Fighting CPAN entropy

curationCPANadoption Wed 23 April 2014

I first started the adoption list because I thought that we (the Perl community) needed a way to identify CPAN distributions that were in need of some TLC. One of the key factors used to build the list is whether a dist is being used by other CPAN dists. Today I released a new version of Text::Levenshtein, which is used by 4 other dists. I initially imagined I might just fix a couple of the outstanding bugs, but ended up shaving quite a bit more of the yak.

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Release often

CPANgamification Wed 16 April 2014

Today was my 28th consecutive day releasing to CPAN, and I'm one day behind BARBIE who started all this. Having to release every day has pushed me in a number of ways, and I've certainly done more in the last 4 weeks than I would have otherwise.

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At the QA Hackathon I was working on something with BOOK, for which we were using my CPAN::ReleaseHistory module. I mentioned I'd been meaning to put better cache control in it. BOOK quickly hacked in a max_age attribute and sent me a pull request. So far that's prompted one new distribution, and I've adopted two other distributions. I still haven't got back to CPAN::ReleaseHistory though.

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It pains me to admit this, but RIBASUSHI was right. As we rode on the train together into Lyon, he told me that for him the hackathons are mainly about having discussions, with the hacking coming later. "Pah!", I said, "I'm here to hack"...

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Today three of us were wondering what the pattern of CPAN Testers report submissions was. I guessed that most tests come in within the first week. The people I needed to talk to, to get and plot this data, are all in the same room as me today, so here are the charts.

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This is the first part of a series about what happens when you upload a release to CPAN, via PAUSE. I started writing it as a single post, but it became way too long before I was even half way. This post will try to be the executive summary, or Reader's Digest condensed version if you like. Subsequent posts will dive into the details; I'll be filling gaps in my knowledge as I go, and expecting to be corrected on plenty of points as well.

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For a while now I've been wanting a dashboard for my CPAN distributions, which would show me information pulled from various sources, and list them in an order related to how much stuff I need to do. I've created a very rough first cut — here are some dashboards: NEILB, BOOK, TOBYINK, KENTNL. Suggestions very welcome, as I'd like to play with this at the QA Hackathon later this week.

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I've released Date::WeekNumber, which provides two functions for generating week numbers in the format 2014-W09. This is based on code I wrote while creating the CPAN new dist a month contest. I approached the creation of this module slightly differently from my norm, writing the documentation first.

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Like many CPAN authors, I'm hooked on CJM's CPAN once a week contest. Talking to BOOK yesterday, he wondered how hard it would be to create a clone, using CPAN::ReleaseHistory or BackPAN::Index. That sounded like a fun challenge (read: yak shave), so I said I'd timebox it, and try to produce a minimal clone in an hour...

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I've released the first version of CPAN::ReverseDependencies, which given the name of one CPAN distribution, will return a list of the names of other CPAN distributions that use it. This uses the MetaCPAN API, and is based on some code that I think I got from OALDERS.

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