2012Q3 Grant Proposal: Improve WriteAt suite by exporting books to pdf and epub formats


Aliaksandr Zahatski



Amount Requested:



WriteAt http://search.cpan.org/perldoc - suite for making books and maintaining docs in pod6 format. It is built on top of the Perl6::Pod implementation of Synopsis26.

Currently WriteAt supports exporting books from pod6 to HTML format. This grant will allow me to add the export feature to pdf and epub formats.

Benefits for the Perl Community

The tools developed as a part of this project could be used to write books and technical documents in pod6 as welll as to make them available for reading on most common devices, easy publishing online and printing.


Project Details

The WriteAt is a free open source suite for book writers. It helps making and preparing books for publishing and printing. WriteAt uses pod6 as markup language.

"Compared to POD, Perl 6's Pod is much more uniform, somewhat more compact, and considerably more expressive." (S26)

The typical WriteAt book template looks like this:

  =TITLE MyBook
  =SUBTITLE My first free book
  =AUTHOR Alex Green
  =DESCRIPTION  Short description of the book
  =begin CHANGES
  Aug 18th 2010(v0.2)[zag]   preface
  May 27th 2010(v0.1)[zag]   Initial version
  =end CHANGES
  =CHAPTER Intro
  D<Pod> is an easy-to-use markup language with a simple, consistent
  object model underlying the document. Pod can be used for writing language
  documentation, documenting programs and modules, as well as for
  other types of document composition.

As you see it is simple. Because pod6 is extendable, it is possible to split big files into parts:

 =Include src/preface.pod6
 =Include src/basics.pod6

or insert images:

    =Image berries.png

A real book sample, a free book "Everything about Perl 6", can be downloaded from https://github.com/zag/ru-perl6-book.

The current version of WriteAt is 0.02. It supports exporting pod6 books to HTML. WriteAt is located at https://github.com/zag/writeat and the CPAN distribution is avalable from here: http://search.cpan.org/perldoc, also avalable at launchpad.net : https://launchpad.net/~zahatski/+archive/ppa.


Project Schedule

Working on this grant could start as early as the August 2012, and will take 2 to 3 months to complete. All the resulting source will be added to public repositories.

Completeness Criteria


I am a software developer with ten year experience, specializing in collaborative filtering, social data mining and e-commerce environment applications. I am capable of producing clear and accessible documentation for developers, and can communicate proactively with application users.

I am also a member of Minsk.pm and Moscow.pm groups, maintainer of rakudo port for FreeBSD. I write in Perl 5 and Perl 6. My CPAN account: http://search.cpan.org/~zag/ and the github: https://github.com/zag.


http://www.perlybook.org/ does something similar - at least it already does epub and mobi formats - for POD rather than POD6

It would be interesting to know how much is written in Perl6::POD format already - e.g. what the short/medium term value of this project is?

I'd like to know how POD6 compares against PseudoPod: https://metacpan.org/release/Pod-PseudoPod , which was used for the book Modern Perl and for other books. Furthermore, would it be possible to implement a converter from POD6 to DocBook/XML ? Otherwise, this grant sounds pretty good.

I don't think we should fund any project this young. Not only is the long term value of this project rather uncertain, the viability in the first place isn't proven, and the author is an unknown to the community. This does not sound like that much of a good idea.

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 August 14, 2012 12:04 PM.

Devel::Cover Grant Report for July was the previous entry in this blog.

2012Q3 Grant Proposal: Adding tests to and refactoring the perl debugger is the next entry in this blog.

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