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NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • One key difference between the Phalanx project and Corehackers is that a module usually has a single author or at most a small coterie of co-maintainers. So getting contributions accepted requires getting their attention and support and a busy/disinterested author can intentionally or unintentionally drop a contribution on the floor.

    On the other hand, the Perl 5 core has over 20 people with a commit bit, so the odds of getting someone's attention and support is higher. I still think it's advisable to disc

  • "... and improve their documentation."

    In other words, some group decided to take someone's module, rearrange its code, and write some documentation for it, all without adding any features. It's hardly surprising that the author was reluctant to incorporate the changes. If "core hackers" accomplishes anything, it will be because it writes code that solves actual problems.

  • One difference is that Perl is now in Git. To a small degree, you don't need a commit bit. Of course, nobody wants Perl to fork, but the work is less likely to languish if it's valuable. Plus, one gatekeeper (for CPAN a module) vs. a collaboration of gatekeepers (P5P) can make a difference.

    Someday I hope to see Perl development (whether Perl 5 or Perl 6) become more like the Linux kernel development. There, it's impossible for Linus to be expert on everything (but it is amazing how close he gets!) so he

    • I think the shared ownership is actually the key difference here. With modules, generally the original author retains an attachment to his code (unless they have so many modules that they can’t afford to care about any one of them in isolation, cf. Adam Kennedy). There is a resistance to accepting sweeping changes by an outsider.

      With a project like the perl core, this is much less of an issue. It’s not anyone’s personal baby.

  • "...without adding any features. It's hardly surprising that the author was reluctant to incorporate the changes."

    But providing new features was not the point of the Phalanx Project. The point was to make the existing code better, thereby laying the basis for the authors to better add new features in the future. And that was what the module authors signed off on before we began our work.

    The lesson I draw from that is that there has to be real buy-in on the part of the owners of code. That means that

  • I heard of it for the first time today, went to check out their irc channel and it's not even in use. If they're still alive, what's their main communication venue?
    • ...went to check out their irc channel and it's not even in use.

      I never knew we had an IRC channel! Our New York group -- which was probably the most active grouplet -- never used it.

      Of course, there is absolutely nothing preventing you from embarking on the type of software improvement we were aiming for in the Phalanx project.

      In the past few years, what I have done myself and have recommended others do as well is to identify CPAN distributions that look like they're not being actively maintained, c

      • Thanks for the quick answer. :) Well, there's two problems for me here. For one I live out in the boondocks, with the nearest PM group being Berlin, a full 300km away from me. For the other, I'm not exactly a people person, meaning that I'd rather spend time coding than trying to convince people to let me code for them. Thus I was hoping that there was actually some kind of online organization associated with that, especially since refactoring code is actually one of my favourite activities. Although, th
        • Ugh, apologies for the wall-of-text. Didn't know the software swallows linefeeds. (Was using basic mode.)
        • I live out in the boondocks, with the nearest PM group being Berlin, a full 300km away from me.

          Then make it a point to include something like the German Perl Workshop in your schedule. (I'm assuming that's Berlin, Germany, rather than, say, Berlin, New Hampshire.)

          For the other, I'm not exactly a people person, ...

          ... which describes most geeks. And which also explains why F2F opportunities ranging from local Perlmongers meetings to hackathons to workshops to YAPCs play such an important role in our community.

          Thus I was hoping that there was actually some kind of online organization associated with that, especially since refactoring code is actually one of my favourite activities.

          Well, if the Corehackers Project actually gets off the ground, that will fit the bill.

          But note that I learned about both the Phalanx Projec

  • That Phalanx story is very interesting on its own. The outcome is compatible the human nature and especially the nature of authors, but still the it is interesting to see how strong these sentiments can be. But I think we have to find a way to break it if we plan to move forward with CPAN and it's growing complexity. One idea about it is to use the growing competition between CPAN modules doing similar things. Sure programmers would be much more confident to use modules that have been so scrutinized - so