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News & Views

Sorry October's summary is a bit late, as I had rather a busy few months recently, and finding time to finish this one prove more tricky than normal.

However, first off, a thanks to Gabor Szabo, as one of his screencast featured a brief explanation of how CPAN Testers are intergrated into MetaCPAN. Although anyone familiar with the CPAN Testers Report site, will probably have understood what the numbers mean, the screencast is a handy help to anyone new to MetaCPAN or CPAN to learn more about using MetaCPAN. If anyone else has similar screencasts about CPAN Testers, or wishes to create one, please let me know.

My thanks to Pete Houston for notifying me early in the month that the feed to CPAN Testers had got stuck. Another reason why we really want to move away from Amazon and SimpleDB. This is still being investigated, and hopefully will be a project during the QA Hackathon next year. It also gave me pause to think of better ways the feed and builder could be processing. Thet are both mostly serial process, although there are now 2 builders (distros and authors). However, having worked a lot with MessageQueues over the last year, I'm looking at rewriting both the feed and builders, and again is likely to be my main project during the QA Hackathon in 2015. The ultimate aim, as has been asked on many many occassions, is to try and get as close to real time as we possibly can. On a good day we are less than an hour behind, but being a minute of two behind would be even better.

Karen Etheridge highlighted some problems with the CPAN Testers Admin site. Firstly the login had broken again. I've now permanently fixed this, and uploaded the code to CPAN so the old version doesn't overwrite the new version again. However, Karen also spotted a few other problems. Next up was the find a report by GUID. I'm not quite sure what I tested before, but I suspect I overwrote the working code again :( Again this is now fixed and the code is on CPAN :)

The current CPAN Admin problem is figuring out why, when marking reports for removal, they aren't getting alerted to the tester. They were getting added to the Admin user though, so they weren't lost, but it has highlighted a few cross-reference points that are not being made. Connecting a report to tester, or more imporantly to the tester's current email address is not always straight forward, so the fallback is to email the Admin user. I'm working on the code to reconcile these cross-references better, and in the coming weeks I should get that working properly again. In the meantime if you have marked reports, please bear with me, and I'll get to them as soon as I can. In the process of digging through the report removal process, I also discovered that the Builder mechanism for this was flawed, at least from an Author perspective. I've since corrected this too.

Andreas König noted that several reports from one tester were essentially the same. Breno G. de Oliveira helped to identify the problem, and the reasoning behind it. The reporter for cpanminus, doesn't currently record history as the other smokers, and consequently doesn't filter out repeated attempts by the author to install the same distribution. Breno is planning to work more on the Common Client, and integrate this into the cpanminus Reporter. So if you get similar repeated reports, please be gentle with the tester :)

Subramanian Karunanithi was the casualty of version numbering with CGI-Test. Thanks to some investigation work from Jonas B. Nielsen, he highlighted the latest version was 0.52, but the installed version was 0.104. The problem with version numbering within the installers is that they see 0.104 as Zero Point One Hundred and Four, which is greater than Zero Point Fifty Two. Karen posted a bug report, and Alex Tokarev has now released version 1.000, so all good. However, it does bear repeating that Version Numbers Should be Boring.

Next month we'll have a few notes about LPW, more fixes to the toolchain and some ideas for the future.

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