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CPAN::Testers - QA of CPAN distributions via cross-platform testing
With the explosive growth and increased interest in the CPAN Testers over the last 5 years, it was felt useful to create this namespace placeholder to house the re-architected next-generation CPAN Testers stack.
This namespace also provides for the consolidation of related work under one unified and easily identifiable umbrella. Co-maintainer permissions in this namespace are freely granted to anyone working on any area of the CPAN Testers infrastructure.
Started in 1998 by Graham Barr and Chris Nandor, the CPAN Testers exist to provide quality assurance of CPAN distributions via cross-platform testing with many versions of perl. Some of our goals include the increase of portability of CPAN distributions and to provide authors with helpful feedback.
Nowadays, it's quite effortless to get involved--even casually--with mature support for CPAN Testing with both CPAN and CPANPLUS. Testing methods ranging from manual to automatic are available.
There are many distributions that comprise the CPAN Testers stack (please forgive my poor artwork). The current architecture is as follows:
[POE-Component-CPANPLUS-YACSmoke] | [CPAN-Reporter] [CPANPLUS-YACSmoke] (CPAN) (CPANPLUS) \ / \ / \ / \ / [Test-Reporter] | | CT2.0 ................ . [HTTP] . . | . . [Metabase] . . (Data Store) . ................ | | [CPAN-Testers-Data-Generator] | [cpanstats] (Data Store) / \ / \ / \ / \ [CPAN-Testers-WWW-Reports] [CPAN-Testers-WWW-Statistics] | | [http://wwww.cpantesters.org/] [http://stats.cpantesters.org/]
This a rather simplistic view, but covers the basic flow of test reports into the system, and how the 'cpanstats' database and the core websites are derived.
There are additional smokebot applications that sit beyond CPAN-Reporter and CPANPLUS-YACSmoke, though all use the APIs provided by these hooks into the two primary distribution installers, CPAN and CPANPLUS.
Previously there were standalone scripts, such as 'cpantest' included with CPANPLUS prior to v0.50, which used dedicated test capture code, specifically for the purpose of CPAN Testers. As of CPANPLUS-0.50, this code was removed. In its place a new distribution, CPAN-YACSmoke, was released incorporating new test capture code utilising the new CPANPLUS API.
In 2006 CPAN::Reporter was released, providing smoke testing support for CPAN.pm.
In 2008, with little work being done to bring CPAN-YACSmoke up to date with the current CPANPLUS API, CPANPLUS-YACSmoke was release, building on the work of CPAN-YACSmoke.
The current standard client interfaces for CPAN Testers smoke testing are now CPAN-Reporter and CPANPLUS-YACSmoke.
In order to submit reports, the clients need to supply test results in a consistent form, so that the data store can parse them and store the relevant parts as necessary. The means to provide a consistent API and transport are provided by Test-Reporter, which includes the transport methods to submit to the appropriate data stores.
CPAN Testers report submissions began on a mailing list. In the early days reports were crafted by hand and sent via a mail client. With the design of CPANPLUS, an automated tool was written to provide test reports that could then be edited before sending. The transport mechanism was SMTP, as provided by Test-Reporter.
For many years this was adequate, with the SMTP transport layer sending reports to the cpan-testers mailing list. The perl.org server which received the mails, then provided a read only NNTP service to view the test reports.
In 2008 the number of testers was increasing, and the submission of reports were increasing beyond initial expectations, with over 450,000 reports submitted in November 2009. The storage mechanism provided by NNTP on the perl.org servers, had long reached its limit and was no longer scaling with the level of reports being submitted. It was time for a change.
In 2008 the idea for an alternative storage mechanism for CPAN Testers reports was mooted at the Olso QA Hackathon. Out of that came an idea now known as the Metabase. It was the germ of the plan to move CPAN Testers to a HTTP report submission system. At the Birmingham QA Hackathon in 2009, work on the Metabase and a HTTP gateway continued. In December 2009, the perl.org admins gave a deadline of 1st March 2010 to switch off SMTP submissions.
Test-Reporter, now provides a delivery mechanism for sending the test report data via a HTTP request, using Test::Reporter::Transport::Metabase, into the Metabase.
