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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Since CPAN::Reporter I have toyed with the idea of becoming a tester… however, all I have to test on is my dev machine, a bog-standard Slackware 12.0 machine, ie. an unthreaded 5.8.8 on 32-bit x86 Linux, with my particular mix of required modules installed among the system perl. I wouldn’t set up any sort of controlled environment. I wouldn’t be going out of my way to generate test reports either – just send the occasional one when I install something.

    And I have to wonder if that’s at all interesting to anyone. Surely the sort of environment in which I test is pretty common? It seems to me that this is exactly the sort of setup that many Perl developers already use themselves (so they probably don’t need any test reports to begin with) and which is well represented among existing testers (so I’d just be submitting me-too reports).

    I do not have an unusual platform to test on, or at least some sort of controlled environment (eg. a fresh perl for each module under test with no non-core modules pre-installed). But it seems to me that the core value of testing is to provide feedback about behaviour in those controlled or exotic environments that not everyone and their dog and brother already has access to.

    Am I missing something here, or is that right? Would I contribute something of value if I were to get involved at the initially described low level of participation?

    • Occasionally, for whatever reason some distributions do miss out. Usually because they require libraries that the testers don't have installed, or they filter out some distributions due to problems with test them (e.g. I couldn't test Apache modules on Win32). So even if you do have a common setup, it is still possible for you to find a failure that hasn't been found by other testers. Whether you only submit 1 report a month or hundreds, it all helps :)

      Also because you don't have a minimal "fresh" installa