Well, it's taken me 6 weeks of evenings and the odd weekend, but I'm proud to say the new http://www.perl.org/ site has just gone live.
This is a complete redesign and content review. Hopefully it's cleaner and easier for people to actually get the information they are after.
My work (http://www.foxtons.co.uk/) have donated some of my time, and also some of the designers on my team's time, without which it would have taken even longer.
I happened to note that if you pass a PDF through imagemagick's 'convert', convert it strips out the PDF Encrypted flag.
I needed to merge several PDF files into a single document, and using PDF::API2 this is really easy. This was until I found that someone had accidentally set the PDF Encrypted on some of the files when they were generated.
pdfinfo is the natty little tool which told me they were encrypted. Then convert sorted the problem out for me.
PDF can be very picky and quite a few generators actually get it wrong, I've seen one file which when printed through windows corrupted some of the very small text, but when sent via CUPs actually crashed the printer (so windoz was somehow correcting, reminded me of bad HTML and browsers 'correcting').
It was eventually tracked down to the pdf2ps part, which did give warnings, once they were fixed (upgrading Cario and switching to pnm images) printing from either windoz or CUPs was fine.
Having said that I no longer fear having to generate something as a PDF and actually would go so far as to enjoy using them.
So lots of property sites have RSS - I bet they don't have Podcasts
Thanks to Leon and some Text to Speach and a bit of Perl we now have mp3 audio of our property descriptions.
My wife works for a big medical company as project manager; so she deals with their inhouse developers a lot and my work often comes up in conversation. She is always told "Perl is crap", "It's only for hackers", "Perl is hard to read", "Perl is used so you have job security" (as no one else can userstand it).
Now I imagin most of these developers have never seen much/any decent Perl / heard of CPAN or realise that you can do automatic tests so easily.
So where do I tell my wife to point them to so they can see the light? - I'm not trying to convert them (though that would be nice), but I also want to be able to arm my wife (figuratively) with a response.
I've said the first thing she should mention is that the World Health Organisatoin used Perl for it's CRM system; Amazon, BBC and Yahoo all use lots of Perl, and there are success stories out there.
What I'm after is a decent reprisal to all of their points - the main answer is you can shoot your self in the foot with any language if you do not write it well/document/test. Java and XML are NOT the solutions to every problem - I can do rappid clean development with Perl, but they're problably not going to take my word for it.
In response to Dave's post about there being too many modules on CPAN that do the same thing, but no clear reason why a newbie to Perl would use one over the other; and my personal annoyance at some of the pointless perl modules (where Authors haven't looked at existing modules). I am proud to announce http://perl.cuckoo.org/ - The ultimate Perl module list.
If you are looking for a module, you should look at this site first, only then should you check CPAN.
I did consider trying to use Kwality ratings etc, but at the end of the day I think it's about the modules that you use in day to day life that matters.
So, enjoy - I'll update it from time to time, I may even add tags and other external URLs, but the main point it there is now a single place where I can point people who are starting out in Perl and let them know the basic modules they should be aware of.