"It's all changed, what happened, how do I get my reports?" - well hopefully the answers to those questions can now be found on this page. However, if you have a question that isn't covered here, please contact Barbie, and ask for it to be included.

JSON Filtering

In June 2008 Barbie took over the website for CPAN Testers Reports, and immediately set about implementing many feature requests that had built up, due to Léon's lack of free time to work on the site. After the initial burst of changes, a review of the site's usability was undertaken and while the generation of the site pages were noticeably slow (it takes up about 3.7GB on disk), some author and distribution pages often took several minutes to load in the browser. In addition a number of authors wanted to see the removal of patched or development versions of Perl from their listings. As such the 'preferences' feature was added to try and reduce what was initially seen in the browser.

Unfortunately many users still saw the popup alerting them to a long running script, which was seen when trying to view a page with a large data volume. As such a rework of both the Javascript and the page layout was instigated, with JJ providing a very much easier to use implementation.

The site now lists just one version of a distribution on each distribution page. You can then select from the dropdown which distribution version you wish to see. Using the preferences you can then filter the data that is applicable to you personally. On each author page you can still see all the latest versions of an author's distribution releases. However, with the revision of the Javascript and preferences, the changes are much more immediate and you should no longer see the long running script popup.

Dynamic vs Static

Having implemented all the Javascript changes and streamlined the site somewhat, a number of users highlighted that with Javascript disabled, or using a browser that didn't support Javascript (e.g. screen readers), the site was unusable. As such work began to look at a better way of providing both styles of site, the dynamic client Javascript version and the flat HTML version.

Initially the work centred around looking at ways to generate all the pages dynamically, and storing them in a cache for static viewing. However, this was extremely time consuming, and the "ADAMK test" took 30 minutes to generate all the files. Understandably this wasn't good enough.

Taking a step back, the existing system of generating the files mostly works, it's just that it starts from the beginning and generates everything that has changed. A user wanting to see the updated results for an author at the end of the process could have to wait several hours. As such a weighted queuing system is now implemented, with the file generation occuring in the background, with author/distribution requests via the web taking a precedence over those that just need updating. The benefit is that those author and distribution pages that users are most interested get updated more quickly than those that rarely see any hits.

The final piece of the puzzle was to completely redesign the website. This has long been a plan, and will be implemented across other CPAN Testers Family websites as time allows. The old site, while very functional, just felt like it needed a fresh lick of paint. The new site design is based on an Open Source Web Design by Wolfgang (


The preferences were included into the site to make the page display more useful for users.By seeing every single report, including all the patched and development versions of Perl, across all operating systems, etc, meant that the user was not seeing the true picture as it applied to them. By setting the preferences the user is able to dynamically select report types that are of interest to them. Try selecting the different preferences to see how they effect what you see.

By default, assuming you have no defaults set, or have not followed a preferences link, you will only see reports that are for non-patched and non-development versions of Perl. Also you should only be presented with the distributions that are currently available on CPAN. As CPAN Testers has a long history, we still include reports for distributions which have since passed into BACKPAN, and by selecting the 'Availability' dropdown, you can view the BACKPAN distribution versions too.

Below the preferences boxes, the first link is a dynamically created link that allows you to bookmark or send to others, so they can see exactly what you have selected from the preferences,without having to explain it to anyone. Below the first link, is a second where you can set the values stored in a cookie, which will be loaded every time you view a page, where no other settingsare being applied (e.g. from a dynamic link).


Please note that due to the high volume of data recorded on this website, generating excessively large pages for some authors was inappropriate. As such the decision was made to reduce the presentation load by using Javascript to drive the content. If you are adverse to the use of Javascript, or cannot use it, please take a look at the companion static site.

In addition the summary charts are now loaded via an AJAX request, which are also reloaded as you select the preferences too. Thus the charts are much more applicable to what you are interested in.


While every effort has been made to make the site as relevant as possible, there are always likely to be more things you would like to see. Some may well be on a TODO list, but others we might not have been considered. Or maybe you've spotted a bug, or have a patch that you would like included in the site. The first place to post bug reports, wishlist items and patches is the RT Queue, however if for any reason you are unable to post there, you can email Barbie directly. Please bear in mind that this is a volunteer effort, and time spent on improving the site is given freely for the benefit of the Perl community.