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In case you're interested, though unable to sell my test metadata ideas to the perl-qa folks, I was allowed to implement a simple test metadata scheme at work, mostly for C++, but also Perl and other languages. We used identical test metadata names across all languages and all types of tests (not just unit tests) ... and integrated with our build and release tools.

In practice, the most popular and useful metadata was Smoke, with a value of Smoke=1 indicating a Smoke Test. Smoke tests need to be robust and fast because if they fail, the change is automatically rejected by our build tools.

We also learnt that it's vital to quarantine intermittently failing tests quickly and to fix them quickly ... only returning them to the main build when reliable. If you don't do that, people start ignoring test failures! You need a mindset of zero tolerance for test failures, aka No Broken Windows.

An interesting metadata extension is to keep metrics on the test suite itself. Is a test providing "value"? How often does it fail validly? How often does it fail spuriously? How long does it take to run? Who writes the "flakiest" tests? ;-)

See also: Effective Automated Testing


In reply to Re^2: Let's try for a better CPAN experience by eyepopslikeamosquito
in thread Let's try for a better CPAN experience by cavac

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