured out the problem was the filtering for mails coming from the new server. Many thanks to Robert and Ask for helping out here, even if Robert thinks I should be using Postfix ;) Mails are flowing now, and many thanks for everyone's patience while we got them sorted. I'm also seeing all the bouncebacks again, which means I'll need to update the preferences for those authors soon. If you've been missing your mails from cpantesters, please check the address you have set up in PAUSE. If it is old and no longer valid (including those that are hidden from public view), then the mail server is going to issue a bounceback for them. If you've changed jobs, please make sure that you update your PAUSE email if necessary too, as there is at least one person who is unwittingly sending "no longer works for this company" emails for their PAUSE email.

New SSL certificates are now in place for both the Preferences site and the forthcoming Admin site. Our last provider may have provided them for free, but the hassle in getting them, really wasn't worth it. Thankfully the new ones are now valid for 5 years at a very nice discount.

At the Birmingham Perl Mongers October Technical Meeting, I gave a presentation entitled 'The Future of CPAN Testers'. The talk went down well, and I recieved some good feedback. As such, I have submitted it for the London Perl Workshop on 30th November. The talk will cover some of the changes that have happened this year, and look at some of the projects planned for the near and far future. If you're interested in getting involved in CPAN Testers as a developer, rather than a tester, this talk will be an ideal insight.

Speaking of CPAN Testers talks, many thanks to Gabor Szabo. Firstly for setting up Perl TV, and secondly for promoting the talk I gave at YAPC::Europe 2012 in Frankfurt. 'The Eco-System of CPAN Testers' was my attempt to explain how all the different processes used by CPAN Testers all fit together, detailing the path from report creation to appearing on the Reports website and beyond. Hopefully my latest CPAN Testers talk will be a suitable follow-on companion to last year's talk.

And speaking of the future of CPAN Testers, the Admin site is steaming ahead again. After getting my head round all the email stores, a new script to populate the new tables is off and running. It'll take a while to get through the 36 million reports, but most of the codebase is now ready to go. There are some further changes to the Statistics site and the address maintenance scripts to do, but I'm hoping to have a release date in the next summary.

Hopefully some readers will be at the London Perl Workshop at the end of the month, so please say hello if you're a tester, or want to get more involved in CPAN Testers.

Posted by Barbie
on 12th June 2013

This month has been reasonably quiet. Although some work has been done to improve the speed of getting reports onto the website, these have mostly been minor tweaks.

The mailing list was a little more vibrant though, with several discussions. Shlomi Fish asked about XML::LibXML & XML::LibXSLT failing with old versions of libxml2 and libxslt. The problem being that later versions of the C libraries fixed bugs that might affect the Perl modules. Eirik Berg Hanssen and Reini Urban both offered reasonable insights to help test and inform users. Michael Schwern told us about adding to the number of OS X smokers. Although we have a few testers smoking on Max OS X, we definitely welcome more. With Mac OS X still being a popular OS, and certainly well used within the Perl community, it's surprising we don't have more smokers for it. Hopefully, Schwern can help to raise the number of test reports for the OS in the coming months.

Shlomi Fish also asked about why he was getting test failure reports for Dist-Zilla-Plugin-ProgCriticTests-1.131250, as he had marked it as deleted from PAUSE. There are a couple reasons for this, one which Alexandr Ciornii highlighted, as PAUSE doesn't delete straight away, but waits 3 days before deleting. Another reason is that smokers don't always use a current mirror of CPAN, and some have local copies. However, if you're still getting reports after a week or so, then it might be worth asking the tester in question to check the mirror they are using. Alternatively, as Andreas König notes, you can always use the CPAN Testers Preferences site to filter out unwanted reports. Shmuel Fomberg asked about failures in network operation, as his WWW::Github::Files modules was getting some unexpected forbidden messages. Slaven Rezić had a similar problem with Geo::Coder::Googlev3, and offered a solution that could ignore these failures in tests. Dave Cantrell also highlighted the importance of making sure that the module was also proxy aware.

That's it for the May summary, more news next month.

Posted by Barbie
on 12th April 2012

In case you hadn't seen the previous posting, The CPAN Testers stats server is down for maintenance. We are having a disk upgrade, which may take a few hours to complete. We will update here as soon as we know more details of when services will be back online.

UPDATE (19:00 BST): Disks have now been copied and the new server is online. Currently running checks and starting services. Hope to turn Apache back on in the next couple of hours, as I want to give the builder a chance to catch-up.

UPDATE (21:20 BST): Apache is now running. Sites are building and reports are flowing. If you spot any problems, please let me know either via the mailing list or at

January ended up being quite a productive month, with several issues with websites getting sorted finally.

A few people noticed that the leaderboards weren't producing the right numbers on the Statistics site. Due to it being January a rather deceptive bug came to light regarding the calculations of previous months. Thankfully I found and fixed the bug before the end of January, as for the remaining months of the year, the bug doesn't surface :)

Next up was the Preferences site. After several weeks trying to get the SSL certificate set up correctly, I left it to work on the Statistics site bug, only to return to look at it again a couple of weeks later to discover it all working! No idea what the problem was, but suspect something was caching somewhere with the wrong settings. Any road up, if you've been wanting to change any preference settings for emails, you can now login and update these for yourself again.

I also managed to finally release the codebase that runs the Reports site. The first release isn't the latest code that is running live now, but I will be backporting live into the repository over the coming weeks. This now means that all the code to run the full process for yourself, from testing to displaying reports is now all available online. And all Open Source. It also means that two of the old codebases (CPAN-WWW-Testers & CPAN-WWW-Testers-Generator) can now be archived. The RT queues for both will be reviewed and will either be transfered to the newer releases or closed. In future you will need to post any issues for the sites to their respective queues.

It seems we had a few people praising or at least putting CPAN Testers in a good light last month. Alberto Simões said "Thank you, CPAN Testers", Buddy Burden gave us "A Tale of CPAN Testers" and Joseph Walton wrote about New releases and old perls in their blogs. Many thanks to those guys, and to everyone who tweets or talks about how CPAN Testers has helped you. It is also great to know that people are making use of all the sites in the family, to help them write more robust code or get a better idea of what distribution will work for them.

And continuing the thank yous, I'd also like to thank Shadowcat, The Perl Foundation and the Sponsors for enabling myself, Ricardo Signes and David Golden to all attend the forthcoming 2012 QA Hackathon in Paris. Also in attendance will be Slaven Rezić and Andreas König, so CPAN Testers is likely to be featured quite heavily during the event. You can see our specific aims on the Attendees wiki page. We'll feature some of the updates in a future post and I'm sure many of the attendees will be blogging and tweeting during and after the event.

Lastly, expect to see a milestone update this month. It's a big one!

Posted by Barbie
on 19th August 2011

Recently Jon 'JJ' Allen sent me some updated graphics with the official new design of the onion for all the CPAN Testers websites. As such I'm now in the process of updating the sites. In most cases you will likely not notice a difference, however, I've taken this opportunity to push out the changes I've been working on for the Blog site. If you haven't already, you may need to refresh your cache to see the latest changes.