Saturday, July 21, 2007

Perl News 2007-07-20

Perl 5.9.5 release

Perl 5.9.5, the latest development release of Perl, has been uploaded to the CPAN. There have been scores of changes in this release including the removal of pseudo hashes, there move of the JPL and the removal of the byte code compiler and of perlcc. Of course, this release is not all about removals, there were also many improvements and changes in functionality and the addition of the Method Resolution Order pragma.

Perl 5.9.5 aims to be the last development release of Perl 5 before the new major stable version, perl 5.10.0. That means that no new feature or important code change will go in this branch before it's stabilized; focus will be now put on regression testing and documentation improvements.

This is a development release, meaning that is must not be deployed in production. However, it is provided so it can be tested as widely as possible, on many platforms and with many CPAN modules. Of course, feedback on any problems you might discover will be welcome; for that, use the perlbug utility,or, if you want to be involved more closely in the development process of Perl 5.10, subscribe to the perl5-porters mailing list.

At Last, A Perl 5 Wiki

For a long time now people have been grumbling about making a Perl 5 wiki. You know, some place central and official-looking to write down all things Perl. Well, at long last comes the announcement for the official Perl 5 Wiki!

Like any new Wiki it needs content. Content provided by YOU the user of Perl. Here are some suggestions:

  • Add to the glossary.
  • Help write up lists of recommended CPAN modules.
  • Write down anecdotes and bits of lore. Maybe weird things that happened at a Perl Mongers meeting or conference,like the infamous quicksort dance.
  • Or add yourself and others to the people of Perl.
  • Add profiles of businesses known to use Perl.

You can find the wiki at

New PM Groups

We'd like to welcome five new PM groups the the ever-growing list of local Perl Mongers. The new groups are:

  • - lead by Robert Olejnik
  • - lead by Serg Gulko
  • The - lead by Todd Rinaldo
  • - lead by Beth Skwarecki
  • Thames - lead by Rafiq Ismail

Juggling For Geeks: The First YAPC::NA Video

During the course of YAPC::NA Barbie videoed Luke Closs presenting his Juggling For Geeks talk. Well, Luke took the video and uploaded it to revver, if you want to go watch it you can find the link at

Expect more from the Lightning Talk session in the coming weeks. You'll want to track Barbie's journal to catch them as soon as they come out.

A Trio of Perl 6 Microgrants

There is money to be made working on Perl 6 right now and three hard working programmers have proven it so.

Flavio Glock will receive a travel microgrant to help him attend YAPC::EU and evangelize kp6 and the Perl 6 in Perl 6 effort.

Steve Pritchard will receive a microgrant to complete the RPM packaging of Parrot and Pugs for Fedora and to submit those packages for inclusion in the official Fedora distribution.

Juerd Waalboer is the maintainer of, the primary host for Pugs development. Juerd will receive a microgrant to purchase upgraded hardware for feather.

If you're interested in submitting a Perl 6 microgrant proposal, you can find more information about how to do so by following the link from

Adding tags to CPAN modules via CPAN::Forum

From now on, registered users of CPAN::Forum can add personal tags to every distribution. This is just the start. Expect more features such as seeing the tags of others and seeing them in a cloud, as well as, access to the data so that it can be used to enhance search engines. You are most welcome to register on the site and start adding tags to your favorite modules or just complain bitterly about the bugs and missing features on the CPAN::Forum page of CPAN Forum.

Parrot 0.4.13

Parrot 0.4.13 "Clifton." has been officially released. There have been many language updates, as well as, a move from the Artistic 1/GPL License to the Artistic License 2.0. Supposedly there were also speculated Parrot 1.0 release dates mentioned at YAPC::NA 2007 and they were more specific than 'by Christmas'.

Plat_Forms Report Published

The results and final report of the "Plat_Forms" international programming contest were published June 20th on For each of the categories Perl, PHP and Java, three teams of three people each competed to produce a comprehensive "social networking" application in just 30 hours.

Team Etat de Genève / Optaros was declared winner of the Perl track. The Geneva solution, based on Catalyst and DBIx::DataModel, was especially praised for its compactness. However, other Perl solutions by "plusW" (Germany) and "Revolution Systems" (USA) were very close, and it was hard for the jury to decide. The report notes that compactness and extensibility are consistent qualities of the Perl solutions.

Pittsburgh Perl Workshop 2007

The Pittsburgh Perl Mongers are pleased to announce The PITTSBURGH PERL WORKSHOP 2007, a two-day, low-cost conference on Saturday and Sunday October 13-14, 2007.

