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missingthepoint (9296)

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Monday July 27, 2009
08:33 PM

A Commitment to Perl

[ #39359 ]

"Hacker culture is a gift culture", or so quoth ESR. (And I'm probably paraphrasing.)

Also, competence matters (ibid).

Those memes in your mind, let me present you a conundrum: how does one gift the culture when less-than-competent?

I am talking about myself. Yes, I openly admit to being less-than-competent. I simply can't run with most of those in #perl6, and many other places.

But I would like to "gift the culture" nevertheless. As I've hinted, I'd specifically like to contribute to Perl 6. I believe in it.

So here is my plan. I hereby donate 20 hours of each week to Perl 6. And I would like some leaders in teh Perl 6 community to direct how that is spent, particularly right now, initially.

"Direct" can be simple (saying "learn PIR" for instance, and sending me on my way).

It can be complex ("Ben, jnthn is refactoring some PGE stuff, and doesn't have time to do X today. Can you spend some hours seeing if Y is feasible?").

I would like to give the main Perl 6 people exactly what they want. As best I divine, that's "contributors". I have one.

Perl 6 people: you are being given a little helper, to task, to put to use (not "use") as you see fit. Put him to use wisely.

Meta: this is an interesting sociological experiment. I'm giving you time, and as much say over that time as you desire.

What will happen? Hopefully, Perl 6 will benefit. Perhaps, I'll just be considered a nutjob. Both possibilities hold a certain appeal for me, the former slightly more so. :)

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  • "Hacker culture" is actually "swollen ego culture." Fortunately, membership depends on self-reported competence rather than actual competence, so your actual skill doesn't matter [].
  • The first two helpful items that come to mind are:

    1) Identify under-tested areas of the specifications and add tests for them.
    2) Identify significant CPAN modules and start implementing them.

    Please note that the 'identify' steps are important on their own.  It could certainly be helpful to have a wiki page about those (If there isn't already one).

    I certainly don't have significant seniority in Perl 6, but I remember flailing around looking for tasks when I first started contributing, so you certainly h
  • Often newbies are shunted off into the boring areas of documentation or testing, they get (as expected) bored, and they leave.

    But one interesting and exciting area you might be able to help with is on Padre's Perl 6 support.

    The Padre community is extremely welcoming to beginners. There's lots of stuff to do in whatever area you are interested in, and we encouraging even the newest of newbies to just get in there and change the code. We prefer forward progress that gets cleaned up later to having people sit

    • What I think is really needed for the Perl 6 support of Padre is someone who will start using it to learn Perl 6 and the technologies around it and start asking for help and dream up ways s/he could get that help from the IDE.

      Then someone can go in an implement that in the IDE or relay the need to the Perl 6, Rakudo or Parrot developers. (e.g. an easy way to index the documentation by adding X<> tags or by adding a library of examples that can be installed along the IDE and used)

    • What is the plan (if any) wrt machine readable Perl6?

      Would syntax highlighting be done with regexes and duct tape, or are there some kind of introspection available/planned for IDEs?

      I can only remember reading a few years ago that there was an idea to let Perl parse source and emit structural information suitable for syntax highlighting, navigation and so on, but I haven't heard anything in this area since.

  • First of all I noticed that you started to improve [] which is a nice first step.

    Then I'd like to point you to the test suite, particularly to the file t/spec/TODO. It contains various tasks in the test suite; attacking any of them would be of great help.

    If you have questions, feel absolutely free to ask on #perl6, usually somebody can answer, or highlight me, and I'll backlog and try to answer anything related to tests.

    And don't feel bad if you can't follow most discussions in #perl