James E Keenan on 19 Mar 2018 07:05:44 -0700

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[Philadelphia-pm] Test against Perl 5 dev: how you can help

Philadelphia friends,

This message is a follow-up to my presentation at Philadelphia.pm last Monday (http://thenceforward.net/perl/talks/phlpm20180312/).

I would like to invite you to participate in a Perl community activity which will help get Perl 5.28.0 out the door. You can help by testing a list of 10 CPAN modules which are currently failing against Perl 5.27.* blead and analyzing the cause of those failures. Once you've analyzed those failures, we'll discuss how to report your findings and, possibly, correct those failures.

The Specifics

1. We expect to release our monthly development release, perl-5.27.10, on Tuesday, March 20. By Wednesday, a tarball of that release should be available on CPAN mirrors via HTTP or FTP. You will download that tarball, unpack it, configure Perl however you customarily do, build and install it on your system.

2. You will install 'cpanm' against perl-5.27.10.

3. You will use 'cpanm' to try to install the 10 CPAN modules on a list you've been provided. If the result of that attempt to install is anything other than 'PASS' -- i.e., if it's 'FAIL', 'NA' (not applicable) or 'UNKNOWN' -- you will attempt to investigate the cause of that result.

4. We'll then discuss the best way to address this problem.  For instance:

* Does the module fail during its configuration stage? Did that happen because some external library is not installed? If so, what happens once that module is installed?

* Does the module fail during the build stage, e.g., a failure during 'make'? If so, can we figure out when that build started to fail?

* Is the failure due to defective code in the CPAN module? Then we will open a bug ticket in the module's issue tracker and, if possible, supply a patch or pull request.

The Goal

Our goal is to reduce the number of seemingly "broken" CPAN modules in advance of the release of Perl-5.28.0 in April or May. The fewer apparently broken modules we have, then the easier it will be for us to track the impact of Perl 5 development on CPAN over the course of the coming 5.29.* development cycle.

The Means

You can use some of the CPAN distributions I discussed in my talk to do this: Perl-Download-FTP, CPAN-cpantesters-reporter-RetainReports, Test-Against-Dev. But, this being Perl, TIMTOWTDI, so as long as you get perl-5.27.10 and cpanm installed, you'll be fine. I'll provide you with Perl programs using those modules -- but you'll be free to tinker with them.

You can do this on any Unix-ish operating system: Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, etc. (You can try this on Windows, but I haven't been able to try this there myself, so you'll be more on your own in that case).

The Timespan

Because we're working on a schedule dictated by the Perl 5 release cycle, we're really looking for people who can devote some time to this between now and April 15 -- and the sooner the better. If you have time available and are interested, please let me know and I'll provide more detailed assistance. If you don't have the time, then set aside some time in the future for a different Perl community project.

Please email me if you are interested in participating in this community project.

Thank you very much.
Jim Keenan
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