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop is an annual conference dedicated to the Perl programming language. In 2006, the Pittsburgh Perl Mongers broke new ground by hosting the first Perl Workshop based in the United States. This year, the Perl Mongers are expanding the Workshop to a two-day format. As always, the 2007 Workshop is designed to provide you with a comfortable, exciting, and enjoyable learning experience. It is structured as a series of short lectures, but the atmosphere is low key and engaging – the perfect combination to open your mind and then cram it full of good stuff.

This year's conference has loads of new additions like:

  • The workshop has expanded to a two-day event to allow for more talks, BOF's, and social interactions.
  • There will be a one-day course for programmers with little or no Perl experience. This course will be given by a world-class Perl trainer.
  • The schedule has become more relaxed to allow for more peer interaction.
  • Scheduling of sessions has been improved to maximize flexibility in attending the sessions you want to attend.
  • The web site is now powered by "A Conference Toolkit"(ACT)

Stay up to date with everything that's going on with the Perl Workshop by subscribing to our RSS feed at the conference website.

The call for papers for PPW is officially open! Talks are available in 20 minute, 50 minute or lightning talk durations. This year's theme is "Hands On Perl." What does this theme mean to you? We want to know. Please visit the conference website to submit your proposals.

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop relies heavily on sponsorship to make the conference low-cost for attendees. Please consider sponsoring the workshop financially. In return, you can send people to the workshop for free, promote your organization,and get a warm, happy feeling inside. More details on the workshop can be found by following links from or going directly to the source:

Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials in the Perl 6 / parrot repository

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Allison Randal, Dan Sugalski, and Leo Tötsch wrote Perl 6 Essentials , which later became Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials . The universe has changed quite a bit since then. Despite that, the first chapter is still very interesting because it's a slice of history about what people were thinking and why things happened the way they did.

Allison recently arranged for O'Reilly Media to transfer the rights to The Perl Foundation so it could potentially turn into a community work that is up-to-date and relevant. The source files are currently marked as copyright of The Perl Foundation, but are expected to be released under the Artistic License 2.0.

The Perl 6 parts of the book went in the Perl 6 source repository, which you can access with SVN (and probably a few other ways). Commands for accessing the repositories can be found at

The source is the Pod export from O'Reilly's internal format,and you can use Allison's Pod::PseudoPod module to deal with it.

Perl 6 and Parrot Wikis Move To

For a year or two now Andy Lester has hosted the Perl 6 and Parrot wikis on his home server, on a not-too-fast DSL line,at They've now been moved to the wiki infrastructure at, on a dedicated box. This means much better performance, so if you've tried the wikis before and found them slow, check them out now. You can find links to the wikis at

Thanks to Socialtext for the hosting.

Perldoc Suggested Search

If you frequently search the perldocs from the Firefox search box, don't you think that it would be nice if you could get suggestions when searching like you do for google search?Believe it or not, you can install the utility to do that from Mycroft. You can find the link at the Perlcast website or by searching

Perl Tips Newsletter

Did you know that there was a Perl tips newsletter? Well, at least 400 other Perl programmers know about it and now you dodo. Feel free to subscribe at

UnixReview/SysAdmin ends

It has been released that the August 2007 issue of UnixReview/SysAdmin will be the last issue. I wrote 71 bimonthly columns from March 1995 to July 2007 for that magazine sequence, covering a wide variety of Perl topics(from web 0.0 to web 2.0 and beyond), and getting my name in print around 10 million times. I will miss the job.

I'm still writing for Linux Magazine (94 articles and climbing), so you can still get a monthly dose of wisdom there.

Perl 5.005 Released

Perl 5.005 is a great version of Perl and still used by many people. There have been a few distribution updates and tool changes which mean that it no longer compiles cleanly everywhere, so it's time for a maintenance release of perl5.005.

Teach-In Slides and Videos Released

The slides from's Teach-In are are now available online.

You can also get audio and video of the first session on both and Google video. There's also an RSS feed that you can subscribe to if you want to know when the remaining three sessions are released.

Artistic License 2.0 Approved by OSI

In a June 6th meeting of the board, the Open Source Initiative has approved the Artistic License 2.0 for their online list of licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition. The new version of the license will replace the original Artistic License and the Clarified Artistic License. Though the revision process for the Artistic 2.0 was completed nearly a year ago, this marks a significant vote of acceptance for the license from the broader open source community.

