Perl QA Hackathon 2013 in Lancaster - notes by Wendy (2)
Saturday 13 april 2013
The QA Hackathon is thundering further like a heavily loaded roadtrain. We are now with over 40 people (I have been at workshops with less people attending, and most of what they did was just sitting and listening). hard work being done.
Well, not all. This morning after the welcome words, we got out with a group of 10 people in 2 cars and went on a small tour to Lake Windermere and some other lakes in the Lake District. Saw some amazingly beautiful sights... panoramas... buildings... villages... It took us 4 hours but it was worth it.
After coming back, there was pizza. Not my fav lunch, but still tasty. I had to take my slices of pizza and go into the Lancaster Consensus meeting with 21 other people and talk about important changes to Perl. Mainly about PAUSE, metaspecs, the Module Registration System, abandoned CPAN modules, automating giving PAUSE IDs, expiration dates for PAUSE IDs, and deleting CPAN distributions that are older than 5 years. That took over 2 hours. Lots of discussions. I took notes and even joined in some discussions.
Now the next task. These 16 pages of notes have to be transcribed. Which is a lot of work. Wendy, work. Wendy, get to work. Now. Hmmm....
Comment from online: "deleting CPAN distributions that are older than 5 years" is a shockingly horrible idea. I hope it was rejected at the meeting.
Reaction: "the proposal was adapted. This was a proposal to get reactions on and many came."
Other comment from online: "If you'll excuse a little pedantry, it's not "Lake Windermere", it's just "Windermere" (a "mere" is a shallow lake)."
Reaction: "I know. Still, not many British know (I noticed yesterday) that "mere" is also an English word for lake, and for that matter, it is almost the same as the Dutch word for lake: "meer". We went to the Lake District to see several lakes and one of them was Windermere. Very pleasurable."
Continuation of the day...
Page 3 of 16 done. Now I have to go to the Thai restaurant. This is horrible, since now I have to eat, drink, be social, play Fluxx and more of this terrible stuff. How about the notes, Wendy?
And now it is the next morning. Still not further than page 3. Have to drive somebody back to the hotel and stuff.
It is busy again. Lots of people. Everybody just did the 1 minute standup. They told what they did sofar. I did not take notes, but it is already very impressive.
> Comment from online: "deleting CPAN distributions that are older than 5 years" is a shockingly horrible idea. I hope it was rejected at the meeting.
I do think it is not about deleting distributions, but about deleting uploads that aren't the latest version of a distribution, thus making CPAN mirrors more like mini cpan mirrors. :)
The proposal was to delete CPAN distributions that are older than 5 years and that are not the latest version of the module and that are not updated for many years and so on.
And if so, under which conditions, how, etc. And if not, what to do about the many distributions that are not used, not updated, etc.
Many people reacted like "careful, lots of old modules that have not been updated often and seem not to be used, are still used on older systems that in some ways are frozen in time but used heavily". and "keep at least the latest 3 versions of every module, certainly when it is in the index" and "certain authors keep older versions for specific reasons".
There will come an automated system. Authors will be enabled to indicate that their modules must not be removed, or to be moved to BackPAN or another system called "spandex". There will be lots of conditions.
And next to that, don't listen to my explanation, read what people like David Golden, Ricardo Signes, Andreas Koenig, Michael Schwern, Merijn Brand, Mithaldu, and many others will write about it. They know what is decided exactly. I just made notes.
A couple of years ago we had a CPAN Spring Cleaning and were able to reduce the size of the CPAN mirror by several gigabytes. This makes us slightly nicer to our mirrors' disk requirements. It was completely voluntary and worked quite well.
Excellent idea to do that again. But I am sure it would be nice if there was a easy to use tool that more people than just the CPAN-specialists would be able to use, and if some things would be automated.