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chromatic (983)

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Journal of chromatic (983)

Wednesday December 03, 2008
06:05 PM

So What?

[ #38016 ]

Perl 5 is dying, sites are ugly, and apparently there's a marketing problem somewhere around here.

So what?

I don't mean "Who cares?" I mean "What are you going to do about it?"

By "you" I don't mean Curtis, or Jarkko, or Andy, or Schwern, or mst, or Ask, or Adam, or Dave, or Chris, or Elliot, or Bill, or Richard, or any of the other several dozen usual suspects who've done far more than any reasonable person have a right to expect. I mean the "you" who reads this and sagely nods your head while thinking "Somebody should do something!" You're somebody. You can do something.

(I'm very happy to run "Something cool I did with Perl!" on, so if you've done something cool in a hundred or so lines of Perl -- especially if you can tie it to cloud computing, or inventing the future, or helping people do amazing things -- let me know. I can sweeten the deal by offering free books to contributors.)

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  • I have an art degree. Who needs some art/illustration/design work for an open source perl program/perl site? This is the time for holiday giving. Gimme Gimme Gimme some thing to give. Just lead me to water.

    With all honesty. I can't hack Parrot. I can't help with Perl 6 internals. I *can* make things look neat.

    • I'd love to see a new clean and fresh design for
      First impression matters and this is one of the most prominent perl sites.
      But I must admit that I'm neither in a position to decide on that nor do I know how laborious it would be to actually implement a design on the software.

      • What's kinda cool about use.perl is I think most of the design and layout is done with css, so playing with it, would be easy, without having to bother pudge to get it applied. There may be a, "How to Style Slash" guide somewhere - I do remember there was that, "Design Slashdot" competition a few years back that we could cherry-pick ideas from.

        If there's no style guide, it may be another way to contribute to slash, although, if the only sites using it are Slashdot and use.perl, it may be irrelevant. Somethi

        • Wow, that's really cool.

          Guys, please! We need a pro web designer here. Urgently. Old unix-nerds just can't make their sites look good enough.

    • Thank you very much for your offer, it's highly appreciated.

      As a contributor to Rakudo (Perl 6 on Parrot) I'd like to have a nice logo for it (one that can be used as an executable icon on windows, and on official websites).

      If you'd like to contribute to that, we should get in contact regarding ideas, background and other stuff.
      Just send a mail either to me ( or to the mailing list ( and we'll can get together somehow.

      (And yes, I agree with tron that a few websites

      • I'll send this right away, as I'm very serious. I'm not sure if stating this in chromatic's journal is a wholly acceptable way to throw my hat in the mix, but hey, it won't be the first time I make a faux-pax in my life :)

      • Given that we have a rather unique marketing chance with Rakudo I must agree that having nice artwork for it is really important.

        On the other hand I don't agree with being more important (because I use it mostly as a stopover).
        I consider PerlMonks next to as most important.

        • In that case what we also have is a problem whereby neither nor is a particularly good jump-off point for people new to the Perl community. As those are the two domains they're most likely to visit as their first online step into the world of Perl, that seems like something we should think about.

          Remember, our main problem re: 'perl is dead' is not what you or I think of the designs of these sites, nor the designs of the sites we use the most. It's what the people new to the ide

          Perl is Alive
    • Thanks for offering your help.

      The Padre Perl IDE [] needs both an icon for the project to be displayed on web and on the windows, linux and Mac executables.

      It also needs some improvement to its standard Trac gui, maybe even using the currently almost empty Perl IDE [] web site.

      If you can still take such project I'd be glad if you contacted us via IRC on #padre or on the padre-dev mailing list found on our web site.

  • I have written yaalr in perl. Mainly because of perl's exceptional text handling capabilities. Yaalr is a simple log reader that reads web logs, has only core dependencies, is GPL, and actively maintained. Available from SourceForge it is in the top ten percent of active projects, (keep in mind SF has > 150,000 projects.) I think that is kinda cool - do I get a book? Jeremiah
  • I also work with the debian perl team in debian. Debian uses perl for a variety of tasks under the hood as it were. And many tools, like aptitude for example, began their life as perl programs and later migrated to C++ or C for speed. But there are still tons of perl programs used by debian, some that maybe should make their way to CPAN. Take a look at our Package Entropy Tracker (PET) for example; [] This is a very valuable tool written by tincho in co-ordina
  • I try to perpetuate the culture and enrich the community that attracted me to Perl a little over 6 years ago and hasn't let go.

