2009Q1 Grant Proposal: Improving learn.perl.org

| 8 Comments
Name:

Eric Wilhelm and Tina Connolly

Email:

[hidden email]

Amount Requested:

$2000

Synopsis

Revamp the learn.perl.org website to be more inviting to new users of Perl by creating a new series of articles which form a coherent and fun tutorial arc.

Benefits to the Perl Community

The learn.perl.org site should be a welcoming, fun, and educational experience for new users, complete with exciting projects and straightforward instructions to make it easier to get started enjoying Perl. This project will provide introductory material which allows users to quickly become productive with Perl and the CPAN.

The Perl community needs to provide fresh and interesting content to attract and keep new users. For example, http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/documentation/ is welcoming, approachable, and thorough.

Deliverables

Six new tutorials oriented at new users.

Website updated to focus on new users' needs.

Project Details

The project will include the following tasks:

Tutorials

Getting Started with Perl -- An engaging introduction that leads the beginning Perl user through the first basic steps of Perl.

Fun with control, structures, scoping, and subroutines. -- Deeper into the syntax and details.

Using and creating modules. -- How perl finds and loads modules.

An introduction to objects. -- Using, extending, and defining objects.

How Do I Set Up My Perl and CPAN? -- A how-to covering installation and configuration for Linux/Mac/Windows and hosted vs personal machine environments.

Your first GUI desktop application. -- A simple wxWidgets application.

Website Updates

A modified layout including propaganda, introductory text, the above-mentioned tutorials, and additional links.

The website updates and redesign will be initially hosted on a publicly visible staging site, then uploaded to learn.perl.org as it becomes complete. This will be coordinated with Robert and Ask to fit into the perl.org infrastructure (including use of combust and dealing with CSS as appropriate.)

Inch-stones

The first month would be spent on the first tutorial and planning the arc of the other five, and getting the website set up.

Each additional tutorial will take two weeks to develop.

The website updates will take approximately one week of effort, spread over the length of the project.

Project Schedule

The entire project would be complete in 3-4 calendar months. It could begin on March 1st.

Bio

Eric Wilhelm is an established CPAN author, president of the Portland Perl Mongers, an experienced Perl developer, and served as TPF's administrator for Google's Summer of Code in 2008.

Tina Connolly is a professional speculative fiction writer with a technical background, who has a new user's perspective on Perl.

8 Comments

I agree: learn.perl.org is hardly a disgrace, but it also not very enticing or skimmable. It would be nice to see something more attractive to casual visitors.

I think the website updates and making learn.perl.org more friendly and inviting are much more important than creating some new tutorials. So, I think I'd like to see some more time spent on the website. But otherwise this is good.

Yes, improving learn.perl.org would be great. Eric has a good track record in the Perl community, and I'd trust him to do a good job.

I can't add much to the existing comments (except to say that I'd welcome more and better tutorials), but +1 from me.

+1, I've discussed this several times with Eric and I feel very confident in his capabilities to deliver good content.

This is extremely important. I think the reason we hear so much "Perl is dead" talk, is because content is aged. All it takes for someone to look into another language is the publishing dates for the books and articles referenced by the community. Many of these are close to, if not already, ten years old. I think a lot of this content needs to be dusted off or replaced. New and frequent articles and discussions should be available to newcomers. Finally, all of this can be enhanced with a nice, modern presentation. Style and interface changes are certainly a good idea.

I should give reasons but "I agree".

This is an excellent idea. I'm very glad it got through :)

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This page contains a single entry by Alberto Simões published on February 6, 2009 5:28 PM.

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