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News & Views

After successfully mapping 54 addresses from September up to mid-October, I sent out the six-month request to all outstanding addresses used so far this year. After only a short time I'd already received several emails from testers updating their details for me, mapping a further 14 addresses. It is notable that several new and current testers are now putting their names, or a least some form of reference in their addresses, that makes it very easy for my scripts to reference them, so thanks very much for that.

One thing that does still irritate me though is testers who use an illegal, malformed or unreachable address. Aside from the stats, if as an author I receive a rather unusual test result and want to follow it up, who do I contact? 'root@dmz1' or 'root@bender.domain' is of no used whatsoever. If you're going to get involved with CPAN Testers, ** PLEASE ** use a legitimate and accessible email address so that authors can contact you if they need to.

If you are a current tester and use email addresses like this, please change them so you can be contact by authors and not have communication end in a black hole. It has already been proposed that testers should register, somewhat more officially, that they wish to become testers, which the more I think about it, is probably the right way to go. We currently have a large number of testers regularly posting reports, even if some are only sending 2 or 3 a month. Those that send with badly configured test environments, we should be catching and encouraging to improve their setup if we can. Registering your interest might be a better way to enable that.

Thanks to the efforts of our top 4 testers, my nightly scripts now take nearly 10 hours to run at the end of the month! The basic update takes roughly 2-3 hours and then the backend analysis and verification takes anything up to 8 hours to run at the moment. I'm looking to improve these as I'd like to be able to automate the publishing of the stats on a daily basis. The database is already published daily, so it shouldn't be too difficult. However, the verification process enables me to check that any uploads and reports haven't been missed or badly formatted, so that I can send the authors or testers emails to alert them to any problems. By improving the automation, I'm hoping this can be done rather more quickly to raise the alerts earlier.

In mid-October Andreas was looking to take over Chris' monthly top tester spot, having submitted twice as many as Chris at the time. Since I happened to mention it to Chris when I saw him the other week, Chris has taken back his regular lead. Andreas has now taken up 3rd position on the leader board, and making a good attempt to take 2nd place. Slaven Rezic is also making notable headway with his testing setup, to the point where he is now the 14th tester to have submitted over 10,000 reports, jumping from 24th to 10th place. Well done Slaven. The other notable mover is Nigel Horne who has moved from 11th to 9th. Several new testers have joined the crew, with both Matthew Musgrove and Phil Monsen making a a very healthy debut, to the point we had 128 testers during October. Overall we have 600 known testers and 546 unmatched email addresses, making up 1146 listed testers at the moment, with only 10 unmatched email addresses for last month.

One of the reasons for increased reports this month was due to the highest number of distribution uploads to CPAN in a single month, with over 1,500 packages being released. I have analysed how many of those are different versions of the same distribution, but maybe that's something I can add when I have a little more time.

If you want to get involved in CPAN Testing, please checkout the CPAN Testers Wiki for details of how to set things up. You can also join the CPAN Testers Discussion mailing list if you need any further advice or if you have any suggestions for improving the tools or resources.

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