QA Hackathon 2015

QAHBerlin Sat 25 April 2015

The QA Hackathon (QAH) is a chance to spend 4 days with thirty or so other people who care about the CPAN toolchain. I went with a list of things I wanted to work on, but spent a lot of my time working on other things that came up during the QAH. I've come back with my batteries recharged, fired up for another year.

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This is a write-up of some ideas that Tux and I bounced round following the CPAN River discussions at the QAH. When doing dev releases of dists that are "up the river", look for changes in the CPAN Testers results of downstream dists to see if you've had a knock-on effect. This could be automated in a 'river smoke tester'.

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This blog post describes a model that we found useful for talking about CPAN dependencies and reverse dependencies at the QA Hackathon. At the head of the river is Perl itself with the core modules. The river flows into the sea, which contains all distributions that aren't used by any other distribution. Other distributions sit somewhere along the river, their position determined by their reverse dependencies. This post introduces the core concepts, but nothing more.

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This blog post outlines an idea for a service that informs people when their CPAN distributions gain reverse dependencies. Many authors are probably not even aware that their distributions have reverse dependencies, and what the implications of that can be. Sending them an email gives us a chance to congratulate and engage authors, but also to educate and encourage them in some new practices.

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This blog post outlines an idea for a service where people can register that they're using (i.e. dependent / reliant on) a CPAN distribution. This would provide additional information about which distributions underpin the Perl world, and if the registrants were contactable, it would help authors minimise breakages when making changes.

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There are quite a few CPAN dists on github that don't have the repo listed in the metadata. This post shows how to fix that for a dist that uses Module::Install. I hit various problems, so I'm writing down these notes for next time, and so that people can correct anything I got wrong.

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This is a quick look at the number of CPAN pull requests that were done in March. Ever-so slightly more than in February, but there were 3 more days.

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This evening I culled 80 participants in the Pull Request Challenge. These were people who had a January assignment but never did a pull request, and haven't replied to any of my subsequent emails. Culling them freed up 80 distributions to be assigned again in April.

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I've been asked a few times why the PR challenge only supports github, and not other repo sites. There are two main reasons: (1) it's by far the most popular, and (2) I have various scripts which use the GitHub API, and I'm too lazy to look into dealing with the other sites. Here are the stats to back up the first point.

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I've tweaked a few things in the past week, so they're all listed here: a new web site, changes in scoring, and a new hit list for getting dists on github.

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