Helping to clean CPAN: June 2016
… where I get out my virtual broom and sweep up cruft in my assigned distribution for this month’s edition of the CPAN Pull Request Challenge.
This month’s module: Algorithm::TokenBucket
Algorithm::TokenBucket implements a token bucket rate limiting algorithm.
In this section I try to get a feeling for the state of the module, how up to date it is, how often people are contributing to it, how many other distributions are depending on it, how many bugs/issues it currently has, what the CPANTS kwalitee is, etc.
- last commit 5th of Oct 2015 (https://github.com/kappa/Algorithm-TokenBucketkappa/Algorithm-TokenBucket)
- latest release 5th of Oct 2015 (https://metacpan.org/pod/Algorithm::TokenBucket)
- 0 open issues in GitHub
- 0 open pull requests
- 2 open issues on RT (https://rt.cpan.org/Public/Dist/Display.html?Name=Algorithm-TokenBucket)
- 4 reverse dependencies via metacpan
- some test failures on cpantesters (mostly on (FreeBSD): http://matrix.cpantesters.org/?dist=Algorithm-TokenBucket+0.37
- CPANTS report (http://cpants.cpanauthors.org/release/KAPPA/Algorithm-TokenBucket-0.37/errors)
- no errors reported
Initial inspection of the source code
After forking the repo and cloning a local copy, let’s have a look at the project to see what build system it uses, if the test suite works and the tests pass, if it could do with a Travis-CI config file (or if present, if it can be updated).
- README is markdown, however looks like it is automatically generated
from API docs, however it doesn’t mention build instructions.
- README is automatically generated from
- README is automatically generated from
Build.PLsays that it is automatically generated by MINILLA, which is a distribution building tool similar to
- Minilla: https://metacpan.org/pod/Minilla
- there is no
META.ymlin the repository
- no Travis-CI config; add a
- fixed in PR#2
cpanm --installdeps .works ok
perl Build.PLruns without a problem; warns that
./Buildruns without problems
./Build testruns without problems (perl 5.18.4, Linux x64, Debian Jessie)
- only one test file! It’s jam-packed with tests, though.
Looking at the code coverage can give an indication of code quality. If the project is well covered, this means most changes made in pull requests can be made with some confidence that any problems will be caught by the test suite. If the code coverage is low, then this is something that one could address as a pull request (or set of pull requests).
In EUMM and
Build::Module projects, one simply needs to install
Devel::Cover and run
Dist::Zilla projects, one needs to install the
Dist::Zilla::App::Command::cover plugin, after which the code coverage can
be checked via:
In this distribution, the coverage is:
100% statement coverage; 96.5% total coverage
This is great coverage!
podchecker searches through Perl source code for POD which
might not conform to the POD standard, and thus not necessarily be parseable
by all POD parsers. Fixing any issues found by
podchecker has the
positive effect of also removing any warnings noted in the project’s
documentation displayed on MetaCPAN.
podchecker gives the following errors and warnings:
Fixed as part of PR#1.
Some projects consider this a must, and will disallow commits to be submitted which contain trailing whitespace (the Linux kernel is an example project where trailing whitespace isn’t permitted). Other projects see whitespace cleanup as simply nit-picking. Either way one sees it personally, this could be a useful pull request to a project, so it’s worthwhile fixing and submitting; the worst that can happen is that the pull request is closed unmerged.
To look for files with trailing whitespace, run
git grep ' $'. It can be
helpful to load the files found directly into
Fixed as part of PR#1.
Perl::Critic will show up many
potential issues for Perl code. By simply running
perlcritic on the
t directories, one can get a further handle on the code’s quality.
- code before strictures warnings found
Fixed in PR#3.
t directory OK.
Links to websites can go out of date, so it’s a good idea to see if they need updating or removing. A quick grep finds all the links. After which, we just need to see which links need fixing, if any.
The site http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/cs143/assignments/pa1/ no longer exists, however could be found on the internet archive. The link was redirected to the internet archive as part of PR#1.
Other than that, links are ok.
Check copyright notices
This probably also sits in the nit-picking category for some people, however, copyright dates (theoretically) need to be kept up to date. The appropriate copyright year is usually the year of the last release. However, if a release looks imminent, then the current year is likely to be the right candidate. Some distributions put the author’s email address on the same line as the copyright date, hence this needs to be checked as well.
Files missing current year in copyright
Here we do a case-insensitive grep over the source for the word “copyright”,
the line of which we check for the existence of a year (i.e. 4 digits), look
for the appropriate year and then clean up the grep results to get something
we can pass directly to
This is really only 2 files since the
LICENSE file contains the copyright
date for the
LICENSE file itself. Only
README.md need to be updated, and it looks like the
README.md is updated
from the module’s POD, hence really only one file needs to be fixed.
Files missing an email address in copyright
Same as above; only need to update the module’s POD. Possibly doesn’t need to have the email address added though.
The copyright date (2015) is actually ok, since there hasn’t been a release since then.
Spell check files with POD
Good documentation can be a wonder to read. Not everyone’s docs are awesome, however we can keep the error rate to a minimum. A quick spell check will pick up most typos that don’t need to be there and fixing them can help improve the quality of a project.
In general, we want to find all files containing POD and run a spell checker
aspell) over all files, fixing typos we come across as we go. Not
all projects require this much effort, however here’s a general-ish way to
look for and check all POD in a project:
Now look for
.bak files and check differences between them and their
Then update the appropriate
.pm file as necessary.
There is only one page of POD in this module, so no need for the hard work mentioned above. There weren’t any obvious typos or spelling errors, so the text was simply read and checked for ease of reading and basic sentence flow.
Although CPANTS is the main kwalitee
reference, one can also run the kwalitee tests locally. One can use the
t/kwalitee.t test script from
http://peateasea.de/cpan-pull-request-challenge/ for this purpose.
However, the script only uses
Test::Kwalitee which doesn’t cover as many
metrics as CPANTS.
set of metrics closer to that used on CPANTS, so replace the
call with simply
use Test::Kwalitee::Extra. More information about the
many options to
Test::Kwalitee::Extra can be found on the MetaCPAN page.
Run the kwalitee tests in an
distribution like so:
or, if the distribution uses
Basic kwalitee tests pass.
In order to check the kwalitee, it was necessary to install
cpanm Minilla) so that the
minil dist command could be run in order
MANIFEST was created as expected.
There aren’t any issues on GitHub to fix.
There didn’t turn out to be enough time to attack the issues in RT this month.
Overview of the pull requests made
- improve documentation (https://github.com/kappa/Algorithm-TokenBucket/pull/1)
- add Travis configuration (https://github.com/kappa/Algorithm-TokenBucket/pull/2)
- fix perlcritic errors (https://github.com/kappa/Algorithm-TokenBucket/pull/3)
- use direct object syntax for
Many thanks to KAPPA for promptly merging the PRs!