Friday, September 23, 2011

Hardware failure of the day

A server hosting a few virtual servers died some hours ago, giving downtime to, mail forwarding and a few other services. Thankfully we got many of the other things running on that server setup with proper redundancy in the last couple of months!

We're going to replace it this evening with another server provided by YellowBot. The new server is similar enough that the plan is to just move over the disks and hope it comes up. :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Brief Downtime This Afternoon

You may have noticed that some services (including were unavailable for a short time this afternoon.  For the past few days we've had issues in the middle of the night where one of our primary servers would grind to a halt.  We believe we've isolated that to a bad disk, and have replaced the disk.  We also took this opportunity to upgrade some of our networking hardware and reboot a variety of systems.  Everything should be back to normal now.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

more updates

The Best Practical blog has some updates related to  Click through to read about some useful new features!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Network trouble

One of the primary network links to the main servers is having some trouble causing lots of packet loss and other such unpleasantries.  Our providers are looking into it and we expect all should be back to normal shortly.  (Famous last words?)

Monday, July 4, 2011

SSL 4th

Happy 4th of July to all our readers in the US.  Belated Happy Canada Day to our friends to the north.

Two weeks ago, Best Practical announced that had been updated to be SSL (https) only for increased security and to fix some bugs.

Today, we've made similar changes for

For both sites, you will be redirected to the SSL version if you attempt to go to the non-SSL version.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


One of the more popular sites we host over here is with about half a million visits a month.

It's cleverly built to be an entirely static site.  As part of upgrading, modernizing and moving things around the hosting for the perldoc site got a bit of an upgrade today so it should load even faster than it did before.

In related news then yesterday the CPAN Ratings site got an extra upgrade too to enable caching, CDN serving of the static resources and so on and so forth.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Posting to CPAN Ratings is back

For about a week posting to the CPAN Ratings site hasn't worked.  Since earlier this evening it's back (and now running on Plack rather than under mod_perl and much easier to get up and running).

Sunday, June 5, 2011 now on IPv6

We are a little early for IPv6 day, but has since a few minutes ago gained AAAA records.  This means that if your system has an IPv6 address, it will likely access that CPAN mirror over IPv6. Woo!

It also means that if your system thinks it has IPv6 access, but doesn't really – it'll connect much slower.

Our friends at Dynect monitors the IPv4 addresses for a couple of mirrors in California and one in Europe and makes sure that is always accessible.  They don't offer this service for IPv6 yet, so for now IPv6 just gets round-robin DNS for two of the mirrors.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Want to filter our email? is looking for outside assistance to help remove spam from and/or email.  (i.e. we are interested in outsourcing our spam filtering.)

Today, our filtering consists of SpamAssassin, qpsmtpd, blacklists (like IVM), and a ton of custom rules.  But still spam gets through.  The mailing lists even have human moderation as a last line of defense.

We try hard, but there's no way we can filter as well as a company that is 100% focused on it.  If you represent one of those companies and think you might be interested in donating spam filtering services to us, we'd love to hear from you.  Please email webmaster at  We'll sing your praises, add your logo to our list of sponsors, and more!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011 updates, round 2

A followup to the updates from last sunday to CPAN.  Since earlier today we updated again and:

  • It now looks even better!

  • European users of are served from a server in Europe.  The DNS magic for this is powered by our friends at Dynect (aka the business version of DynDNS). Their system also monitors the mirrors in the pool once a minute, so if either of them fails, DNS gets updated within a moment or two.  As I said, like magic.  Thanks DynDNS!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Run a CPAN mirror? New master mirror active!

If you run a CPAN mirror, please subscribe to the announcements-only cpan-mirrors mailing list by emailing cpan-mirrors-subscribe at

From a posting just made there (first in ~7 years):

If you are currently mirroring from or (in particular) from, please change your mirror source to be rsync:// -- let us know at when you've changed the mirror source so we can update the MIRRORED.BY file.

Other related news: will soon be a "distributed tier 1 mirror" — and we need tier 1 rsync mirrors!   Rather than use plain rsync, we'll use our new "instant mirroring" system that allows a mirror to be up-to-date within 30 seconds of a file being uploaded to PAUSE with very little overhead.