The Metabase is now the CPAN Testers 2.0 centralised data store. The Metabase currently sits on an Amazon S3 server, and can cope with many more times the level of throughput than was previously seen with the SMTP delivery mechanism.
As over 1st September 2010, the old SMTP gateway to the old cpan-testers mailing list is now closed.
The original 'cpantest' Database began life with a parser reading the NNTP feed once a day and storing metadata in an SQLite database, freely available for all to use.
In 2007 the CPAN Testers Statistics websites extended the parser and created the 'cpanstats' database, which contain more information necessary to drive the statistical analysis. Also initially a SQLite database.
With the overhaul of the CPAN Testers websites in 2008, the 'cpanstats' database became the master database. While the SQLite database was still updated and provided for use by all, the master database was ported into a MySQL database, with tables for uploads and further statistical analysis being added.
The MySQL 'cpanstats' database now provides the following SQLite databases:
Note that cpanstats.db will be retired in the future, due to errors creating the data with SQLite.
Prior to 2002 the CPAN Testers reports were available in their raw form via the NNTP server. In 2002 a new site grouped together the list of reports for each distribution uploaded to CPAN and each CPAN author.
In 2007 the CPAN Testers Statistics site was launched to provide analysis of data regarding reports and to highlight trends in testing.
In 2008, the CPAN Testers websites started receiving an overhaul, with a complete facelift being unveiled in May 2009. The two primary websites, the Reports and Statistics websites are now complimented by the Wiki, Blog, Development, Metabase, Dependencies, Matrix and Analysis websites, with the 'cpanstats' database being used by many other sites for their own data analysis.
In 2010 with the launch of CT2.0 the NNTP feed is now depreciated. All reports are now held on the cpantesters server, and can be viewed using their id or guid in styled or raw formats.
Improvements to the CPAN Testers architecture are always in progress.
For more information on the CPAN Testers please visit the links below:
CPAN Testers Reports
CPAN Testers Statistics
The CPAN Testers Wiki
The CPAN Testers Analysis Site
The CPAN Testers Matrix
The CPAN Testers Dependencies Site
The CPAN Testers Blog
The CPAN Testers Development Site
The CPAN Testers Metabase Site
The cpan-testers-discuss mailing list.
The cpan-uploads mailing list (read only).
The Eco-System of CPAN Testers by Barbie. An explanation of the software components, databases and process that keep CPAN Testers working. Presented at YAPC::Europe 2012
Smoking The Onion - Tales of CPAN Testers by Barbie. Hints and tips for CPAN authors and users alike. Presented at YAPC::Europe 2011.
An introduction to CPAN Testers 2.0 & The Metabase by Barbie. Presented at YAPC::Europe 2010.
Full & Lightning Talk for the Statistics of CPAN talks by Barbie. Presented at technical events throughout 2009, including YAPC::NA 2009 and YAPC::Europe 2009.
A presentation entitled "How to be a CPAN Tester" by Barbie. An update on the talk by Barbie and David Golden in 2008. Presented at YAPC::NA 2008
A presentation entitled "How to be a CPAN Tester" created by Barbie and David Golden. Presented at YAPC::NA 2007
A short tutorial entitled "Become a CPAN Tester with CPAN::Reporter" created by David Golden
An article entitled "Becoming a CPAN Tester with CPANPLUS" created by Audrey Tang
CPANTS: The CPAN Testing Service. A related, yet distinct, project aimed at providing some sort of quality measure (called "Kwalitee") and lots of metadata for all distributions on CPAN
Special thanks to the members of the perl-qa mailing list for providing valuable insights and suggestions over the years
This is the fourth draft of this document. Undoubtedly, there may be various bits that need some adjustments. Feedback is most welcome.
Adam J. Foxson <email@example.com>, having been involved with the CPAN Testers for over half a decade, is the principal author of Test::Reporter.
Barbie, <firstname.lastname@example.org> for Miss Barbell Productions <http://www.missbarbell.co.uk>.
Copyright (C) 2007-2010 Adam J. Foxson and the CPAN Testers Copyright (C) 2010-2012 CPAN Testers
This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the Artistic License v2.