21 April, 2010 - 18:42 — martinjevans
I've maintained DBD::ODBC for some years now but one thing that constantly causes me problems is finding enough testers to be sure a development release is good enough to be released officially. CPAN Testers do a great job (and I joined the clan for a while until the throttling issues last Xmas and now I wait for CPAN Testers 2) but very few (if any) have a data source set up to a real database. Mostly the reports I get are PASS but when I look at them there was no actually data source set up so no real database tests actually ran.
DBD::ODBC differs from most DBDs in that it can be used with literally dozens of databases and it is impractical for me to have and test them all (sheer number, licensing, platforms, different versions of drivers etc). In the past I've tried various paths to get more testers - mail dbi-users/dbi-dev/dbix-class lists, blog a new development release here and hence iron man, mention on a few irc channels, mail individual rt posters and ask for assistance and I mostly get a few responses but not enough to be certain I've not broken anything (BTW, thanks to all who have tested development releases). Usually what happens is that users of ActiveState ActivePerl eventually gang up on me saying ActiveState don't package development releases and I finally relent and release officially then I'm inundated with issues and the cycle starts again.
I should say I this point that ActivePerl has changed a lot in recent years and it is now fairly easy to install from CPAN (thanks Jan Dubois for pointing this out and providing instructions) but I'm still left struggling to find testers.
I know about Test::Database but so far I've not got it working and I have had a few exchanges with book on this (some problem with DBD::DBM).
Mentioning this again on dbi-dev recently it was suggested that we need an army of testers who have datasources set up with real databases behind them and perhaps some way for people who rely on DBDs to register their availability for testing development releases (the DBI Driver Testing Network perhaps). Obviously the mechanisms for reporting problems already exist via rt and CPAN testers via CPAN::Reporter etc and I'm sure all DBD authors/maintainers would be happy to give credit to any tester in their docs. I'd welcome any input on this.