Sunday, April 29, 2007

Nordic Perl Workshop Update

I've been in Copenhagen for the past four days because of the Nordic Perl Workshop. Thanks to Stonehenge for getting me there!

At the workshop I had the opportunity to talk to many great Perl hackers who you will here from over the next few weeks. To get it started, here's a lightning talk from brian d foy about benchmarking Perl.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Perl News 2007-04-27

Parrot 0.4.11 Released

On April 17th Parrot 0.4.11, "Tax Bird", was released. This release included features such as:

  • perl6regex front end reflecting recent S05 syntax changes

  • Updates on Parrot-based implementations of Lua, PHP ("Plumhead"), BASIC, and pynie

  • Refactorings and improvements in test coverage

  • and many bugfixes, enhancements, and general code improvements Service Update

During the past couple months, #perl6 has revamped several services including:

  • Updating, the popular run-perl6-in-your-browser page, to the latest development version, featuring a much more responsive UI via AJAX and mod_perl, and preloaded sessions.

  • Updating, a developer-oriented Wiki workspace based on Trac, featuring integrated source tree browser, ticket tracker, as well as devbot6, a new TracBot on #perl6 that announces workspace edits and planet six posts.

  • Updating, Pugs's primary repository, to Subversion 1.4.2, providing much faster (30%+) turnaround for SVK 2.0 users with its pipelining/ra_replay support. There are also two read-only mirrors at and, updated every minute.

  • Updating, the read-only Darcs mirror, to now be powered by Tailor, which preserves information on committer and commit messages.

  • Updating to not only track the Perl6 specification, but also pugs/docs/Perl6/.

  • Updating, where committers on #perl6 hand out commit bits to new Pugs hackers

Perl 6 Summary Writer Needed

The current maintainer of the Perl 6 summary will be unable to continue creating the Perl 6 summaries after April. A volunteer or group of volunteers is needed to take over the task. Please contact Ann Barcomb if you would like more information about what the job entails.

Perl 6 Microgrants

Best Practical Solutions has donated USD5,000 to The Perl Foundation to help support Perl Development. Leon Brocard, representing The Perl Foundation's grants committee, will work with me to select proposals and evaluate project success. Best Practical is__ hoping to fund a range of Perl 6-related projects over the life of the grant program. Accepted grants might be for coding, documentation, testing or even writing articles about Perl 6. The program isn't tied to any one implementation of Perl 6 and is nterested in seeing proposals related to Pugs, Perl 6 on Parrot, Perl 6 on Perl 5 or any other Perl 6 implementation. Most microgrant projects should be able to be completed in 4-6 calendar weeks.

To submit a grant proposal, please email perl6-microgrants at with the following information:

  • A two to three paragraph summary of the work you intend to do

  • A quick bio — Who are you? Is there opensource work you've done that we should have a look at?

  • A brief description of what "success" will mean for your project — How will we know you're done?

  • Where (if anywhere) you've discussed your project in the past

  • Where you'll be blogging about your progress. (Twice-weekly blog posts are a requirement for getting your grant money)

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling schedule, with the first 10 grants paid out over the course of the summer. Submit your proposals early and often. Don't let somebody else beat you to the punch ;)

First Perl 6 Microgrant awarded to Steve Peters for Parrot Portability

Speaking of Perl 6 Microgrants, Steve Peters was selected as the recipient of the first Perl 6 microgrant. Steve has been instrumental in helping to ensure that Perl 5 has stayed incredibly portable for the past few years. Steve is now starting to turn some of his attention to Parrot and in the course of the grant intends on ensuring:

  • Successful completion of a full Cygwin compile of Parrot and application of necessary patches to Parrot. Test failures should be in line with what is observed on Linux or Mac OS X.

  • Compile Parrot with Intel C++ and Sun Studio 12 for Linux, application of any necessary patches, and cleanup of compiler specific issues.

  • Compilation of Parrot with Borland C++ on Windows with application of necessary patches to the Parrot core. Cleanup of compiler specific issues with necessary additional changes patched in the Parrot core.

  • Investigation into gmake "-j" support to allow for parallel building of Parrot.

Steve will be blogging about his grant progress at

TPF Grant for Perl::Critic Policies

The Perl Foundation has given Chris Dolan a grant for extending Perl Critic by implementing around 20 new Perl Best Practices policies outlined in the TODO document of the Perl Critic distribution. Chris plans on doing this work over the summer, which would cause Perl Critic to support all of the PBP policies that are feasible to implement.

TPF Grant For Improving Smoulder

Smoulder is a web-based smoke test aggregator that allows developers and QA testers to upload or monitor the test results from their projects. TPF has issued Steve Peters a grant to improve smoulder by

  • Remove custom XML format in favor of using plain TAP and TAPx::Parser.

  • Extend Smolder to handle small CPAN style modules more easily and automatically.

  • Setup a Smolder server for the CGI::Application community to serve as a testing ground and public display for their 110+ CPAN modules.

  • Add per-project and per-developer RSS feeds as an alternative to email notification.

Java to Perl Micro Grant

The Perl Foundation has awarded a grant for a Java to Perl 6 API converter. This will create the potential for highly similar APIs in both languages and has the potential to aid the development of the Perl 6 DBI.

