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News & Views

Posted by Barbie
on 9th March 2014

Just under a year ago we passed 30 million reports. This month we have managed to clock up 40 million reports.

Congratulations to Andreas König for submitting the 40 millionth CPAN Testers Report. The report itself was a PASS for Class-DBI-ClassGenerator and was submitted on 4th March 2014.

For several months recently we have been clocking around 1 million reports a month. So although based on past experience we might hit 50 million reports in February 2015, it wouldn't be too surprising to see us reach that next milestone by the end of the year.

The CPAN Testers Admin site has been expanding its user test base, and had some further feedback. Expect an official launch very soon.

In blog news, Randy J Ray has posted two articles relating to CPAN Testers. In his first, CPAN Testers and RPC-XML: Well, Crap, Randy highlights a problem authors often see with CPAN Testers reports, where the distribution tests fine in environments they have access to, but fails in tester environments. It's one of the reasons why we have CPAN Testers, because there are thousands of environments we can't reasonably test before we make a release. In his follow up, CPAN Testers Follow-Up: Progress Is Made, Randy explained how he was able to eventually recreate the failures, using perlbrew, and found part of the cause to be a pre-requisite module and the way in which he had used it. It often takes a bit of effort to track down problems like this, and can be frustrating to discover it's not necessarily a problem with your code. However, it's great that Randy has documented the processes he followed and highlighted the changes he was able to make. If you've had similar experiences diagnosing problems following receipt of a tester report, it would be great to see a blog post about it.

Gabor Szabo recent looked at the number of people visiting CPAN/Perl sites. In his post, CPAN - Number of visits, it highlights there are roughly around 1 million visitors to the two main CPAN search sites each month. CPAN Testers Reports gets considerably less, around 6,000 visits (4,000 visitors) per month, but then we are more of a niche side to CPAN, that is mostly used by authors. We also push results out to users, or sites pull details from us (both search.cpan and MetaCPAN included). It'll be interesting to see whether the CPAN Testers Search site attracts more or less users to the site.

Neil Bowers released CPAN::Testers::Reports::Counts, which builds on the CPAN Testers Statistics site, and provides a slightly different view of the statistics of CPAN Testers. At the moment the distribution looks at the overall submissions, and doesn't drill down to specific distributions or releases, but I'm hoping to work with Neil this coming week at the QA Hackathon in Lyon to see whether we can produce something of that nature, similar to his CPAN::ReleaseHistory module, which you can read about in Neil's What's your CPAN release history? post.

Speaking of the QA Hackathon, this will be happening from 13th-16th March. The list of projects planned is quite impressive and if we get through only half of them, it will be a great achievement. There are plenty of CPAN Testers related plans I have, and hope to speak with several people over the 4 days to see what else we can plan for the rest of the year. One of the great things about the hackathon is a chance for many key individuals to get together and discuss projects face to face. Discussions that can take months via email, take minutes in person and we end up resolving complex problems and finding solutions simply by bouncing ideas off each other. Although the QA Hackathon attendance is sorted now, there is no reason why people cannot help remotely, and even organise satellite hackathons. Join the regular IRC channels when you can, and see what you can help with.

Lastly, I'd like to mention Gittip. There have already been several posts about it, and I think Ovid and David Golden have probably said all you need to know about why you should join. I join after reading Ovid's post, and aside from the Perl community, I have also created the CPAN Testers community. I expect someone may want to create a CPAN Authors community too. If you are a tester and on Gittip, please add yourself to the CPAN Testers community. Even if you're not into giving or receiving, as Ovid notes, just being there helps to increase Perl's profile, and if the same can be said of the CPAN Testers' profile so much the better. If you want to contribute to CPAN Testers more directly, there is always the CPAN Testers Fund. We are always delighted to receive financial donations as it all helps to keep the CPAN Testers service going for many more years.

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