Perl 5 Grant Application: Travel to QA Hackathon


We have received the following Perl 5 grant application from David Golden.

Before we vote on this proposal we would like to have a period of community consultation that will last seven days. Please leave feedback in the comments or if you prefer send email with your comments to karen at


David Golden

Project Title

Perl QA Hackathon 2014

Amount Requested



This grant will be used to pay for travel for David Golden to and from the Perl QA Hackathon held in Lyon, France in Q2 2014.

Benefits to Perl 5

I have attended four of the six Perl QA Hackathons (Oslo, Birmingham, Paris, and Lancaster).

The QA hackathon allows me to work in a concentrated way for several days on parts of the Perl/CPAN toolchain and testing infrastructure that are "too big" for ad hoc development during the year or which benefit greatly from face-to-face collaboration with other core toolchain maintainers.

Here is a summary of my work at previous QA Hackathons:

  • In Oslo (2008), I implemented three new CPAN Testers transport options forTest::Reporter. I also began work with Ricardo Signes on the conceptual design for what would later become the CPAN Testers "Metabase" platform for web-based (rather than email-based) collection of test reports. (See here for more detail.)
  • In Birmingham (2009), Ricardo and I completed the design and coding of the Metabase. I also added support for the new MYMETA (post-configuration dependency) convention to and Module::Build. (See here for more detail.)
  • In Paris (2012), I sketched out a new way to approach CPAN indexing. I hacked a lot on, prototyping support for "recommends" and "suggest" dependency types and exploring ways to massively reduce memory usage. I patched a number of toolchain modules. I also started discussions of a "Build.PL" spec. (See here for more detail.)
  • In Lancaster (2013), I finished massive refactoring left over from the 2012 QA hackathon, including recommends/suggests support. I worked with Ricardo on fixing bugs and closing security holes in PAUSE. I also moderated over 4 hours of wide-ranging toolchain discussions resulting in the Lancaster Consensus. (See here for more detail.)

Deliverable Elements

As the QA Hackathon is fluid, I expect my specific agenda to evolve prior to and during the hackathon. Possible topics for my work this year include:

  • Collaborating with Ricardo in finishing PAUSE changes agreed to in the Lancaster Consensus
  • Patching to use CPAN::Common::Index for lower memory use and/or faster index response time
  • Refactoring code from CPAN, CPANPLUS and cpanminus into CPAN::Common::* modules for less duplication and greater consistency across clients
  • Prototyping ideas I have for improved code benchmarking tools
  • Closing security holes in various toolchain modules
  • Automating Metabase deployment with configuration management tools
  • Implementing IPv6 support in HTTP::Tiny; also reviewing a pull request for persistent connection support

The hackathon takes place over the course of four days, with eight to ten hour workdays. I'll probably also be working during travel and in the evenings. I will provide a public, written report of my activities at the Hackathon of the sort linked above.

Any software that I produce will be released under an open source license.

Applicant Biography

I have a long history contributing to the Perl 5 community:

  • Perl 5 Porter responsible for four dev releases, several new features and the occasional bug fix
  • Prolific CPAN author; contributor to or co-maintainer of a large subset of the CPAN toolchain
  • Developer of the first several releases of Strawberry Perl
  • Leader of the CPAN Meta Spec v2 revision process
  • Manager of the CPAN Testers Metabase that collects nearly a million CPAN Testers reports every month
  • Blogger and conference/seminar presenter on Perl-related topics
  • organizer

I have previously received two TPF grants: one for travel to the 2008 QA hackathon
and another for "Cooking Perl with Chef".


Given everything David does for the Perl community, particularly (in this context) all the toolchain related things, it's hard to think of a better thing to spend 'our' money on.

TL;DR: yes please!

David's behind-the-scenes work on the toolchain has been incredibly valuable, as has his help and advice. Getting him in the same room as other core toolchain workers for a few more days would be invaluable, so as Neil says, there are few better things I can think of for spending TPF's money on.

David's attendance at past QA hackathons has always been a positive thing for the Perl community. Strongly endorse this grant application.

+1 - I look forward to collaborating with David in Lyon!

Resounding +1

+1; it's definitely worth our while to get David to the QAH

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Karen Pauley published on February 7, 2014 5:42 AM.

Grants Committee Changes was the previous entry in this blog.

YACT - Yet Another Conference Tool - Grant Report #2 is the next entry in this blog.

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