BARBIE and I have been working on a new BackPAN index, and some related things. At the centre of this are BackPAN::Index::Create and create-backpan-index, the module and associated script that can be used to create a BackPAN index. This is now the index used by CPAN::ReleaseHistory, so it's relying on an open-source BackPAN index.

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With relatively little fanfare Chris Williams, aka BINGOS, today announced that he's passed 20 million reports submitted to CPAN Testers. I think we should all pause to thank Chris for his contribution to one of the key resources for CPAN authors.

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Two days ago I released Perl::MinimumVersion 1.36 to CPAN; there were two main commits that added checks for 3 changes in Perl. Both of those changes had bugs, and in doing so I broke things for other people, something I really didn't want to do. As a result I had to do a release tonight, to fix one of the bugs and back out the other until I can do it properly. I'm going to talk through how I've been working on Perl::MinimumVersion, the bugs, and what I'm going to change. Hopefully people might point out other ways I can improve how I work.

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Perl::MinimumVersion is a handy module that will scan your code and tell what the minimum version of Perl that it thinks your code requires. It doesn't have full coverage of Perl features, particularly for releases since 5.10.0. I've been using it more and more, so asked ADAMK for co-maint so I could work on updating it.

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Last year I released PAUSE::Packages, which provides a simple interface for iterating over the latest non-developer release of all dists currently on CPAN. It's based on the PAUSE file 02packages.details.txt, which, by definition, doesn't contain developer releases. But sometimes we (or, I, at least) want to know about all recent releases, including developer releases. This prompted me to create CPAN::Releases::Latest.

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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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