January 2011 Archives

Dear Perl Community,

First of all, I would like to say sorry for the late warning. But I forgot to post here the news. As you all know, The Perl Foundation does not have any regular money income, other than donations. Although we have some relevant donations in the last years, the budget that the board assigned to the Grants Committee for this year does not make it possible to open the usual four quarters calls for grant proposals.

Therefore, the GC decided to skip the first quarter and, probably, the third quarter, of 2011.

In November, I wrote a progress report about work beginning on the Perl 6 Tablets grant. These tablets aim to offer both an in-depth tutorial and reference for Perl 6.

Herbert Breunung, the tablets' author, has done considerable work since then on the overall structure of this documentation as well as describing particular details of the Perl 6 language. The tablets have reached a stage where we welcome feedback from anyone interested in reading them.

Of course, much work remains, but Herbert has finished writing the introduction and language design tablets. The variables tablet and appendices for ops, built-ins and methods, cheat sheets and summary tables, best of Perl 6 and links near completion.

Other tablets contain roughly sketched details, particularly tablets 2 to 5. So, please take a look and leave feedback below. It doesn't matter how much or how little experience you have of Perl 6: please let us know what you think so far.

Parrot Embed Grant - Report #2

Jonathan Leto wrote:

I have slowly but surely been increasing test coverage of src/extend_vtable.c, which when I started my grant was at 5% and is now sitting at 43%. I estimated that it would take about two weeks to get it to 50% and then another two weeks to get to 95%, but this was a bit optimistic. When I look back, giving myself a month for each would have been appropriate.

I do believe that my development velocity has increased recently, because I wrote a convenience funciton called extend_vtable_output_is(), which greatly reduces the number of lines of code that each extend_vtable test requires. The function is basically a wrapper around already existing functions that automates the process of compiling C source code use the Parrot C API, but it removes the need for roughly 40 lines of boilerplate stuff, such as including the proper header files, defining convenience functions that do basic error checking and data structure creation.

The whole reason this subsystem is undertested is because no function like extend_vtable_output_is() existed. Now each of my extend_vtable tests is around 10 lines, instead of 50. I've only had the new function for about half the time of the grant, so tests are now getting written much faster.

I have added about 700 lines of lines of tests since this grant started (using the spiffy new extend_vtable_output_is() function), and that has caused a 38% increase in test coverage. With the power of mathematics, we can figure out that (.38)*N = 700, which means N = 700/.38 = ~1842, where N is the number of lines of tests needed to cover 100% of the file (roughly).

My new estimate for getting to 95% coverage of extend_vtable is one month from now, Feb 24th, and then another two months for the rest of the grant.

The reason I say two months is that I am actually trying to hit a moving target, and the code coverage of extend.c and embed.c have actually *gone down* since I started the grant. Currently extend.c is about 6% lower and embed.c is about 14% lower. This means my grant is actually getting harder to complete.

I also learned about a very useful yet undocument environment variable called POSTMORTEM which makes Parrot test functions leave various intermediate files around for debugging purposes if it is set to true, which greatly helps in developing these tests. I plan to add documentation about this to the Parrot developer documentation.

Given the new test function and the new coverage numbers, I estimate that I will be able to complete this grant by late April 2011.

Original article at dukeleto.pl .

Kartik Thakore reported:

  • Cleaner Code and a lot of memory and performance improvements ( SDL 2.527 released Jan 18th )
    • 10 out of 11 chapters completed: The profiling chapter was dropped as there was not enough content to justify a chapter.
    • 3 Extra chapters added.
  • Deviation from a CPAN SDL::Manual release. Due to the nature of the Manual it is being released as a creative commons book instead - https://github.com/PerlGameDev/SDLManual/blob/master/dist/SDLManual.pdf

Next Steps:

  • Get the book polished and edited with chromatic's help
  • Fix build system of the html to make a real SDL::Manual release
  • Constant update of the book with more releases of SDL and reviewer comments

Kartik Thakore reported:

  • Added content for several chapters:

    • Tetris Chapter:
      • Cleaned up the code
      • Started work on chapter
    • Music and Sound Chapter:
      • Added code and sound data files
    • Finished Chapter Code
    • Profiling Chapter
      • Start work
    • XS Effects Chapter:
      • Explain Inline::C usage with SDL
      • First draft completed
    • Additional Chapter to get art content
  • SDL

    • Supports Inline::XS
    • Preliminary SMPEG support
    • Memory Leaks narrowed down

Progress: 12/14 = 88% draft done

TPF has an open grant with Michael Schwern on Test::Builder 2 development. Today Schwern released the design principles on Test::Builder 2, and should release a second alpha version very soon.

Dave Mitchell writes:

As per my grant conditions, here is a report for the December period.

Tinkered a bit more with overloading and tieing.

Over the last month I have averaged 5 hours per week, mainly due to Christmas. Over the 43 weeks of the grant so far, I have done 548 hours, averaging 12.7 hours per week. There are 352 hours left on the grant.

