CPAN Testers lets Perl developers know how their modules are building and testing on a variety of operating systems and Perl versions. XML::Writer is a (very!) stable module, so when I got email telling me the latest release was failing on an older Perl than I’d tested with I was concerned.
The failure was with Perl 5.6.2, released November 2003. That’s an old version, but I claim to support back to 5.6.0 (March 2000). Thanks to David Golden’s maint branches in his Perl repository I could quickly build that specific version on a current Ubuntu release. (Easily mixing history from different repositories is just another great DVCS feature.)
Although XML::Writer supports Perl 5.6.0 it only tests Unicode support after v5.8.1. The new test I added for this release would therefore be skipped under an old Perl. However, I labelled the test with ‘TEST:’ rather than ‘SKIP:’, so an attempt to skip it failed. That’s easy to fix.