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DATE 2018-03-01

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MESSAGE
DATE 2018-03-19
FROM James E Keenan
SUBJECT Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Help get Perl 5.28 ready: test CPAN against dev
New York Perlmongers,

This message is a prequel to my presentation at NY.PM next Wednesday,
March 28, at MongoDB. (You can and should register to attend that
meeting at:
https://www.meetup.com/The-New-York-Perl-Meetup-Group/events/248536785/).

At that meeting I'll be speaking on how we assess the impact of changes
in the Perl 5 development branch on CPAN distributions. In connection
with that, I'd like to invite you to participate in a Perl community
activity which will help get Perl 5.28.0 out the door. In this project,
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 which I will discuss 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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