    I spend time working on other people's problems for no other reason than to help

    I have written a CPAN module

    I have written dozens of patches and emailed other authors about improvements to their code

    I have written an article published on

    I have answered thousands of questions on PerlMonks and an unknown number on IRC

    I have written a half a dozen tutorials on PerlMonks

    I have

    • I am not sure what else I would have time to be doing.

      A beginner's book might be nice, but I believe no one has the right to criticize you for how you spend your time. Certainly, you have no reason to feel guilty for not doing enough. Thank you.

      • A beginner's book for Perl? I didn't think there would be a market outside of "Learning Perl". Aren't there a ton of them? (Though most of them are astonishingly bad).

  • What I do to help the cause of Perl is I use it to write software that solves business problems. $dayjob makes a systems management platform, and Perl on Win32 is just the thing for maintenance tasks and statistical reporting: []
  • I'm giving the first keynote [] of the 2009 conference / workshop season to the Enlightened Perl Organisation [].
  • I haz a Sekrit... it might help a bit.

  • So what?

    I don't mean "Who cares?" I mean "What are you going to do about it?"

    Well, *I* mean "who cares?"

    From where I sit is just fine and Perl is doing OK too. If people disagree, they should already be doing something. If they aren't doing something they either don't think there's a problem or don't care enough to fix it.

    I think fishing for help is usually the wrong thing to do. If you have to work hard to get help to solve a problem then you're looking at the wrong problem.

    • Have you noticed how many people have trouble staying logged in?

      Have you noticed the complaints that journals no longer show up by default when you are not logged in?

      Both of these started with the upgrade. I reported both to you in email. I have seen multiple people complain about them. Neither has been addressed.

      I admit that I don't care enough to create and administer a replacement site. But I for one don't consider this state of affairs fine.

      • Have you noticed how many people have trouble staying logged in?

        No. I've only seen about two people complain about it, and neither has offered me any help in figuring it out.

        Have you noticed the complaints that journals no longer show up by default when you are not logged in?

        No, just you. And I don't think "no longer" is accurate, as I don't think it showed up at some other time either.

        Both of these started with the upgrade.

        "The" upgrade?

        I reported both to you in email.

        I have no record of you reporting trouble staying logged in.

        I have seen multiple people complain about them.

        I have not.

        Neither has been addressed.

        The former, I see nothing more than anecdotal evidence from two (now you, three) people, with no information helping me figure it out (despite some requests). I do not recognize any actual problem at t

        • Journals used to show up by default whether or not I was logged in before the server switch you described in []. Which is the upgrade that I was talking about.

          I might not have complained to you when the login problem happened. I first noticed it on Oct 22 as described at []. The problem seems to have mediated itself since, I only find myself expectedly logged out about once a week now. What information can I give on that that i

          • Journals used to show up by default whether or not I was logged in before the server switch you described in []. Which is the upgrade that I was talking about.

            Bizarre. The only reason it wouldn't show up is data, and the data didn't change, it was just carried over (and there were almost no code changes). I see no reason why this (or any update) would have changed this.

            I'm browsing along as normal. I click on someone's journal. I am no longer logged in. Everything I click on says tat I am logged out. I login. Problem gone for a while.

            Assuming you actually are not logged in: Does your IP address change, possibly, between clicks? What browser? If Firefox, any extensions that could be interfering?

            But don't think it is not real and not annoying.

            I don't; sorry if that's how you took it. I just don't at this point believe it is a widespread problem, or that the site is neces

            • And here we have an example of the stellar responsiveness we've come to expect.

              I don't know why the default changed last August, but it did. Your assumption that I was not logged in is bad, because I was on a page that was logged in, said my name and all, clicked a link and was logged out. Or, as happened to me 5 minutes ago, I clicked on a link in my email and landed at a logged out page when I had done the same an hour earlier and saw a logged in page. I have experienced this with Firefox 2 and no exte