I couldn't resist the title given the date, but this isn't actually a joke
Yesterday Ovid put out a call for grant applications, and ideas for things that could be sponsored.
I wrote in mentioning a project that needs to be done, but which I don't have the time or qualifications to handle. The grant committee is interested, and so I've been asked to put out a call for anyone interested in spending a month or so on TPF's dime.
Vanilla could be classed as a research distribution. It allows people working on the Perl toolchain itself to work on Win32 compatibility, it provides a way to examine how the Perl core interacts with Win32.
But it isn't really useful to anyone doing development, and is still loaded with bugs, although both David Golden and myself have been working in bits and pieces to slowly squash the bugs in it.
What would be much more useful would be a different flavour of Perl, a distribution tentatively code-named Strawberry Perl.
The purpose of Strawberry Perl is to expand on Vanilla, bundling in all of Bundle::CPAN, as well as bundling some strategic upgrades of some dual CPAN/core modules that have had Win32-related upgrades since 5.8.8 was released.
The aim is to provide CPAN authors a Win32 Perl platform that is similar in use and style to the Unix Perls, to make it easier for them to port to Win32, and to provide a suitable basic Perl platform for experienced Perl developers that prefer to install from CPAN, instead of using binary packages.
Because nobody currently working on Vanilla can contribute very much time, the grant would involve the TPF paying someone to take responsibility for the creation of delivery of the first production release of Strawberry Perl.
This means tracking and keeping an eye on ALL of the bugs that are preventing the release, hunting down and diagnosing bugs, creating patches to fix them when the module's author isn't very Win32 savvy or doesn't have time to fix them, taking co-maint bits to release new versions of modules where the author is awol or doesn't have time to do releases, and generally dealing with any bits and pieces holding up Strawberry Perl.
This is the direction Vanilla is moving anyway, but currently it's moving in dribs and drabs, and it would be great to have someone push it through to completion.
Interested parties should have experience with both Win32 and Perl, and given the nature of the task, will need to play well with others.
So how about it, want to be funded to work on a Perl distribution for a while?
Note this is a grant, not a job, and so the rules of the grant process still apply. But the grants committee would look highly favourably on anyone interested in this project.