As TPF Conferences Chair, I try to help eager, excited organizers put together a YAPC. Ever since I ran YAPC in Buffalo in 2004, I've wanted to put together something called Conference::Toolkit that would solve all of the YAPC web-site needs. Well, given my TPF duties, I honestly don't have the time to do this right.
And I want it done right. I want to put together the best conference management toolkit available.
"What about ACT?" you might be saying.
Well, I have checked that out, and it's a promising start. But it's not quite there for a few reasons:
- It's not on CPAN, so people can't modify it or host their own version.
- It doesn't currently work with the TPF donation system. (We can work on fixing this.)
What I'd really like to see is something that:
- Is on CPAN, so anyone can grab it. This allows people to host on their own if they want, people can contribute and, perhaps most of all, other people running a conference can use it. I want everyone running a conference to be able to use Conference::Toolkit.
- Is also offered in a hosted mode, like ACT is now, so I can point YAPC organizers to it and get them set up quickly. When you coordinate a YAPC, believe me, there are more important things to be doing than messing around with the web site. But that's what we do because we're techies and it's the most attractive to-do item on the list.
- Is written using one of the Perl frameworks so new people can pick it up easy. I'm thinking Catalyst? or CGI::Prototype? or...?
One path would be to start Conference::Toolkit as a Catalyst project, get it on CPAN, and integrate all the great work already done by the ACT coders. If we make it sufficiently pluggable, we can allow different payment systems, different scheduling systems, etc.
But as I said, I can't do it by myself. I can help with design, review, project management, cat herding, and even a patch or two.
I'm working on contact info for the ACT folks (Eric Cholet and Philippe Bruhat, according to the web site). If someone from the ACT team sees this, do you have any interest in taking the project in this direction? Is there another direction we can go?