November 2017 Archives

Meta::Hack 2

Meta::Hack 2 - 2017


Meta::Hack is about getting the core MetaCPAN team together for a few days to work on improving... well as much as possible! Last year we focused on deploying to a new infrastructure, with new version of Elasticsearch. This year was a much more varied set of things we wanted to achieve.

Why get together?

Whilst Olaf couldn't attend in person, we had him up on the big screen in the ServerCentral (who kindly hosted us and bought us lunch) offices so it was almost as good as him being physically there. Having us together meant we could really support each other as questions arose.. a fun one was tracking down that the string JSON::PP::Boolean, incorrectly identifies as is_bool in JSON::PP - there is a pull request - though that's not released yet. We also found bugs in our own code!



I spent a lot of my time with Brad, who has been setting up logging and visualisation, I setup Kibana readly for when we get the data and I reviewed some of Graham's changes that will make the logs from our applications easier to control. Brad got most of it working and hopes to finish it off in the next couple of weeks. This should give us much better visability of any errors, allow us to load balance better and also give us an overview of our infrastrcture in a what we don't currently have.

Panopta, a monitoring service who kindly donate us an account sent along one of their engeneers, Shabbir, who talked us through some of the features that would be useful to us.


The biggest thing that is visible so far is the autocomplete on the site is now SO much better thanks to the work of Joel and Mickey, this was something Mickey and I started a year or so ago, but they've taken it much further and included user favourites to help boost what you are most likely to want in an autocomplete.

At Graham's request I've converted all Plack apps to run under Gazelle which is faster.

I also spent some time cleaning up our infrastructure, moving some sites off an old box (still running our old code from 2+ years ago as a backup) which has then been brought up to using the same versions of everything as the other boxes.

LiquidWeb - who host most of our production hardware came to our resque, not once, but twice. With some reindexing - it looks like we heated up the servers to the point that over the 4 days 2 of them rebooted themselves at various points! LiquidWeb responded quickly each time, replacing the power supply in both and a fan in one of them.

Some of the other smaller bits I worked in included automating purging of our Elasticsearch snapshots (which I set running last year). I created some S3 buckets for Travis CI artifact storage (our cpanfile.snapshot built from PR runs).


Jetlag has it's own sort of fun, so my days have been starting at 4:30, with 3 hours of hacking from the hotel, before heading out for breakfast and then to the ServerCentral offices... for a productive morning. Usually by 3pm though my brain just freezes and my fingers are tired... but I'm just starting to get used to it... which is because I'm heading home tonight!


This wouldn't have been possible without our sponsors:, cPanel, ServerCentral, Kritika

About Ranguard

user-pic London Perl developer