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Recommendations for The Perl Foundation

Posted in Sun, 27 Aug 2006 02:28:00 GMT

Bill Odom, President of The Perl Foundation, recently posted a blog entry called TPF RFC. My comment to that blog entry wasn't approved for some reason so I figured I'd post some easy-to-accomplish recommendations here.

  • Community events calendar: Perl should adopt something like's events calendar sidebar for the and sites. There is a lot of activity in the Perl community including YAPC conferences, Perl Monger user group meetings (often monthly), Perl Hackathons (Chicago Perl Hackathon is upcoming) and other events such as the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop (also upcoming). Right now, there's no central place to find a list of these events. Having a calendar on the and homepages will highlight the activity level of and events happening in the Perl community.
  • Use Perl-based software for TPF sites: The Planet Perl, Planet Perl Six and Planet Parrot websites run by TPF use the Python-based Planet (aka PlanetPlanet) Atom/RSS aggregator software and say "powered by python" and/or "powered by planetplanet." While it's nice to use FOSS, Plagger is a perfectly fine Perl-based Atom/RSS aggregator. In fact, Plagger has a much nicer and more extensible architecture than Planet. TPF should support Perl by running software written in Perl.

I'm not sure how good TPF is at communicating with the community but the impression I've gotten is that they don't communicate very well. I think it would be nice if:

  • TPF talked about future plans, like open source projects do
  • TPF officers responded to emails
  • TPF blog allowed unmoderated comments or had a more liberal filter. There are very few comments on the blog so I'm guessing that many are not approved. Either that or the moderation has discouraged people from commenting. I would normally expect more comments on something like TPF blog.
  • there was a TPF IRC channel that can be attended by community at large, say #tpf at irc.perl.or

Just a few observations. In any event, I'd love to see an events calendar on the and sites as well as TPF sites actually using Perl. Better communication would be a bonus. for The Perl Foundation digg:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation reddit:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation spurl:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation wists:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation simpy:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation newsvine:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation blinklist:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation furl:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation fark:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation blogmarks:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation Y!:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation smarking:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation magnolia:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation segnalo:Recommendations for The Perl Foundation



  1. nothingmuch said about 11 hours later:

    I would add to this that e.g. Audrey’s blog is not Audrey’s blog per se – it’s the pugs blog and it has many posters. The planet perl6 aggregation wrongly attributes the posts.

  2. John Wang said about 14 hours later:

    Good point. For multi-user blogs, the planet software should be smart enough to figure out who individual authors are as specified in the feed’s <dc:creator> tags. Planet Catalyst does this by attributing articles to ”$username @ $blogname” for multi-user feeds, e.g. “Christopher H. Laco @ Handel Framework”.

  3. Chris said 1 day later:

    Hey, don’t drag me into this. I get into enough trouble on my own apparently. :-)

  4. Andy Lester, PR guy for TPF said 2 days later:

    I’m sorry your comment didn’t get approved. I went back through the junk folder (311 junk comments) and found yours and one from Adam Kennedy in there. I approved them both.

    If this is a problem again, please email me directly at andy at

    And thanks for the comments!

  5. Andy Lester, PR guy for TPF said 2 days later:

    For those following at home, here’s the blog entry in question:

  6. Ask Bjørn Hansen said 2 days later:

    John: I don’t know if any comments to the TPF blog that haven’t been posted. Comments are manually approved so it won’t end up as a big spam-fest. For using Perl based software: So far planetplanet has served our needs well; I don’t see why we should change just to change. Maybe if/when Plagger has a feature we need that’s easier to use than in the planetplanet software it’ll make sense.

    nothingmuch: There’s “site information and contacts” link on the Planet Perl site; suggestions for improving the sites are much more likely to be heard if you use that rather than post on a random-ish weblog.

  7. Bill Odom said 2 days later:

    Andy and Ask beat me to addressing the MT Junk Comments issue, so I’ll just add that we’re working on the best way to make the spam filters smarter, or at least a little less aggressive.

    Thanks for the feedback, and for jumping through the extra hoops to let people see it.

  8. John Wang said 2 days later:

    Re: Spam – Sorry to hear TPF blog gets so much spam; 311 spam comments is pretty bad. This blog was getting a growing amount of spam but Typo 4.x has a number of spam blocking features that automatically eliminates 99+% of the problem. I’m not sure what MT has but hopefully there’s a good solution that doesn’t require too much manual intervention.

    Re: Planet Sites – While PlanetPlanet and Plagger both work from an operations perspective, I think there is a marketing advantage to promote Perl-based software for TPF. RSS/Atom aggregators are run by people who have all sorts of language backgrounds so Plagger would be a good way to expose people to modern, OO, pluggable Perl programming. I believe getting more exposure for Perl is one TPF’s goals and migrating the planet sites to Plagger would help accomplish that. IMO, this is especially important since Perl has essentially lost the forum space to PHP and many Perl CGI scripts non-Perl people use are written in the style from the early days of the Internet.

  9. Olivier Mengué said 12 days later:

    The Plagger website is powered by Trac, a Python app ;)

  10. John Wang said 12 days later:

    The difference is The Perl Foundation’s charter is to promote Perl. The Plagger website isn’t a TPF site and it’s not running on I think the main issue with is just time and effort. But if they try it out, I think they’ll find Plagger is really quite easy. Miyagawa has also set up a test Planet Perl on Plagger subscribing to the same feeds as an example.

    Promoting Plagger and getting people to use it fits TPF’s charter because it exposes people to modern Perl programming and architecture techniques. The architecture for the Python-based Planet isn’t very good (should be reworked) so it’s not good for learning how to build Python apps IMO (if TPF’s charter was to promote Python usage).

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