Grant Proposal: Swim to Pod

Category: Grants

Comments (5)

Purely personal view:
I use either POD (where applicable) or Markdown (because it´s the most widely supported document markup language) and they´ve usually been sufficient.
If for whatever reason I still wanted to use another markup language I´d first have a look around for other languages with an already established followership: Org-mode, reStructuredText and AsciiDoc come to mind.
Unless the Swim authors come up with comparisons to these languages which clearly show why Swim would be superior I see no reason to fund the development of yet another document markup language...

I have several questions:

1) Other than by Ingy döt Net, who else has used swim? Does this have cross-platform support, or are we suggesting something similar to pod, in that it will only be used within the Perl community?

2) Is this being suggested as a replacement for POD in the Perl core? If so, do we have buy-ins from the relevant people? Do we have general agreement that p5p thinks this is a good idea? What does the pumpking think? If this *isn't* being suggested as a replacement for pod in the Perl core, then why are we doing it?

3) What are the other competitors in this space. This document mentions Markdown, which has broad support from key programmer sites, e.g. github, stackoverflow, reddit.., and has many GUI tools and even books written about it. What does swim offer that wouldn't be better served by a markdown extensions?

While Swim may work well for the authors of this grant proposal, I do not see any compelling reason why this should be funded.

  • Why Swim, the language? Markdown is much better known. Certain widely-used Markdown extensions such as Markdown Extra do support features like definition lists.

  • Why Swim, in its current state of development? I looked at the current Swim docs, but couldn't even find a comprehensive overview of the syntax! In parts, the docs read like a vision document rather than like documentation or a specification. I therefore conclude that Swim isn't production ready at this time.

  • Why Swim, the ecosystem? This proposal suggests a Swim-to-POD conversion mode. Why is this part of a swim tool that requires extra build steps? Why does it suggest new plugins for Dist::Zilla and Module::Install? Why doesn't it use existing infrastructure in the form of Pod::Elemental::Transformer that is used by Pod::Weaver which in turn has excellent integration with Dist::Zilla?

Thanks for the feedback! We've been using Swim to great effect personally, and got some positive feedback from a few notable CPAN authors, so we thought we should float it out there. While we're fairly certain we can make a solid case for Swim (and Perl), it's obvious that it's not yet ready to present for a grant in this fashion.

We'll go back to the planning board and make sure that these comments are well explained and supported before we propose this again.

We'll start by writing up a blog post that addresses much of the concern raised and link to that from another comment here.

Feel free to join #swimtext on freenode if you want to IRC chat about this project.

— Ingy and David

As this is about another markup language, I would see more value in a grant for an implementation of a CommonMark parser. CommonMark is a recent effort at writing a formal grammar for Markdown (because Markdown definition is ambiguous, and implementations have incompatibilities)

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