October 2009 Archives

It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce, on behalf of Ricardo Signes, that the TPF-funded work on Pod::Elemental and Pod::Weaver is complete! Here's his final report:

Just a few days after predicting that the months-old grant was half done, it became quite clear that the first half was much, much more difficult than the second.

The initial grant proposal listed the following targets:

  • clearly defined and test Document and Nester classes
  • Dist::Zilla plugins to allow easy use of Pod::Weaver with Dist::Zilla
  • "allow" and "accordion" Pod weavers
  • a configuration loading system
  • dialects to allow things like embedded WikiDoc sections

As of today, all of these goals have been met. The design of the system changed significantly from the time of the initial grant proposal, but it can do everything that was promised and more, and has proven very easy (in my experience) to build with and customize. There are many obvious improvements that can be made, and these will happen naturally now that the system is written and usable.

I have posted a simple overview of Pod::Weaver's behavior to give a basic idea of what the system can do out of the box.

I'd like to thank the Perl Foundation for their sponsorship of my work, which would have remained very easy to put off without the added incentives of pride and remuneration. I'd also like to thank my grant manager, Ricardo, who was at my side through the whole project.

You can find the products delivered or substantially improved as part of this grant below:

Eric sent me this update:

I've sent a handful of changes to Robert (one of which got applied) and
have been asked not to change the page style as apparently there's some
other initiative going on.

The perl-org-patches list has generated some conflicting changes for the
new /tutorials/ page as well as the index.html and I'm trying to
resolve that content. The learnperl.scratchcomputing.com front page has
a sketch of where I'm wanting the front page content to go, but I'm
waiting on feedback.


After a strong start, work on Pod::Elemental and Pod::Weaver was quickly derailed by conference season, and then by a few non-technical distractions. I've gotten back to work, though, and quite a lot of progress has been made. The second major goal, "extensive tests for Pod::Elemental," is basically complete. Pod::Elemental is fairly well defined, documented, and tested, and can now be used to perform significant document mangling. The "PodPurler" for Dist::Zilla has been rewritten to use Pod::Elemental. As PodPurler is a "lite" version of Pod::Weaver, this is a good marker on the way to a working Pod::Weaver.

The next steps include writing the basic framework for Pod::Weaver, then a few proof-of-concept plugins, and then the plugins required for grant completion. I estimate that the project is about half done, in total.

Now that I've joined the Board of Directors for the Perl Foundation, my first action was to propose a marketing committee be set up and the board approved the proposal. It's an ambitious goal, but a useful one. In the past, we've merely had a single PR person such as Andy Lester or Joshua McAdams. The problem with this approach is that there is simply too much for them to do by themselves. The new committee is designed to break their roles down into various responsibilities, each of which has a clear, single goal. Those roles on the committee are as follows:

  1. Blogmaster
  2. Site design
  3. Market research
  4. Press releases
  5. News articles
  6. Social networking

Dan Magnuszewski is the new chair for this committee. His responsibility is primarily to summarize the actions of those on the committee and to sometimes nudge them if we need more work in this area.

There's also to be a "deputy" chair who has Dan's role and can step in if Dan is away or needs a holiday.

The roles of the various people on the committee are also lightweight. They mainly need to find people to do work in the various areas and to sometimes nudge them to do their work.

The committee and the various roles are designed to be highly autonomous on the theory that it's better that we push to get work done rather than have a heavyweight voting on each and every action. The committee is also set up with some structural issues in TPF. Currently, it's very stressful for some people because they can never delegate their responsibilities and they often have too much to do (it's very hard for a distributed volunteer organization to coordinate things).

We'll probably need to adjust the various roles in the future and further tweak things to see what does and does not work, but we're already getting a number of "behind the scenes" things done. Hopefully, great things will come out of this and we'll keep you posted on the updates.

Grant Update: The Perl Survey

Kieren Diment reports that the Perl Survey is ready for deployment. He's been hardening the application against abuse by bots, simplifying the original set of demographic questions, and writing new survey questions.

Kieren hopes to be freer from distraction as work continues through the end of the year.

This year's Google Summer of Code has ended. We would like to thank Jonathan Leto, the mentors, and the students for all their hard work.

Jonathan has written an excellent summary of the project, Perls of Wisdom: The Perl Foundation & Parrot's Google Summer of Code, and the code is also available.

We hope to participate in this project again next year and if you are interested in working with us please join our IRC channel, #soc-help on irc.perl.org, and the mailing list.

About TPF

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

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2009 is the previous archive.

November 2009 is the next archive.

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