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News & Views

Posted by Barbie
on 13th September 2010

David Golden noted recently that "CPAN Testers 2.0 passes the million report mark". It's a fantastic achievement, and highlights how far we've come in a relativity short space of time, by switching over to the new HTTP method of submission.

We're now seeing an average of 14 reports per minute, and I have no doubt once all the testers who have yet to upgrade finally do, that number will increase. We're also seeing several new testers, so I expect the number to rise to nearer 20 per minute over the coming months.

We still have some kinks to work out, but for the most part people have worked with us and helped to refine the instructions on the Wiki, as well as contribute suggestions for the future. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make this such a great start to CT2.0.

It's the end of an era. After 11 years from the first official CPAN Testers test report submission, the cpan-testers mailing list has finally closed its doors. From now on, anyone sending a test report via SMTP, will receive a bounce-back email. Most have already upgraded and reconfigured their smoker clients to use HTTP/S. For those that haven't or are new testers wanting to start afresh, please read the Quick Start page on the CPAN Testers Wiki, and join the cpan-testers-discuss mailing list to ask for help and advice.

For those wondering still wondering why we have moved from SMTP to HTTP submissions, please see my talk from YAPC::Europe, entitled "CPAN Testers 2.0 - I love it when a plan comes together". It was a talk I tried to give some background to for our reasons and motivations for the move. However, the bottom line is that we want CPAN Testers to evolve and grow further, with more diagnostics and analysis. With the old method of reporting and submission, that just wasn't possible. We have lots of ideas to expand the reporting, but first we need CT2.0 to settle in. We need to make upgrading and installation for anyone, especially our casual testers as easy as possible. There is still some fine tuning happening, but we are moving forward.

While at YAPC::Europe this year in Pisa, the White Camel Awards were announced. Despite being a reluctant recipient, I was awarded one for my work here with CPAN Testers. While I might be the glue that keeps us together, it really is all of the CPAN Testers Community that makes it all worthwhile. Though I saw the value and worth of what we do several years ago, and perhaps have had more time and motivation to promote what we do, the award really is a big big thank you to all the testers and developers who have been a part of CPAN Testers for the past 11 years. It has been a pleasure meeting many of you at conferences and workshops over the years, and hopefully I'll get to meet many more in the future. I started my involvement in CPAN Testers because of a BOF Léon Brocard gave at YAPC::Europe 2003 in Paris. In turn over the past few years I've helped to encourage others to become involved. The CPAN Testers Community has continually evolved and become a very respected community based testing team, even outside of the echo-chamber. I look forward to what we can achieve in the next 11 years.

In the final days of the SMTP submissions, I have been back mapping many of the addresses to people. Last month I also sent out the request email, for testers to help identify themselves. I had a great response, to which I thank you all, and managed to update several entries. In addition, several newer testers have followed my request and used their CPAN/PAUSE email, or have identified themselves well enough for me to spot them. In addition I took some time to work though mailing lists, whois entries, HTML source, open source code and all manner of nooks and crannies around the internet to identify many more. In all, over the last 2 months I've mapped 167 addresses to real people, of which 106 are new mappings to testers never previously identified. Many of these are brand new testers.

Because the new system of registering a profile is slightly different, the new mechanism to map testers is now also being fed from the Metabase. As such the new Administration system, that has been waiting in the wings for over a year, needs a few updates to be able to use both the new and old systems together. This shouldn't be a huge amount of change, but it does mean that it will be a little while longer before we can launch it.

One final achievement that needs noting from last month is the fact that we passed the 8 millionth accepted report submission. 11 years ago, I wonder if those first testers ever thought that we would have amassed so many reports. We were getting through roughly 1 million reports every 5-6 months back last year, but the throttling and switch over have reduced the submissions for the first half of this year. We're starting to see the numbers climb again, so I expect this time next year we should have passed the 10 millionth report submission.

Onwards and Upwards....

Posted by Barbie
on 6th September 2010

As of this weekend, the final switch to turn off the SMTP gateway for CPAN Testers was flipped. You can no longer post anything to the old cpan-testers mailing list, and any attempts now will result in a bounce message.

Our thanks to Robert and Ask over at the Perl NOC for looking after us all these years, and for being very patient with us while we got the HTTP gateway up and running over the last 9 months.

As a consequence, anyone wishing to still be a part of the CPAN Testers community, now needs to upgrade their test environments, to use the latest smokers and associated libraries. In the main this will involve a simple upgrade of your smoker client and the installation of 4 specific modules (which in turn will install any additional prerequisites needed). You will then need to acquire a metabase profile. For full details of the steps necessary please see the Quick Start page on the CPAN Testers Wiki.

For those casual testers, the upgrade will initially involve some manual intervention, although we hope to automate this as soon as we can. If you do have any problems, or are confused by any of the instructions, please post to the cpan-testers-discuss mailing list, where the developers and other experienced testers can help you.

The end of an era.

Posted by Barbie
on 2nd September 2010

Last night saw the planned maintenance for a server move between data centres of our hosting company. Unfortunately something seems to have gone awry as the server is now "unreachable".

We are still waiting to hear why the server is not back online, and will provide an update as soon as possible.

LATEST UPDATE: Server is now back online. Please be patient with any and all page requests, as it will take a while to get all the moving parts back up to speed.

File Under: server
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