I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.
I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.
Rate a CPAN module today!
One of the tough challenges facing someone new to Perl, or even someone who has been using it for years, is navigating the huge number of modules available via the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN). CPAN is very comprehensive, with the little stats in the corner listing 6,500+ authors, 15,000+ distributions, and 55,000+ modules. That's a lot of code.
Unfortunately, being faced with so many options can be daunting. The search.cpan.org interface tries to show the most relevant results first, and seems to pay a good amount of attention to CPAN Ratings, and rightly so. In order for a module to be rated, someone has to get themselves a bitcard account (usually meaning they're a CPAN author themselves), use the module, and have the time and passion to write a review. This means that when such reviews do come in, they're highly relevant.
Unfortunately, not very many modules have been given reviews, and often those reviews are given to modules that already have a substantial number already, like DBI. Yet it's the modules that don't occur commonly in literature that need the reviews the most.
So, dear reader, today I wish to give you a quest. Go to CPAN Ratings, search for a module you use, and if it doesn't have a review, write one. That's it, just a single review. I don't care if you love the module or hate it, just let the world know how you feel. It can be a single sentence if you like. Heck, you can even critique one of my modules if you want. Just write a review.
If you don't know where to start, go to a piece of code you've worked on, or the tests for that code, and just look at the use lines. Trust me, you'll find something you care about. It may even be something that was so simple and easy to use that you had forgotten all about it.
Finally, if you're itching to start a new project, and need an idea, turn CPAN Ratings into a game, the same way it was done with the CPAN Testing Service and Kwalitee, or PerlMonks and their XP system. New reviews on a module give you +2 points, reviews on a module that already has reviews give you +1 point, each person who found your review useful gives you +1 point, and each person who didn't find your review useful gives you -1 point.