Writing For The Wiki
Just about anyone can help out with CPAN Testers. You can be a heavy-weight tester submitting thousands of reports a month, or a casual tester submitting reports for the distributions you install. You can also help promote CPAN Testers on your blog, or join the group on cpan-testers-discuss mailing list (or associated channel on IRC) and help answer questions testers and authors may have.
However, there is a further way you can help, which is a great way for new testers to get an idea for what and how they can contribute, as well as getting to know the whole CPAN Testers eco-system, and that is by updating the CPAN Testers Wiki.
In November, the Birmingham Perl Mongers technical meeting featured a CPAN Testers hackathon. Since the release of CT2.0 and the Metabase, many of the instructions for getting started with CPAN Testers where either no longer relavent or out of date. JJ's idea was to take one aspect of the wiki and update it with the correct information. Seeing as the majority of people who are likely to use the wiki are new testers, we figured that concentrating on a getting started page would be of the most benefit. We decided to show how to set up CPAN-Reporter, for the casual tester wishing to submit reports for distributions as they installed them.
We started from a clean setup, on multiple platforms/virtual machines to see whether anything would be different. As it turned out, the installation of distributions and the configuration of CPAN Testers was exactly the same. We went through the steps to claim a Metabase key, which in the longer term will hopefully be slightly more automated, and updated the appropriate configuration files to ensure we could submit reports via the new CT2.0 API. It was an interesting hackathon, as we tried to look at the set up as if we hadn't had any experience of CPAN Testers. It highlighted a few areas that we can hopefully improve on, but mostly guided us to explain the steps better.
The final result is the beginnings of the Test During Install page. We hope to have another hacking session looking at setting up CPANPLUS/CPANPLUS-YACSmoke in exactly the same way in the coming months.
So if you'd also like to contribute, have a look at whether you can update the installation and configuration instructions for other set ups, such as with more sophisticated smokers. It would be very much appreciated.
Cross-posted from the CPAN Testers Blog.