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News & Views

Posted by Barbie
on 27th October 2010

As the Statistics site wasn't being regularly updated for the past couple of weeks, the latest milestone on the Interesting Stats page of the CPAN Testers Statistics site was way down the watch list. So I was surprised to see that we now have over 9 million test reports in the CPAN Testers eco-system. Many thanks to all the testers who have help to contribute to the milestone.

Congratulations once again go to Andreas for posting the 9 millionth report. It was a PASS for Log-Report-0.28.

Posted by Barbie
on 22nd October 2010

As some have noted the CPAN Testers Statistics site is not getting updated regularly at the moment. The main reason for this is that with such a large amount of data to trawl through (it was taking over to 3GB or RAM and used significant amounts of CPU over a prolonged period), the calculations were affecting the speed of processing for other parts of the system.

Currently work is ongoing to reduce both the memory footprint (currently down to 2.5GB) and the processing time. Once the site creation works much more efficiently, I'll reinstate its automated running. Until then I shall be running the site manually every few days.

UPDATE: Statistics is now live again. The code for the site has now been altered to take a snapshot of the current state, and then reload that snapshot on the next run. This reduces the memory footprint by nearly 1GB, and runs much faster, thus reducing the processing queues in general. See the CPAN release for the latest code changes.

Many subtle changes have been happening to the CPAN Testers family of websites. Several have had some slight alterations to allow the additional Metabase link to appear. The website family is growing and I hope to have another added to the list before the end of the year. The codebase behind the scenes has also been upgrade for several sites to the latest version of Labyrinth, which is the version that is currently being managed for Open Source release. Once Labyrinth has been released, the remaining code for the Reports, Blog, Wiki and Preferences sites will also be released. Anyone then wishing to submit patches will be able to do so much more easily.

There has been some review of the logic behind the scenes to see where there are areas for improvement. In the first instance a new index table has been created to speed up processing of perl versions. This has also had a side effect of highlighting some of the perl version parsing from reports that hasn't provided the correct text strings. As such these have been quickly fixed within the cpanstats database. There are further plans to improve performance of both the builder and the statistic code, however the biggest drain remains the archiving of the databases using gzip and bzip. bzip is the worst offender, and often hogs both CPU and disk IO, so I'm now looking at generating some of the archives remotely.

BinGOs very recently released a new version of Test::Reporter::Transport::Socket, so if you use metabase-relayd to push out your reports, please make sure you upgrade to the latest version. David Golden has also released a new version of CPAN::Reporter, which raises the report limit from 50KB to 1MB. It's unlikely we'll reach that limit, but reports should now appear with test results beyond the previous 50K boundary. Finally Andreas König released a new version of CPAN::Version, which fixed an unusual bug, where perl itself was reporting that '0+(1<0)' was '3.33761e-308'. Thanks to Nigel Horne for spotting and reporting the problem, and testing the fix.

On the Dicussion list, the subject of deleting reports came up again. As mentioned in previous summaries, there is a website in the works that will address this. While it won't actually delete reports, it will hide them within the cpanstats database so associated websites can ignore them. I'm hoping to get this finally released before the end of the year.

Expect some quiet periods this coming month, as I'll be getting married and disappearing for a few days. My R61 has also failed me, as the graphics card has now given out. Although everything is backed up, I now have to wait for a new laptop, then install a new distro and all the necessary packages, before finally retrieving all the backups and get a working machine in place. As such, expect several updates and releases during November and December.

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