Volunteer for the Perl Foundation booth at OSCON

The Perl Foundation will again make its presence known in the vendor room of OSCON in late July. If you would like to donate a couple of hours of your time to help run the booth,we'd be happy to have you! If you're interested, send an email to We look forward to seeing you in Portland!

Call for Venue: YAPC::NA 2008

It's that time of year again, the Perl foundation needs your bids in to host YAPC::NA in your town next summer. Most of the details for a bid can be found at the Perl Foundation website.

Here are a few key points:

  • If you plan on bidding, folks from your group should really have attend YAPC::NA this year to see how things work and maybe even help out.
  • Get your bid ready early and TPF will give you feedback before the due date.
  • Venue requirements are available and bids from previous years are available in the TPF Blog. Last year all of the bids were very good, so they are a good resource.
  • Details on running a YAPC are available in the TPF project on Google code.
  • As with previous years, the bids will be made public in the TPF Blog after the due date.

Parrot Grant Update

Parrot has been sticking to its new monthly release schedule,which means that we saw three releases in this grant period,0.4.9, 0.4.10, and 0.4.11. The highlight of this period is the finalization of the object design (PDD15), marking the completion of yet another design milestone. Allison was greatly helped by Jonathan Worthington in this work. A $2,000 grant payment will be made to Jonathan Worthington for this work. Of course, no design is ever 100% done until the product ships, so this period also saw updates to the IO PDD. Allison's next area of design focus will be on finalizing the design of PMCs (Parrot Magic Cookies). PMCs provide the underlying data structure for all high-level language data types implemented on top of Parrot. On the implementation side, Parrot 0.4.11 includes nearly complete implementation of the object design from PDD15. Since this work falls under an as-yet unfunded milestone (M3 - complete functionality),no payment can be made yet, but Jonathan will receive payment if and when the last two Parrot milestones are funded. The last 3 releases saw updates to many language implementations,including Lua, PHP, Ruby, Tcl, and of course Perl6. These releases also included many updates to the compiler toolchain. On the personnel side, in early March, Jesse Vincent stepped down as Parrot's Project Manager, though he remains in that role for Perl 6. Will Coleda, a long time Parrot contributor, is the new Project Manager for Parrot. Finally, a note of clarification for the previous report. Due to some confusion, I mistakenly said that Jerry Gay would be paid $1k for his work on IO design. That amount is actually$2k.

Help Wanted For SOAP::Lite

SOAP::Lite needs your help. Byrne Reese has posted a good assessment of the state of the SOAP::Lite on the web. To start, SOAP::Lite works. That is, it works well for easy things (it's actually the easiest out there in any language)and you can get it to work for complicated things. But it needs help and it's going to need more help in the near future. SOAP is becoming more and more important to interface between major software products. Perl excels as a glue language, but it won't be able to continue to do this if it can't talk SOAP easily. For example, one of the biggest problems right now is it can't easily generate WSDL. In addition to solving its problems right now, it will need to be ported to Perl 6. It will be much nicer to do that if we can get a decent re-write now. How do you help? * Byrne mentioned a few ways in his summary. He needs some dedicated coders. * Do you use SOAP and perl at work? Get your boss to let you spend time improving it. * I think this work would be appropriate for grant requests, either normal TPF grants or the new micro-grants. Let's break down the tasks into something manageable. This is a big project to tackle, but one that will surely have thousands of people running your code. And if you like coding in Perl, it will increase the chance that you'll be able to keep doing so in your day job. Contact Byrne or a TPF member for more information.

XML::RSS Cleanup Grant Completed

TPF is pleased to announce that Shlomi Fish has completed his XML::RSS cleanup grant. Shlomi has helped transform XML::RSS into a high quality tool for the community. Thanks to Shlomi and everyone who helped him make this grant a success.

Podcast Awards

Nominations are open at through July 15th so be sure to put in your nomination for Perlcast or my own Geek Cruises podcast soon!

New TPF Community Relations Leader

After four years of excellent (and often thankless) work behind the scenes of, Dave Cross has decided to step down and take a well-deserved rest. Thanks, Dave!

Stepping into Dave's role is José Castro, already well-known to many in our community as cog. José will be leading a team charged with helping to establish and nurture Perl Mongers groups throughout the world.

There are already a number of projects under way, and several more in the planning stages, but José and his team want to hear from you. Any feedback or suggestions you have to offer will be greatly appreciated.

(Many thanks as well to log for generously sponsoring a portion of José's time throughout 2007 to work on PerlMongers and Perl Foundation activities.)