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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • When I look at http://cpantesters.perl.org/show/Exporter.html [perl.org] I see FAILs that were corrected in 5.61 and NAs because actual Exporter code does not support (out of the box) pre-5.6 perls.
    • Just noticed that as well, and yet the CPAN dependencies site says there's fails...
  • Those two things have been the cause for a bunch of my modules recently. I don't bother trying to make anything work with 5.005 any more, so that's one problem. I've also gotten a rash of weird failures from testers where the failure was clearly a problem of their build environment. It'd be cool if testers could delete failure reports some how.
    • If your module was tested on 5.005, it's only because your Makefile.PL said (by omission) that it was compatible with 5.005.

      If your module DOESN'T support 5.005, then you should be reporting that.

      Then CPAN Testers won't test the module, and you won't accumulate FAIL reports.
      • A little bit of handholding would be much appreciated...

        Can you tell exactly what line we would need to add in Makefile.PL to achieve this?
        • Can you tell exactly what line we would need to add in Makefile.PL to achieve this?

          Just include use 5.006; and the toolchain will understand the distribution is not for pre-5.6 perls. Someone has said that this use was a 5.6 thing, but I've seen it work ok with 5.5. I don't know if even older perls would understand it as well or if they would need a more barroque thing like:

          BEGIN { require 5.006; }

          • If a dependency of a module is declared within the dependency to be incompatible with the perl version installing the module, does the installer get a warning during the typical "perl Makefile.pl; make; make test; make install"?
            • As far as I know, the installer will try to get away without the successful installation of the dependency, hoping for the best. If the best doesn't happen, the failed test will appear as UNKNOWN in that case. So it correctly won't add it to the row of FAILed tests.
          • Actually, I also thought that "use 5.xxx" is a new thing, but it works at least with 5.004, maybe also with older perl versions. And there are for sure no testers around who use something older than 5.005.
          • Thanks, a Google search [google.com] reveals that use VERSION; is indeed quite common in Makefile.PL files on CPAN.

            I wasn't sure it was the right way to do it.
  • I think you should take a closer look at the reasons for the fails, e.g. by looking at the CPAN Testers Matrix [radzeit.de] to find patterns in the failures.

    For the mentioned distributions it looks like:

    • Scalar-List-Utils: FAILs only with devel perl
    • YAML: mostly only devel and old perls have FAILs
    • File-Spec, Exporter, base: looks OK
    • Test-Simple: granted, there are some unexpected red spots
    • File-Temp: 0.18 completely OK, new problems with 0.19

    I also don't think you should target for 100% PASS. There are always pro

    • I'm not sure I like the idea of retracting reports, because who is to say what is invalid?

      I know some situations where authors have said reports are invalid for things like not working with Perl 5.005...
      • If you look at the Tk-804.027 reports, then you see a lot of FAIL reports which are sort-of invalid: testers who don't have a running X server, hence almost all tests fail. Sure, the test suite could check first if there's a running X server (in fact, this is done for Tk-804.028-tobe). Well, now it's more work for me to find the legitimate reports.

        Maybe not retracting reports, but have some means of commenting them would be enough?

  • Over the past year, I've tested hundred of modules with bleadperl, and I have to say that quality has actually improved dramatically over the past year. I agree that I had dozens of modules failing when I started. But by opening bug reports, having Andreas find the root cause change if it was a new failure, and having developers who care about their modules really made a huge difference in improving overall module quality. Are there still modules that fail? Yes. There will always be, but I can say that