A new distribution is now on its way to your nearest CPAN mirror. Devel-Platform-Info provides the code framework to return metadata regarding the currently running operating system. The intention is to eventually use this metadata within CPAN Testers reports. However, the first step is to provide the means to extract the information from the operating system and return it in a consistent form (a hash) to the calling code, regardless of the operating system. There have been a few attempts on CPAN to provide 1 or 2 items of this metadata, or to verify whether the OS is as requested, but nothing that provides a simple data structure, with all the necessary components provided.
The initial release has support for Linux, Mac, SCO Unix and Win32 operating systems, as they were the ones we have to hand. Now that it has been released to CPAN, we'll look forward to seeing the results from the various CPAN Testers reports. With many more OSes available via CPAN Testers, we hope to refine the currently supported OSes, and make some headway to supporting others too. However, CPAN Testers doesn't cover all known OSes that can run Perl, as such if you have an alternative OS, we'd be very grateful if you were able to download the distro, give 'make test' a try and let us know the output. Even better if you're able to write a plugin for us that specifically supports your OS.
The distribution is a Birmingham.pm project, that began life at our June Technical Meeting, with Brian McCauley, Colin Newell, Jon 'JJ' Allen and myself brainstorming ideas of how we could retieve the OS metadata consistently across a variety of platforms. Over the past week, we've refined the code as much as we can for the OSes we have available to us, and now it's time to see what others can help us with. Once we get enough coverage to at least support CPAN Testers we'll then look to work on the next phase of the plan, in getting this metadata stored as part of a CPAN Testers Metabase report.