It seems the Chicago hackathon organized by Andy Lester and Pete Krawczyk and sponsored by the Perl Foundation has sparked some interest from other groups. We (TPF) think these events are a great way to support Perl, use your donations effectively, and keep things rolling on various active projects. Now we need some ideas on how we should keep things going.
I think hackathons will largely be regional events. This is different from conferences since people often travel long distances for conferences (although some traveled quite a distance for the Chicago hackathon). Given this regional nature, we'll want to make sure the organizers can get a committer on a major project to attend and drive a primary effort. What are these major projects? I think we can start with:
- perl 5 development;
- perl 6 development (including Parrot);
- major testing writing events?;
- converting core perl 5 modules to perl 6?
Part of our job is to use donated TPF funds wisely, so if we're going to sponsor these events we need to make sure we have clear results. Starting with the items above will help.
We'd also like to see additional sponsorship of these events, if possible. The major focus of the hackathon might even be sponsor-driven.
Once we have a central project to work on, we can continue to have anyone and everyone show up to work on other projects as well.
What are your thoughts? Are you waiting for a hackathon near you? Is this a good use of TPF funds? What sorts of results do you want to see from them?