2009Q1 Grant Proposal: CPAN::Forum development


Gabor Szabo


[hidden email]

Amount Requested:

USD 3000


Lots of general improvements of CPAN::Forum.

Benefits to the Perl Community

CPAN::Forum has been around for several years now and it is linked from both major search engines but it is under utilized. Improving its interface will make it easier for users to ask questions regarding specific modules.

The whole idea of CPAN::Forum was to provide an alternative to setting up module specific mailing lists so with one registration one can participate in several sub-forums.

Improved tagging and exporting it to the search engines will allow users to find related modules easier than today. Allowing a simple rating of a modules (or integration with CPANRATINGS) along with a trust system will lead to a better way to select the right modules.


  • threaded view

  • enable javascript version of the tags view and tags editing for easy integration with other web sites so search.cpan.org and kobesearch.cpan.org or anyone else will be able to show the tags of a module and related tags.

  • enable marking modules as recommended or favorite

  • make markup easier to use

  • allow people to edit their posts after submission

  • allow module authors to identify themselves for extra administrative bits

  • allow people to "trust" a module author and to "trust" the opinion of another user to see which modules are recommended

  • Session information: remember logged in user

  • One-time notification of module author when the first post arrives to one of her modules.

  • Posting a message under more than one distribution

  • Exporting all the data (except of the personal information) to be reusable by anyone trying to improve CPAN searching tools.

The code is distributed under the "perl" license as CPAN::Forum. The service is is available at http://www.cpanforum.com/

Project Details

First the project directory have to be cleaned up. I'll have to add lots of unit-tests and make sure the service runs on mod_perl. It also has to be moved to a new server.

The release mechanism has to be fixed. So the web-site will always run released versions of the code.

The rest is "just a matter of coding".

Project Schedule

I plan to begin the project immediately and finish it within 3 months.


Gabor Szabo has been programming Perl since 1995 and teaching it since 2000. He has several modules on CPAN and has contributed to many other modules including ack. Gabor is the primary author and maintainer of CPAN::Forum.

See also http://szabgab.com/ http://www.cpanforum.com/ and http://svn1.hostlocal.com/cpan-forum/trunk/TODO


Cpanforum is a great idea, but unfortunately so far it didn't take off.

The proposed enhancements are an opportunity to gain more attendance. Will it be enough to win over the competition (Google groups, others...) ? Hard to tell, but I think it's worth the challenge.

A very coherent explanation.

Clear and undestandable.

Only a sugestion, why not use jQuery? instead of
javascript, is a beautifull languaje with too many plugins an easy access to ajax.

I agree.

I don't recommend it, maybe could be a good idea to make a post here in this blog, explaining what means the artistic licence 2.0, and why almost code we use has to be or BSD licence or The artistic licence (1.0 and 2.0).

We can use public domain too like "curses".

In an ideal world the users would all subscribe to our project mail lists and do what we want (or, what suits us authors best). But of course that's not going to be the case!

I get a mix of RT, CPAN Forum, and direct Email contact in support of my modules, and the key point is that I am *glad* for this. It means all users can choose the method they are most comfortable with. There are many users who are very familiar with forums (phpbb etc) and naturally gravitate to that. I wouldn't wish to reject those users.

Sometimes I bounce Forum or personal Email into RT, which is fine. But the Forum is important, and *desperately* needs some work to make the interface smoother for all to use.

I vote my support for this proposal. Just now I nearly threw my keyboard through the window in frustration, trying to respond to a user query on the CPAN Forum. Please accept this proposal!

I'm not trying to make a discution here (I don't like it).

Please read the artistic licence (1.0 or 2.0) and go backwards.

I propose to keep the project, order some things that are not well explained in the blog(licencing), and later I will agree for this project to be implemented.

Maybe I`m thinking in parrot, surely that is the reason.

If in perl community is the usual way of mix opensource with gpl like licences then I agree with this proyect.

About TPF

The Perl Foundation - supporting the Perl community since 2000. Find out more at www.perlfoundation.org.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Alberto Simões published on February 6, 2009 5:10 PM.

2009Q1 Grant Proposal: Perl debugger integration in Padre, the Perl IDE was the previous entry in this blog.

2009Q1 Grant Proposal: Codewalker is the next entry in this blog.

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