Perlcast Gets A Rock Star Grant

With all of the grant-giving going on, Perlcast didn't want to be left out in the cold. The folks over at Stonehenge were kind enough to sponsor sending Josh to The Nordic Perl Workshop and to OSCON to get interviews for you through Perlcast. Expect to hear a lot more Perl content from around the world thanks to Stonehenge.

YAPC::NA Registration Open

Registration for YAPC North America is now open. The conference dates are June 25th through 27th at the University of Houston's central campus in Houston, Texas. The conference will feature speakers from throughout the Perl community, including keynotes from Larry Wall (the creator of Perl), Damian Conway, and The Perl Foundation. The call for papers has ended and the schedule has started to be released. (

YAPC::Europe::2008 Call for Venue

With preparations for YAPC ::Europe::2007 well underway in Vienna, it is time for the YAPC::Europe Venue Committee to consider suitable hosts for the 2008 conference. Any dedicated group interested in hosting YAPC::Europe::2008 should send a brief statement of intent to venue at A full and complete application should then be sent to the same address prior to the deadline for applications, which is June 30, 2007.

YAPC::Europe Call for Hack-a-thons

The organizers for YAPC::Europe are trying to find moderators for in-conference hack-a-thons. A hackathon is a moderated workshop with a specific topic where experienced users and newbies can get together and share experience, improve parts of the featured project or step through some project internals. The conference will allow for up to 4 hackathon sessions. The session will last about 3 hours and take place in a dedicated lab. The hackathon moderator will give a short introduction (approx. 30min) into the topic and then hack-away. For those willing to moderate a hackathon session we will provide sponsoring for travel and accommodation costs for up to 500 EUR. If you want to moderate a hackathon at YAPC::Europe 2007, please contact the organisers at vienna2007 at .

YAPC::Asia 2007 Podcast Feed Available

YAPC::Asia 2007 barely ended before the organizers had a podcast feed available with recordings from the talks. There are dozens of presentations available from talks given at the conference. Some of the presentations are English, some are not. Of course, podcasts aren't all they are offering. There are also videos on Google Video and a videocast feed.




Red Hat in the Data Center

The Perl NOC has started upgrading some of their boxes to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 which includes virtualization.

Asian CPAN Mirror Needed

The Perl NOC is looking for a well-connected box for CPAN Search in Asia -- it probably wouldn't get much traffic, but it'd decrease latency for users there. Minimal specs required (it can be in a virtual box, vmware or xen): ~2.5GHz CPU, ~2GB ram, not much disk space, ability to install RHEL (we'll provide a license).

Apple TV Perl Plugin

It's pretty obvious when you go to a Perl meetup that many Perl hackers love their Macs. For those of you who bought an Apple TV, you can now run your Perl scripts (ahem, programs) on the device using a plugin developed by Eric Sadun. She wrote about it in her O'Reilly blog (

Ebay Uploads to CPAN

eBay has contributed an official interface to their systems to CPAN which can be found by searching for eBay::API. Official corporate releases to CPAN aren't common-place, so this is pretty cool to see a company interfacing with the Perl community as if they were a member. Thanks to ebay for the upload.

Website in a Box

Website in a box is a Catalyst based content management system for individuals and small groups. It's got Google Code project space and a reasonably comprehensive test suite. It does some "Search Engine Optimisation" for you and has been built to be easy to hack on for those interested in picking up Catalyst. (

New site for TAP (Test Anything Protocol)

Perl's test result protocol is officially known as TAP - the Test Anything Protocol. Though it has been around for a while, there has recently be a fair amount of discussion about the future of TAP. One of the points that came up was that TAP is no longer Perl specific. That means that a Perl mailing list is no longer the best place to discuss it. So that there's a language-neutral TAP mailing list and a wiki that can both be found at

Perl on Frappr

There are a few frappr maps that have been set up to pinpoint Perl users around the world. You can check them out and even add your on location at and

Sunday, April 8, 2007

brian d foy on Benchmarking

Perlcast is back with a recording of a presentation conducted by brian d foy at a Los Angeles Perl Mongers meeting. The talk focuses on benchmarking your code and covers topics that brian included in his soon-to-be released book, "Mastering Perl". "Mastering Perl" is a text on creating professional programs with Perl. It can be pre-ordered now at most of the major book distributors, so go check it out at your vendor of choice.

Many of you know that brian is a partner at Stonehenge Consulting, Perlcast's primary sponsor. Recently Stonehenge kicked it up a notch and provided Perlcast with a Rock Star Grant to attend, speak at, and record interviews during the Nordic Perl Workshop 2007. I'm excited to be given the opportunity to visit Denmark an meet some of the excellent Perl hackers on the other side of the planet. I'd like to thank Stonehenge and the hosts of the Nordic Perl Workshop for all of their support and hope to meet many of you in Denmark at the workshop to be held April 28th and 29th, 2007.

This presentation is a pretty long one, but I encourage you to take the time to listen to the talk. brian is a great speaker and has some smart opinions and advice on benchmarking your code. Also, if your Perl Mongers group has the ability to record presentations, feel free to submit them to Perlcast for distribution. Just send an email to me at and we can iron out the details.