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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • And if you are going to say something have the courage to put a name to your spite.

    I heckled him because he was wrong, so wrong that it wasn't possible for me not to. For all I know, this person is you. I wrote much of and keep the CPAN and search.cpan FAQs, I run the box, I keep it running, and we answer and address feedback as time and patience allow. When some guy starts bitching about how 'this page has no links' or 'this has no FAQ', etc. when that person hasn't sent email to said effect, he's lucky

    • I liked the part where the guy showed a page and said "why isn't there a FAQ link here?" and you pointed out the FAQ link right there on the slide.

      He was a tool. You were just culling the herd!

      • Just a slight disagreement with you here. I believe that this is the slide you were referring to:

        http://omor.com/perl/yapc2002l/8.html

        I thought that David Crawford was perfectly clear in his remarks that what he wanted was an FAQ about XML-RSS (the module that he used as an example). The FAQ link that Ms. Ashton referred to is a search.cpan FAQ, not specific to XML-RSS. His point was that it was difficult to figure out if XML-RSS would solve his problem -- not that it was difficult to figure out wh
        • And how, praythee, is either search.cpan.org or CPAN supposed to be offering a module-specific FAQ if there isn't any...? (If there are other doc files available, like for example HTML files at the top level of the module, search.cpan.org does list them, try for example distribution 'CGI.pm'.)

          Mr Crawford's talk was titled "CPAN is unusable". If his point really was to complain that XML::RSS should have an FAQ, that title is, ummm, oddly chosen. In any case, all this talk was to bumble around in the perceived user interface issues of search.cpan.org. search.cpan is not CPAN (just as CPAN.pm is not CPAN). As the (real) CPAN master librarian, I found his talk very baffling.

          Mr Crawford also complained that when he clicked the for the pod of the file, he got the pod (and not some links he was apparently expecting), quite shocking.

          He also compared the user interface of a site specific to and built expressly to the contents of a module (SOAP::Lite, I think), to search.cpan.org, which hosts a myriad of modules, and has to settle on a single interface.

          Mr Crawford complained about the lack of a "download" link. I can't help pointing out the link to "Latest Release"  .tar.gz at the very top of the page.

          Mr Crawford complained about the lack of "install" link. If he really meant a link "click here to install automatically", that's (a) hard to do (b) dangerous to do. If he meant a link for installation instructions, well, that's the FAQ link he failed to see, which does have large friendly pictures explaining the interface.

          We welcome feedback and criticism, when it's precise, well-thought-out, and constructive. Unfortunately I can't say that I found Mr Crawford's presentation to be any of these. If he tried to be funny, he failed. If he tried to be thorough, he failed. If he tried to suggest better ways of doing things, he failed. Overall, I found his tantrum to be rather poorly researched and rather painful to watch.

          Disclaimer: I'm multiply biased on this matter, of course.

          • Thanks for the note. Perhaps at this point I should distinguish two things that I may not have stated well:
            1. I don't think people should heckle others during presentations. Giving a presentation in front of 300 of your peers is stressful -- getting heckled increases the stress by an order of magnitude. Be polite to your fellow Perl-ites. Period. (Clearly Jarkko, this is not directed at you.)
            2. I think as a community we should be open to public critiques that say that CPAN (or other open source softw