CPAN Testers Summary - December 2009 - The Wall
Cross-posted from the CPAN Testers Blog.
Last month CPAN Testers was finally given a deadline to complete the move away from SMTP to HTTP submissions for reports. Or perhaps more accurately to move away from the perl.org servers, as the amount of report submissions has been affecting support of other services to the Perl eco-system. The deadline is 1st March 2010, which leaves just under 2 months for us to move to the CPAN Testers 2.0 infrastructure. Not very long.
David Golden has now put together a plan of action, which is being rapidly consumed and worked on. The first fruits of which has been an update to the CPAN Testers Reports site. The ID previously visible on the site, refering to a specific report, is now being hidden away. The reason for this is that the current ID refers to the NNTP ID that is used on the perl.org NNTP archive for the cpan-testers mailing list. This ID is specific to the SMTP submissions and includes many posts which are not valid reports. As such we will be moving to a GUID as supplied by the Metabase framework, with existing valid SMTP submitted reports being imported into the Metabase. The NNTP ID will eventually be completely replaced by the Metabase GUID across all parts of the CPAN Testers eco-system, including all the databases and websites. As such you will start to see a transition over the next few weeks.
The second change which has now been implemented, is to present the reports via the CPAN Testers Report site and not the NNTP arcive on the perl.org servers. Currently the presentation of a report (e.g. this report for App-Maisha) is accessed via the reports pages for a distribution or an author, but will also be accessible in a similar manner across all the CPAN Testers websites. There are a large batch of early reports that are currently missing from the database, but these are being updated now, and will hopefully be complete within the next few days. If you have any issues with the way the reports are presented, including any broken or missing links from other parts of the site, please let me know.
In all this change, there is one aspect that may worry a few people, and that is the "Find A Tester" application. For the next few months it will still exist, but the plan is to make the Reports site more able to provide tester contact information. In addition to this the testers themselves will soon have the ability to update their own profiles. Initially this will be used to link email addresses to reports and then map those email addresses to a profile held wihtin the Metabase, but in the longer term will be used to help us manage the report submissions better.
David Golden is concentrating on the Client and Metabase parts of the action plan, and I am working on porting the websites and 'cpanstats' database. If you have any free time and would like to help out, please review the action plan, join the cpan-testers-discuss mailing list, and please let us know where you'd like to help. There is a lot of work to be done and the more people involved, the better the spread of knowledge in the longer term.
After David announced the deadline last month, all the testers have throttled back their smoke bots. This saw a dramatic reduction in the number of reports and page being processed, and enabled the Reports Page Builder to catchup with itself, to the point it was frequently having less than a 1000 request waiting. That changed yesterday with the changes to the website, as every page now needs to be updated. It typically takes about 5 days to build the complete site, so this quiet period will help allow the Builder to rebuild the site, without adversely affecting the currently level of report submissions. Expect the site to reach a more managable level of processing some time next week. To help monitor the progress of the builder, a new part of the Reports site, The Status Page, now checks the status of all outstanding request every 15 minutes, providing a 24 hour persepctive and a week long perspective.
A new addition to the family was also launched recently, the CPAN Testers Analysis site, which Andreas König has been working on, to help authors identify failure trends from reports for their distributions. Read more on Andreas' blog.
Last month we had a total of 168 tester addresses submitting reports. The mappings this month included 22 total addresses mapped, of which 2 were for newly identified testers. Another low mapping month, due to work being done on CPAN Testers as a whole.
My thanks this month go to David Golden for finding the time to write an action plan, and his wife for allowing him the time to write it, as well as working on all the other areas involving the CPAN Testers and the Metabase :)