In the recent use AnyGUI thread Ctrl-z brought up the topic of plXPCOM, a module for integrating Perl into the Mozilla application framework. Although I had been congnizant of XUL for some time, I had no idea of just how amazing Mozilla's UI/application framework really was (Actually, the book link above is the first online reference I've found that bothered to explain the framework in an overarching way). If you read the first few chapters of the book, you'll realize that this represents a concrete step forward in cross-platform development in general and UI development in particular. It is just the sort of gui toolkit that many Perl programmers yearn for. I hadn't even heard of plXPCOM
Unfortunately, plXPCOM is not ready for production use. The project appears to have garnered little interest from the Perl community, and still less concrete support. The mailing list is a barren wasteland. As Ctrl-z said, "IMHO this is a goddamned tradegy."
I'd like to propose a call to arms. I strongly encourage anyone reading this who is excited by the prospect of XPCOM bindings for Perl to get involved in some way. I find myself with little time these days and I am unequiped to yield much direct development support to plXPCOM at this time, so I subscribed to the mailing list and offered to help with testing and documentation. This is the sort of project that should have more than a single developer. I realize that most of you, like me, don't have the time (or perhaps skills) to do all that much for this project. Nonetheless, I bet a lot of you would really like to have access to the end result. If you can't help with development, perhaps you might be able to do the sorts of auxiliary tasks I hope to do. Just as importantly, you can raise community awareness of the project on sites such as this one; there have to be some Perl hackers out there with the abilities and interests necessary to keep this project rolling.
I realize that this call to arms has been repeated numerous times for various open source projects. I just felt it necessary to make mention of this particular project because I was so shocked at the lack of momentum behind the effort. This is the sort of mainstream, generally useful, DBI-like project that one expects to see tangible support for.
Matt (the guy maintaining plXPCOM) responded to my offer to help. He's most interested in getting feedback from the community on what sort of direction we want the project to take, what he should focus on, etc. Drop by the mailing list to offer your 2 cents.