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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Gabor is a great guy doing a lot of good work, and the following comments are not directed solely at him. I've run into the same problem with several people.

    There was a long discussion about this general problem at one of the Frozen Perl dinners. Many people try to solve it with "Can't you just..." guesses and suggestions about the distribution of the grant money and the accounting for it. They all fail to realize that no one cares about the money, and the money doesn't motivate anyome. Indeed, the money is often a de-motivator turning a fun project into dreary work.

    As Gabor points out, he's really looking for official blessing, and that's the worst thing to have come out of the idea of grants. The idea that we need anyone's approval or permission to do anything is a self-imposed obstacle to success.

    TPF isn't really anything official. It doesn't get to decide what happens in Perl, what features get into Perl 5 or Perl 6, who works on what or when they work on it, and so on. Even if TPF did try to be involved like that, no one would listen to them. The developers would just do what they wanted to do anyway. That TPF sometimes presents itself as this to those outside the world of Perl is sometimes unfortunate because it reaches back into the Perl community in the wrong ways.

    This isn't a problem with TPF or the people who work for TPF though. It's not going to work for any Perl organization where the people running the organization are different from the people doing the technical work. The problem is people thinking that any organization should be the arbiter of "official" in Perl land. It's sad that the same people who usually complain about bureaucracy and marketing stupidity try to recreate it when they think it suits them.

    Instead of looking to TPF for approval, get the approval of your userbase. That's the thing that really matters.