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News & Views

Last month was quite productive for CPAN Testers. There were a lot of fixes and updates behind the scenes, and a few out front too. Some I've still to announce, so expect a few posts in the coming weeks.

Firstly though, congratulations to Chris Williams aka BinGOs, who reached 20 million report submissions. Chris has been a great supporter of CPAN Testers, and has been heavily involved in the toolchain aspects, particularly better integrating CPANPLUS::YACSmoke (from the original CPAN::YACSmoke) with CPANPLUS. Chris has give talks at YAPCs and Workshops about CPAN Testers, and has helped to push many improvements in CPAN Testers. While achieving Chris' volume of success might be a long shot for many testers, it is worth noting that every report submission helps. Whether you're only able to submit a few reports, or want to be a dedicated tester, your efforts are all very much appreciated.

Many thanks to Daisuke Murase (aka @typester), who has been looking after the @cpantesters twitter account. It took a while to figure out who was behind the account, but Daisuke was very helpful and supportive, and allowed me to take over the account. So now I can start posting smaller snippets of updates on twitter. However, I did have an alterior motive for getting access to the Twitter account, and that was to enable an account on Gittip, thanks to a suggestion from Gabor Szabo. It seems a good alternative way to help the CPAN Testers Fund. Although the donations page run by Enlightened Perl Organisation, does allow one-off or recurring payments, Gittip has a bit of a high profile at the moment, and it would be a shame to miss out on an opportunity to reach others.

Over the course of several weeks, Neil Bowers and I worked out a new BackPAN Index. The code was all Neil's, but with some helpful suggestions from me along the way, BackPAN::Index::Create came together. Our next step was to implement it, which has done on the CPAN Testers BackPAN repository. However, we also needed a way to tell people about it. The old index page for BackPAN, was very minimal, so Neil and I worked out a new index page, which gives a bit more background, as well providing easy links to the index files that BackPAN::Index::Create now generates. Hopefully other BackPAN instances can follow our lead, and implement indexes for themselves. In the meantime, feel free to use the index files for your endeavours, and if you have suggestions for improvement, by all means let Neil know.

On the mailing list, Alceu Rodrigues de Freitas Junior posted about the use of dependencies listed in a Makefile.PL, and asked why they weren't being included in the test setup. Although he answered his own question, Karen Etheridge gave a more complete answer, explaining that TEST_REQUIRES was only supported from ExtUtils-MakeMaker-6.63_03. There are work arounds for older version, for which Karen gave some examples of how Dist-Zilla handles them.

An interesting thread about Cygwin was started by Ben Bullock, who got a fail report regarding a missing header file for libcrypt. As his distribution doesn't use the libcrypt headers, it seemed an odd fail. On further investigation the perl.h header file on Cygwin does require crypt.h. With help and suggestions from several testers, it looks likely there is a missing definition check for the header file, and the perl package may just out of date. However, it was a useful thread in that Karen Etheridge highlighted that not only could Devel::CheckLib be used to detect this, but that Dist::Zilla also comes with a plugin to help create the necessary code in your (Makefile|Bulid).PL to handle the check. This shouldn't have been applicable in Ben's situation, but if your distribution requires external libraries, Devel::CheckLib is a good way to detect their existence.

Next week is YAPC::NA. Although no specific CPAN Testers talks, Phil Wells will be speaking about 'Object Oriented Selenium Test Suites'. Enjoy the conference if you're attending.

More news coming soon.

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