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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • This woke me up, just as it was nap time.

    Reading computer language development as an evolutionary issue is interesting.

    I think although the analogy of a business (Sun) and a computer language (perl) is an okay, even good, analogy, a business organization has more in common with a biological organism than a language, and a language has more in common with a religion than a business.

    Although running a business requires winning hearts and minds and using the language involves programmers tapping at keyboards,
    • Interesting thoughts, all.

      I'm interested in the statement that is perl not a contender in Web-2.0. I thought there was lots of CPAN stuff that could be considered Web-2.0

      If they knew about it.

      Here's a soul crushing exercise. Go to your favorite popular web 2.0 style search site, Digg [] or Technorati [] or [] and type in "Perl". Look at the garbage that comes back.

      And if it were easy to install.

      Jifty and Catalyst are both awesome web frameworks able to go toe to toe with anything out there. But installing them, or more importantly their dependencies, is not a simple operation. I tried to install Plagger the other day and after the CPAN shell finished with a gianormous list of dependencies and sub dependencies I was left with 3 critical modules failing and no Plagger. No matter what the reasoning is for installation working that way, I'm still left without working software. Now *I* know to diagnose and fix it, but Joe User isn't or just won't have the patience. Hell, even I'm going to use Planet instead written in *gasp* Python!

      Finally, CPAN stuff is pieces. People want applications and that's where we fall down. Hard. When you think of free blogging software you think... Wordpress comes to mind, written in PHP. What's the great, free Perl blogging software? Hmm. (Yes, I know, Movable Type will eventually be mostly open source but its not now).

      When you think of wikis you think... MediaWiki, written in PHP. What does Perl have that's on par? Kwiki? Socialtext? Not nearly.

      As an interesting exercise, install MediaWiki. Observe how easy it is and how it walks you through the configuration process with a web page. Then try installing SocialText or Kwiki and all the plugins necessary to bring it up to something like MediaWiki's feature set.

      Or maybe Trac vs RT. I'm guessing about Trac being easier than RT mostly because RT is so damn hard to install and configure.

      Wordpress vs... well, I don't know what. Just try installing Wordpress and marvel.

      PHP provides complete Web 2.0 applications which are easy to install out of the box. That's what Perl used to be for the Web 1.0. We've lost that, big time.
      • I have not seen any talk in the P6 circles about "easier to install". Is that problem being dealt with as well?
        • Not to my knowledge. Parrot has a couple of features to bundle up everything into a single PBC file, and it looks like we can avoid having to require everyone to recompile their own bindings to shared libraries, but there's more to distribution and installation than having a single big blob of code.

        • Not at all, but I think it’s an orthogonal issue. Ease of installation is a toolchain problem; Perl 6 is a language, not a toolchain. However, I agree that it needs to have a toolchain that’s good enough. There has been some grunting that “we’ll make that work”, but no concrete design has happened.

          Personally, I think that’s just as well, since the Perl 5 toolchain is suboptimal anyway, and anything we do for Perl 5 will be roughly applicable to Perl 6 as well, particula

          • For now I think we urgently need to fix the Perl 5 toolchain.

            Yep, that's the idea. Fix Perl 5 and Perl 6 will follow. Worked for testing.
          • And what exactly is not "up-to-snuff" about Module::Build? (Other than compatibility problems if you try to run it in 1999.)
            • Most importantly the circular dependency issue: AFAIK we don’t have the tooling in place yet by which the CPAN client could upgrade Module::Build before running Build.PL, when a newer version is necessary.

              I also remember reading mentions of other issues I’m only vaguely aware of anymore and couldn’t list. None of them sounded unfixable, most in fact benign. I think building XS modules with Module::Build needed more polish? My understanding was that more work was needed to make it really

              • It is not a circular dependency. Module::Build builds itself just fine.

                It *is* a configure-dependency issue. The cpan clients now (I think) handle configure_requires properly, so the next release of Module::Build should seal the deal.
      • Trac was very easy to get going for me. Python is no PHP though; I’m sure that if I had wanted to install it with better infrastructure than as a CGI, be it FastCGI or mod_python, it would have been a good deal harder. Regardless, it was easier than most Perl web apps. They could and should be on par with Trac in terms of installation difficulty.

        Movable Type is GPL’d, btw… why’s it not free? Am I missing something?

        • To go off topic a bit...

          It hasn't been relicensed yet to my knowledge. They're wibbling about it. [] "Before we released an open source version of Movable Type we wanted to engage with the community regarding its development and scope." What a complete waste of time and energy. What's to talk about, JUST RELEASE IT!

          Just you watch, they're going to write their own license. I can smell it.

          Let me make some sweeping generalizations...

          Commercial software dumped onto the open source world acts very differently
          • Movable Type 4's admin interface has had a complete overhaul and is rather lovely now. MT has a shed load of plugins too. Themes however, yes, Wordpress wins on number of themes by a mile.
      • I'm interested in the statement that is perl not a contender in Web-2.0. I thought there was lots of CPAN stuff that could be considered Web-2.0

        How about OpenGuides []? I haven't seen a *single* other wiki with structured metadata (based on Wiki::Toolkit from the CPAN) and a geo-locational focus. Hell even Tim Berners-Lee said it was cool (I can find the irclog somewhere I'm sure ...)

        But OpenGuides has the same publicity issues as the rest of Perl I suppose. A dozen or so people actively work in the com

        • I haven't seen a *single* other wiki with structured metadata

          Check out Freebase [] and their Metaweb Technology. Watch the first intro movie all the way through.

          But OpenGuides has the same publicity issues as the rest of Perl I suppose. A dozen or so people actively work in the community, probably a few hundred more in the world support their local guide. Simply nobody knows about it.

          Yep. "How to advertise your web project" is something to be figured out. Here's one way... try searching for it and simil

          • Check out Freebase and their Metaweb Technology. Watch the first intro movie all the way through.

            I'd forgotten about Freebase, OpenGuides pre-dates it by several years (I started my guide in early 2004, and I heard about the software in 2003 at YAPC::EU) and has been alone for so long I'll have to revise my rant now.

            Also it would be nice if the site mentioned Perl somewhere.

            Wow, I hadn't even noticed it wasn't in there. It is mentioned on [] but I'll see about gettin

            • Yep, the OpenGuides website needs an overhaul; first it needs to move to the same server as all our Trac stuff. I've sent mail to the person responsible for this, but I don't know when he'll get back to me and even when he does I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment. But thanks very much for pointing it out; we should definitely mention Perl on the front page.