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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • There are currently around 60 regular CPAN Testers, who test on a variety of platforms and perls. Last month there were 22 different platforms and 11 different perls giving 241 different setups. Being able to have perhaps a good selection of images, with at least the major perl releases and the most popular platforms is a good idea. And the idea you're proposing would hopefully catch most of the obvious bugs, but you aren't going to get away from using CPAN testers. I am pretty certain every single one of the 241 setups last month had a complete different set of CPAN modules installed too. That's why they are so useful in spotting edge cases and conflicts.

    Part of your Test::Platform::Server is exactly what CPAN/CPANPLUS already do, so you would probably just need to write the actual server part. Your SOAP and client ideas are then down to someone to define the APIs.

    However, the bigger part of the problem is where to host all the images. And all the extra gubbins you'll need to test all the distributions on CPAN. The biggest problem though concerns trojan distributions. These are the distributions that 'phone home' or attempt to test external libraries and applications. Who is going to host a server which could potentially become an open proxy? Having CPAN testers in the mix, usually ensures that these types of distributions are tested properly.

    Your assumptions that the CPAN Testers only test what they want to, is a little undeserved. They mostly test what they can. In many cases they don't have all the external libraries and apps to do a thorough test of every distribution. In some cases they have to test manually, as some distributions insist on having parameters set before they will work.

    I think your assumption that this is easy is wrong. It's taken several years for CPANPLUS to get to the stage it's at and there are still bugs. Doing all that around a testing server/client as well is going to take a lot of careful thought.

    If you're willing to make a start then make a start. Just because those you've spoken to currently haven't take much of an interest doesn't mean that they won't in the future, or even someone new to the world of Perl won't get as enthusiastic as you about what you want to do. You obviously have some ideas around this already, so perhaps that's where you need to start. Also bear in mind some might not have as much time on their hands to do much work on this, we're not all young free and single with CFT (copious free time) on our hands.

    It's an old saying (well from at least 1989!), but "build it and they will come".

    • CPAN Testers doesn't solve the problem of testing. Full stop.

      They solve ONLY the limited subset "testing released CPAN packages".

      CPAN Testers is no solution at all for company or private packages.

      And of course they test only what they want. If they didn't want to be in CPAN testers, they wouldn't be there.

      They have full control over what they do, and I have ZERO control over them, as you would expect from people contributing their time in this way.

      I'm just starting to get a little frustrated that every
      • CPAN Testers doesn't solve the problem of testing. Full stop.

        No it does solve complete coverage of testing, but it goes a long way to covering the bulk of scenarios. Trying to test every scenario that exists is a huge task and one I don't think will ever be achieved.

        CPAN Testers is no solution at all for company or private packages.

        Why? I assume you're talking from your own experience. In my experience the cpan-testers have proved useful to know what works on various platforms out of the box and what

      • Don't you think that a "company or private package" only has to work in the "company or private" environment and that consequently the "company or private" developer can, if he likes, use exactly the same tools as the CPAN testers to do his testing?