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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I'd like an RSS feed (or whatnot) that keeps me up to date on changes to modules on my watchlist (likely, modules I have installed or I have as a prerequisite to my releases), so a machine parser for Changes files is something I'm interested in. I'm definitively in the "free format text file" camp. I'm not really against POD, but I'm against human-unreadable formats like RDF, because IMO the Changes file is still mostly for humans to consume and mostly written by humans too. At least my releases "should" be

  • I'd also like a machine-readable Changes file.

    There's been talk [perl.org] about a Changes.yml, or maybe Changes (which has no defined format anyway) could be in YAML itself.

    The obvious question is which YAML schema to use.

    • Thanks for the link ... I saw this article but totally forgot about it.

      Well, even though machine readable Changes file is definitely a good step, it still won't fix this exact problem, since even if you use YAML as a format, the content of the changes file (discussed in the link) is still a free text.
  • Aaron's use of RDF/N3 that you linked to is fascinating. He's integrated Dublin Core [dublincore.org] terms with DOAP [usefulinc.com] plus a "changefile" vocabulary of his own invention (although the schema for it seems yet to be written).

    The use of RDF as a change format has numerous benefits. A large amount of work has already put into constructing metadata vocabularies in it, which saves us from reinventing a big wheel with some crufty format based on YAML (as acme pointed out [perl.org], YAML is a failed format). RDF is also expressable in diff

    • I agree that it's a great format, but for most people it's painful to write.

      I'm also interested in the way microformats solve the RFC pain in XHTML, so that they use a rough standard in CSS class names or link@rel etc. so that we can automatically translate these XHTML into RDF later. Can we take a similar approach to that?
  • If this ever comes true, I would also like to see requirement changes in this file, e.g. whether the distribution has a new dependency on another module, or whether the minimum perl requirement increases.
    • Yeah, but isn't it something we can programatically generate based on META.yml changes?
      • Yes, you're right. Unless the author forgot to put the requirement into the META.yml at time. And changing an existing distribution is not possible.
        • s/META.yml/Makefile.PL/ maybe, because META.yml is (and can be re-) generated from Makefile.PL REQUIRES parameters.
  • I've written a prototype - something as a discussion basis. Module-Changes should find its way to a CPAN mirror. Soon. I've also written a journal entry [perl.org] about it.