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News & Views

Posted by Barbie
on 14th April 2010

Over the weekend of the QA Hackathon, which by all accounts was another great success (and I think David, Ricardo aand I all wish we could have been there too), various work on CPAN Testers 2.0 was underway. With the submission to the Metabase and the feed from the Metabase into the cpanstats database being two very distinct parts of the eco-system, it has made work on both parts a lot easier as it only requires one interface between them. While much of the interface has been evolving, it has for the most part been fairly straightforward. However, unfortunately while testing the interface, I noticed that several reports had been posted with no text report. Seeing as this is the part that authors really need to see, it means that we now have to discard those reports. In addition, David also found a problem with how S3 names objects, which was causing a problem for storing facts within the Metabase.

With these problems surfacing, the decision was made to restart the Metabase with a completely new instance. This is now Beta2 :) The previously submitted reports are not lost, but will be evaluated and valid reports will be inserted into the new instance once we have a little more time.

The Reports website has now been upgraded, both to the latest version of Labyrinth (with more performance improvements), and with full CPAN Testers 2.0 support. As we will shortly be moving to the Metabase as the primary feed for reports, in order to ensure that the Metabase is fully supported, all the links on the website will now start to reference the GUID rather than the cpanstats id or the old NNTP id. What this means is that all the YAML, RSS and JSON files all now use the GUID as a primary key. The 'id' field that currently exists will remain and contains the cpanstats id. If you have tools that use the 'id' you should not need to make any changes, but you may wish to think about using the GUID for display or link purposes in the future. The YAML, RSS and JSON files that currently exist are being updated as reports come in and the respective pages are rebuilt.

The Daily Summary, and associated reports that are mailed out, are currently being updated to reference the GUID. This should be rolled out later this week. After that everything should be in place to roll out the Metabase feed once the Beta testing is complete. All being well this should be really soon now ;)

March has been a very busy time. Although we weren't able to meet the 1st March deadline, the switch to the HTTP submission process has started. Currently it's still considered Beta, but initial problems appear to have been worked out, and the Metabase is receiving reports thick and fast. So much so that some testers started to ramp up their smoker bots again, forgetting that some were still submitting SMTP reports. You can read David Golden's report of his beta test update.

Last month also saw a switch away from the NNTP ID for reports. This caused a little confusion in places, but is necessary to support the two feeds for reports, before ultimately switching completely to the Metabase, at which point the NNTP ID will no longer be used. As a consequence some of the tools used with the CPAN Testers website may not have appeared to be correct. Currently the IDs used to display reports are specific to the cpanstats database, and no longer match the NNTP ID. The GUID which is used by the Metabase can be used, and this can be generated from a NNTP ID using David Golden's CPAN-Testers-Common-Utils distribution. If you spot any instances where there appears to be a mis-match, please let me know, and I'll investigate.

Which brings us to the next phase of CT2.0 development. Now the Metabase is up and running, the cpanstats database needs to use a feed from it to include the HTTP submitted reports. Tests have performed well and all appears to be working as intended. The next step is to integrate the reports into the live websites. The majority of work has been completed, but unfortunately due to unforeseen personal circumstances, the final integration work has been delayed a little. However, we do expect the Metabase reports to be live within the cpanstats database this month.

Normally at the end of each report I provide counts for the number of testers for the month. Due to the move to CT2.0, this figure would currently show only half of the picture, so we'll be holding off that this month. Hopefully we can provide a better numbers next month.

Keep watching for updates to CT2.0, both here and on David Golden's blog.

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