Report for period 2010/12/01 to 2010/12/31 inclusive


Effort (HH::MM):

2:10 diagnosing bugs
14:15 fixing bugs
0:30 reviewing other people's bug fixes
0:00 reviewing ticket histories
6:20 review the ticket queue (triage)
23:15 Total

Numbers of tickets closed:

2 tickets closed that have been worked on
0 tickets closed related to bugs that have been fixed
1 tickets closed that were reviewed but not worked on (triage)
3 Total

Short Detail

3:10 [perl #71286] overload (2 bugs): fallback/nomethod failures with heterogeneous operands
4:00 [perl #75466] [PATCH] glob is inconsistent about <> overloading
5:50 [perl #77456] unexpected NV conversion in numeric comparison + overloading
0:45 [perl #77654] quotemeta() fails to quote literal non-word character under utf8
3:10 [perl #81230] With a -T switch: untie attempted while 1 inner references still exist
6:20 [TRIAGE]

The call for talks for Frozen Perl is just wrapping up (yesterday technically), but there is still a little time to get a late submission in if you hurry.

Frozen Perl is a three day event held at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis, MN. The main event is a one-day, two-track workshop on Saturday, February 5th.

There will be two Perl classes on Friday, February 4th. "Effective Perl Programming" will be taught by the keynote speaker brian d foy, and the other a class on Moose taught by Dave Rolsky.

There will also be a hackathon on Sunday, February 6th.

Registration is open until the day of the conference. We hope to see you there.

TPF Programs in 2010


Below is an overview of the programs that were financially supported by The Perl Foundation in 2010. Programs are roughly broken up into 3 categories: Events, Marketing, and Development.

Perl events

The Perl Foundation supported four conferences in 2010. Those conferences were: The North American Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC::NA), Frozen Perl, The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop, and The Perl Oasis. Each event is expected to be self-sustaining through program fees and donations. However, TPF did provide support to each event in the form of free services. Event organizers were able to pick and choose which services they needed:

  • Use of the donate.perlfoundation.org payment gateway for the various events to receive registration fees and sponsorship contributions. Each event received 100% of the amount contributed, any transaction fees were covered by TPF. In the course of a year this works out to over $2,500 in event sponsorship.
  • Event liability insurance, which is often required by event venues. The liability policy costs TPF over $1,000 to maintain per year.
  • Use of TPF as an established legal entity when required to enter into contracts with event venues and contractors. This freed event organizers from needing to spend time and expenses related to establishing their own organizations for each event.
  • Handling all disbursements to venues, caterers, contractors, speakers, etc.. All postage, wire transaction fees, and accounting expenses were covered by TPF, which cost over $500 in 2010.

In 2010, The Perl Foundation provided a $500 sponsorship of the Enlightened Perl Organization's "Send-a-newbie" program for YAPC::EU. TPF also provided a $500 sponsorship for YAPC::NA's "VIP party", an event targeted at first-time YAPC attendees.

Perl marketing

In 2010, The Perl Foundation provided $1,000 in free printed marketing materials distributed by volunteers staffing Perl advocacy booths at various non-Perl events through the year.

TPF also paid $1,600 to have professional content continuously written for the perl.com web site through the year.

In 2010, TPF spent $1,800 for trademark applications in Canada, Europe, and Japan. The Perl Foundation now holds trademarks on Perl in both the United States and Canada.

Perl development

The Perl Foundation maintained their associate membership with The Unicode Consortium in 2010 at an expense of $1,500. This membership enhances Perl developers' abilities to maintain support of Unicode within Perl. It also gives Perl a voice in contributing to the ongoing development of the Unicode Standard.

Through a development grant made possible by Ian Hague in 2008, TPF paid over $14,000 in grants for the further development of Perl 6 in 2010. At the end of this year, there is $27,000 remaining unallocated in the Perl 6 development portion of the Hague grant. Grants completed this year included:

  • Jonathan Worthington's "Rakudo Signature Improvements"
  • Solomon Foster's "Numeric and Real Support"
  • Travel support for Patrick Michaud to speak about Rakudo and recruit volunteers at conferences.

TPF was awarded a $50,000 grant from Booking.com for "further development and
maintenance of the Perl programming language". TPF has used $25,800 of those funds in the form of monthly payments to David Mitchell for his grant "Fixing Perl5 Core Bugs." This grant will be continued into 2011.

The grants committee paid over $6,000 in grants from community contributions. The following grants were completed in 2010:

  • Ricardo Signes' "Archive::Zip bugs" and "Improve Dist::Zilla's Tests, Documentation, and Structure"
  • Vadim Konovalov's "Perl Cross-Compilation for WinCE and Linux" and "Tcl/Tk Access in Rakudo"
  • Curtis Jewell's "Corporate, Embedded, and Multi-user Perl on Windows"
  • Gerard Goossen's "Changing the Perl 5 optree build process into a Abstract Syntax Tree generation and a code generation step"
  • Leon Timmermans' "Embeding Perl into C++ Applications"
  • Sebastian Riedel's "The Mojo Documentation Project"
  • Kieren Diment's "The Perl Survey"
  • José Castro and Bruno Martins' "Perlbal documentation"

In 2010, The Perl Foundation in cooperation with The Parrot Foundation sponsored 10 projects in The Google Summer of Code. TPF provided over $1,600 in support for this program, which will eventually be recovered back from Google.

Looking ahead to 2011

In 2011, we expect our areas of support to remain roughly the same. We remain committed to supporting Perl events, marketing, and development.

How you can help

Improved fundraising is a requirement to maintain the strong support of Perl provided by The Perl Foundation in 2011. If you find value in the work that is being support by TPF, please consider making a donation. To contribute, please visit https://donate.perlfoundation.org

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 January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

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