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Perl 5 Optimizing Compiler, Part 16: RPerl v1.2 Kickstarter Challenge

by Will_the_Chill (Pilgrim)
on Sep 25, 2015 at 12:20 UTC ( [id://1143010]=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Greetings Monks,

We're continuing our trend of success with...


After watching the video linked above, you'll want to head over to Kickstarter:

Thanks in advance for your financial support, it is critical to the future of RPerl's performance future!

~ Will the Chill
  • Comment on Perl 5 Optimizing Compiler, Part 16: RPerl v1.2 Kickstarter Challenge

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Re: Perl 5 Optimizing Compiler, Part 16: RPerl v1.2 Kickstarter Challenge
by Cody Fendant (Hermit) on Sep 28, 2015 at 23:35 UTC

    You know what this project needs? A VM.

    In order to install, deploy, test, demonstrate etc. RPerl, there's a lot of messing about and reconfiguration needed. It seems impossible on OS X for a start, and there's a danger of breaking your regular production perl(s).

    Someone (maybe not WillTheChill because he never ever listens to criticism or answers questions) should create a basic Linux VM with Rperl set up on it1.

    That way whenever someone questions what it's all about, the instructions would be:

    • Launch this VM (torrent)
    • Find this Perl script and run it with benchmarks2
    • Now here's the RPerl version, run it again

    I would kick in some money for that.

    1. The other reason Will should not do it is because he can't do anything the easy way. If you asked him to create a simple Linux VM he would use the most obscure unmaintained distro of Linux ever invented, require several complicated tweaks after mounting, and create a VM for some Albanian VMWare solution nobody's ever heard of.

    2. This would not be some incredibly obscure n-body astronomy problem which takes nine hours when done the slow way. It would be something practical which takes at most a few minutes to run the slow way.

Re: Perl 5 Optimizing Compiler, Part 16: RPerl v1.2 Kickstarter Challenge
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:40 UTC

    No, I don’t think it appropriate to flame Will, nor to belittle him nor his project.   (Save your down-votes for me:   I collect them.)

    Kickstarter campaigns do not have many features that would be used in “ordinary” venture capitalization.   Committing money with this model is a “one-phase commit.”   Worst case, the investor’s money is gone.   There is no concept of, say, a line-of-credit, nor a trust fund / escrow account from which money can be periodically disbursed.   Kickstarter simply provides cash.   Therefore, KS gets a lot of press coverage ... the image of “easy money” always does that ... but really, it’s not a prudent way to do it.   Not for the investors, and, not for the project or its leadership.

    I would say:

    • Publish a detailed project plan and timeline.   From this, you can take-off the predicted expectations of time, money, and especially manpower.   You know it will take more of all these things, than you think.   All three are available, if you do it right.
    • Describe your technical strategy in detail, including underlying technologies (LLVM?) that you are using.
    • Immediately open up the project to the technical participation of others, as reviewers and as participants.   Indeed, you know a great deal about compiler construction, but so do many other people who can help you.
    • Publish a C.V. about yourself as the project leader.
    • As the number of people in the project, the amount of detailed knowledge about the project, and the sense of community-ownership grows, so will investor confidence in the project.
    • Take immediate steps to curtail the feelings expressed in the previous post:   feelings of alienation from a project of mutual interest to the Perl community.
    • Once you have the money to proceed another month (and, you do), proceed.   Blog about it, post commits to a public repository, accept bug-tracker tickets, and so on.

    This is a worthy project, and we want to see it succeed.   But the community should be asked to help in more ways than money.   For the good of the project, and of Perl.

    Press on ... and, open the door.

Re: Perl 5 Optimizing Compiler, Part 16: RPerl v1.2 Kickstarter Challenge
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Sep 27, 2015 at 12:44 UTC

    After reading the responses that have lately accumulated on your other fund-raising thread, Will, please don’t do it again.

    The mistake that you are making ... innocently and sincerely (and, technically knowledgeably) ... is more of a social than a technical one.   You are asking for twenty-thousand United States Dollars, all at once.   Even though Kickstarter campaigns are known (infamous?) for doing that, now and then, it is much more realistic to expect the sort of funding involvement that you have seen so far:   “pay as you go.”

    Kickstarter does not have most, if any, of the protections that apply to traditional large-scale fund raising:   auditors, trust funds, and so on.   Kickstarter has been abused.   And people have learned to be prudent.   They want a business plan (much more than simple milestones).   They want the disbursement of funds to be clearly linked to ongoing progress, and, should the project (unlike yours ...) have a questionable chance of success, to have most of their eggs emerge unbroken.   Even when success is sure, they want control.   To be prudent and wise.

    Do I ... does anyone ... question your technical ability, the need for the project, or its chance of success?   Speaking at least for myself:   n-o.   But may I politely offer the following suggestions, for the good of you and this project?

    1. I suspect that $20,000 is a serious underestimate of what this project would cost, if conventionally funded.   (Or, if Kickstarter “paid Will’s salary.”   $20,000 (USD) would interest me salary-wise for a couple months.   RPerl is gonna take a lot longer than that.   I foresee that the project could become stifled by that funding request.
    2. Open up the project to the collective contributions of the community, not just for funding but for work on the code.   You become the project manager and champion; the herder of cats.   But it substitutes expertise for money, and often brings greater expertise to bear.   It also greatly improves the confidence of the investor/kicker community in what they now see.   Code quality also goes up.
    3. You could ask for a $20,000 lump if you needed to buy a $20,000 machine, and could also show that you had exhausted other reasonable options or that no other option was reasonable.   That does not apply in this case:   a lump is not necessary, and other options are reasonable.   Therefore, I recommend that you expect what is reasonable:   that the sum, which is likely to be much larger in the end, will come as progress payments.
    4. Don’t become disillusioned, angry, discouraged, or indulge any other emotions that would waste your time.   What I am saying is not a rebuff.   This is a worthy project, you are impassioned about it and rightly so, and it will succeed.   I just suggest that it will succeed, and be supported (financially and otherwise) in a different and greater way.

      Concur. A very visible link to RPerl and a blurb about recruiting other developers would also help the cause.

      An investor friend put it this way ... that investing is not making bequests ... and that it is like flying a kite. A kite that is not tied to the ground, falls to the ground. That's why there are always strings attached.
      All of the above plus, maybe don't write "we" all the time. RPerl is just you, as I understand it.
        don't write "we" all the time. RPerl is just you

        pluralis majestatis ;-)


        Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)
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