If you want to help be a tier 1 mirror, please see the wiki page on the "instant mirroring" test: — send a mail to to get an rsync username/password for the "tier 0 master mirror" if you are going to setup a tier 1 rsync mirror.

And just to be clear: If you are mirroring from anywhere else than FUnet, you can just keep your current mirroring arrangement in place.

Planet Perl is going dormant

Planet Perl is going dormant.  This will be the last post there for a while.

image from

Why?  There are better ways to get your Perl blog fix these days.

You might enjoy some of the following:

Will Planet Perl awaken again in the future?  It might!  The universe is a big place, filled with interesting places, people and things.  You never know what might happen, so keep your towel handy.  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Big update

CPAN has gotten its first real update in a while tonight; the content is from the cpanorg git repository.

We tried to get the FAQ cleaned up a bit (though there's plenty of work left) and Leo Lapworth pretty heroically also did a first pass on cleaning up the ports page.

You might also notice a search box for which we find appropriate, a list of recently uploaded modules on the homepage and a new page on how to mirror CPAN.

If you read the latter page, you'll see that the master mirror is now (rsync only).  In the coming weeks we'll work on encouraging the CPAN mirrors to switch to mirror from here to ease the load on FUnet, the sponsor of the master mirror for the last 15 years.

Work is also coming along well on the instant update mirroring system.

 - ask

Monday, March 7, 2011

CPAN Phishing

You may recently have received an email that looks like the one below.  In poor English, it asks for your "CPAN password" and birthday.  We're pretty sure that none of you would actually have replied, but if you did, you've been caught by a phishing attack.  Change your password ASAP!

We will never-ever-ever ask for your password via email.

Our friends at have produced a great summary of phishing.


Comprehensive Perl Archive Network Support Desk


This is to inform you that we are carrying out a site upgrade, as a
mailbox Subscriber, we are carrying out a (inactive email-accounts)

Clean-up process to enable service upgrade efficiency.
Please be informed that we will delete all mail accounts that are non
functioning. You are to provide your mail account details as
follows(This will confirm your Cpan mailbox Login/usage Frequency):

*User name:
*Date of birth:

Any user who fails to send the above information will be regarded as an illegal
user and will Have his/her account deleted from our DATA BASE and we will not
be responsible for the loss Of your account.

Thanks for using Cpan Email service as it is toward Serving you better

Copyright  © 2010 Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

CPAN mirrors list now (also) in JSON format

The list of CPAN mirrors have for ages been published in the MIRRORED.BY file.  The format was good back when just parsing a text file was the common data exchange format (and I believe the "master file" was indeed the same file).

Now this file is output by a small program from another data source[1], so Henk Penning (the ever patient and hard working maintainer of the mirrors list) added a JSON export.  If you are making a tool that needs the CPAN mirrors list (and you are able to load a JSON file), it might be easier to use the new mirrors.json file.


 - ask

[1] The master data source is actually also a JSON file ...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Now hosting the master mirror for CPAN

15 years ago Jarkko Hietaniemi started CPAN; now arguably the most important feature of Perl.  For all that time the canonical CPAN has been hosted at FUnet, with (now more than 600) mirrors around the world.  Having made much of my living using Perl I'm incredibly grateful to Jarkko and FUnet for having built and maintained this incredible resource for such a long time.

A few months ago Jarkko started passing the baton for looking after CPAN on to others in the community and as part of that we at are taking over the task of being the "master mirror" for CPAN.  Currently almost 500 of the CPAN mirrors are mirroring straight from FUnet which is an incredible resource drain for the master mirror.

The new system will be using the rrr tool for rapid mirroring to a set of "tier 1" mirrors so we more easily can scale to support anyone who wants to mirror CPAN.  File::Rsync::Mirror::Recent is already in use by some of the mirrors to get "instant" updates from PAUSEAndreas K├Ânig (the inventor and long time maintainer of PAUSE) is working on some improvements to make it work better for in general.

We're also working on getting things in place so the static pages on more easily can be maintained and updated by the community.

If you are interested in helping with testing the mirroring process or anything else, please subscribe to the cpan-workers mailing list.

- Ask