Distrbuted Debugging. Or - "Dear Lazy.pm, plz help track down this intermittent failure"

David Cantrell david at cantrell.org.uk
Wed Nov 12 21:20:34 GMT 2008

[I'm largely repeating stuff from IRC here - but some notes at the
bottom about the new CPAN-testers website may be useful for everyone]

On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 06:50:10PM +0000, Simon Wistow wrote:

> So, apparently XML::Feed is failing *some* tests for *some* people. 
> For the life of me I can't reproduce it.

You can ignore this failure:

which the tester involved has tracked down to a problem in his testing

> So, if anybody can reproduce it reliably then please tell me
> 1) What versions of XML::Atom, XML::RSS and XML::LibXML you're running
> 2) What your Perl -V is 
> 3) Whether the failure occurs with earlier versions of XML::Feed other 
>    than 0.3 (specifically 0.23, 0.22 and 0.20) 
> The tests don't appear to have an particular pattern that I can discern 

They do!

> Moreover, if someone could either provide a patch or a login to a 
> machine where I can do the testing myself then I will reward them WITH 
> BEER or an equivalent reward (Want a module written? A feature for one 
> of my existing modules? A patch for someone else's module? All things 
> will be considered)
> [*] Two example failures
> http://www.nntp.perl.org/group/perl.cpan.testers/2008/11/msg2551035.html
> http://www.nntp.perl.org/group/perl.cpan.testers/2008/11/msg2552599.html
> note that both are patched to level 34559 although that seems unlikely 
> to be the cause
> http://public.activestate.com/cgi-bin/perlbrowse/p/34559

Ignoring that one bogus test result above, the only recent failures are
those two.  This doesn't mean that change 34559 is to blame though, just
that something between 5.8.8 and change 34559 is what dunnit.


Now for those promised notes about the shiny new cpantesters website!

On this 'ere page:

there are now lots of options in the top right corner for filtering the
results.  Note that by default dev releases of a distro (ie those with
an underscore in the version number) are excluded, as are dev versions
of perl (eg the 5.9.x series) and perls with extra patches.  You can
twiddle those to get just the results you want.  The "permanent
preferences link" will generate a link to take you straight to the
current page with its current preferences.  The "change cookie
preferences" link lets you set your defaults for all distributions.

You need Javascript turned on for the magic to happen.

Barbie put a lot of work into this shiny new thing, he deserves a beer
from every single one of you.

David Cantrell | Enforcer, South London Linguistic Massive

      Blessed are the pessimists, for they test their backups

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