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News & Views

July was a relatively quiet month for CPAN Testers. Although reports have been flowing, our attentions have largely been elsewhere. Development work behind the scenes is still continuing, but nothing major to report just yet.

Ben Bullock asked on the mailing list, whether he could search other people's test reports? The problem currently with this, is that we don't really expose the reports themselves, except via the CPAN Testers Reports website, when you specifically ask for the report. The reasons for this have largely been because the search of the Metabase still needs to be written. The demand on the current Metabase is expensive, and until we are able to move to the new backend system, we can't afford to expose the results. For the time being the Analysis site covers some of the demands, but Ben's specific needs aren't covered.

Ben also noted that because several web crawlers are blocked from the reports site, this restricts the ability to search the reports for common error strings via other sources. The blocks were implemented due to some crawlers being rather heavy-handed. I specifically don't like the way Google allow website owners to restrict their crawlers for a set period, and then blast their way through the site when the period ends. It's counter-productive as they get banned from sites. This wasn't the only reason Google were blocked, but the tactics aren't appreciated. Now that some of the code has been reworked, it is a little easier to restrict the side effects the crawlers can now have on the site. As such, I'm looking at unblocking some of the crawlers to see how they and the site performs. If all goes well, more crawlers will be allowed to access the site. I will be monitoring the crawlers quite closely, and any abuse will result in those crawlers being blocked again. The end result will mean that searching for specific strings, will be possible via search engines.

The next major event in the Perl conference calendar will be YAPC::Europe 2012 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I'll be presenting "The Eco-System of CPAN Testers", which aims to show you the process flows of CPAN Testers, highlighting the code used, and where you can help contribute code. Other talks also featuring testing are Eric Johnson with "Selenium testing with Perl" and Kenichi Ishigaki (charsbar) with "CPANTS: Kwalitative website and its tools". There are several talks that look at ways to investigate broken code and improve your approach to code too. The current schedule looks very worthwhile, so if you're still undecided take a look at what you could take away from the conference, and book your ticket now. Hope to see you there.

If you're a CPAN Tester, and will be at YAPC::Europe, please come find me and say hello during the conference. It's always great to meet testers who feature in the leaderboard, but I only know by name. If you have any suggestions for future posts, questions about CPAN Testers, or ideas for collaborations with CPAN Testers, as I'll not be arranging a BOF in Frankfurt, feel free to let me know during the conference or during the evening sessions. If you're not attending YAPC::Europe, please join the mailing list, and post your suggestions, questions and idea there. Happy testing.

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