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Ideas For Modules

by jonjacobmoon (Pilgrim)
on Jan 04, 2002 at 14:04 UTC ( [id://136243]=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

jonjacobmoon has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Oh wise ones,

I was told tonight: "become famous and I will hire you."

Great, good, wish it were that easy.

What I need to do is contribute to CPAN. Is there a place that is a sort of pre-CPAN, that is one where developers go to help work on modules or sift through ideas for modules.

It is coming up with the good idea that gets me, and if someone has a good idea but needs help with it, it would truely move me a long.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Ideas For Modules
by gmax (Abbot) on Jan 04, 2002 at 14:45 UTC
    You may find this link useful

    As for finding an idea to make a module, I would say that a good module is the result of finding a solution for a practical need.
    A good idea is not enough. Either you find something that is needed but nobody was able to make it or you invent a new need for which you also provide the solution. An example of a need that did not exist before its solution is the spreadsheet: before its invention, people did not have the notion that such a tool was needed.
    There is a whole range of situations between the completely useless module not even good for a laugh, and the life changing module that saves you a week of work.
    On the practical side, I don't think you will become famous by writing a module after picking a good idea from somebody.
    However, if you really must, examine what you can do best, and pick the best piece of code that you have ever produced. Now ask yourself this question "would anybody want to use it?"
    If the answer is yes, ask somebody else as well. Show your code around. Perlmonks is the perfect place for this. You must get a feeling about your skills. If you submit broken code to the CPAN, you might become famous in a different way. ;)
    After you have discussed your code and you got some positive feedback, start packing your brilliancy into a module, and put LOTS of good documentation in it. Remember that even the best module without documentation is useless.
    Good luck.
    _ _ _ _ (_|| | |(_|>< _|
What about maintaining an orphaned module? {Re: Ideas For Modules}
by dave_aiello (Pilgrim) on Jan 04, 2002 at 16:02 UTC
    I think both Chrisf and gmax are hinting that seeking fame for no purpose other than getting a job is a pretty questionable approach to life. If that's really your goal, writing a module that becomes part of CPAN isn't the easiest route. There are a lot of other alternatives, like becoming a champion athlete or committing the perfect crime.

    But seriously, a couple of other ideas come to mind. What about maintaining an orphaned CPAN module? I'm sure that there are modules out there that need attention. Sometimes, the original author sticks around long enough to participate in an orderly transition, as was the case with Expat. In other cases, the author announces that he can't afford the time committment anymore and walks away.

    The CPAN FAQ addresses this issue in How do I go about maintaining a module when the author is unresponsive? The question presumes that you stumble on a module that you realize needs patching, and the author is away doing other things. But, I'm sure there is an easier way to find an orphaned module than to start using it and discover it is not being maintained.

    If this interests you, I'd recommend asking the regular participants on this web site to see if they have any ideas.

    Another idea is to contribute to the CPAN documentation area. The need for this was expressed on about a year ago. Not sure whether the need has been met yet. You could ask Chris Nandor since the article pointing out this need appeared on his web site.

    Dave Aiello
    Chatham Township Data Corporation

Re: Ideas For Modules
by Chrisf (Friar) on Jan 04, 2002 at 14:23 UTC
    "Is there a place that is a sort of pre-CPAN, that is one where developers go to help work on modules or sift through ideas for modules.

    Right here ;-)

    First of all, I would question anyone that says "become famous and I will hire you." It doesn't sound like the greatest recruiting strategy to me.

    Secondly, I don't think that searching blindly for module ideas will benefit you that much. A much better approach would be to learn the basics of the language and start working on projects that you would find useful. Combine that with carefully listening to common tasks/problems other people have and I'm sure you'll come up with plenty of good ideas.

    Best of luck :)

Re: Ideas For Modules
by arhuman (Vicar) on Jan 04, 2002 at 18:02 UTC
Re: Ideas For Modules
by George_Sherston (Vicar) on Jan 04, 2002 at 20:32 UTC
    You might find some stimulating volunteer development work at sourceforge. A module I think needs writing (though I'd be glad to learn it was already written) is one to do logging in and user validation in CGI. It would be quite a challenge to make something that was flexible enough that users could drop it straight into their scripts. As a minimum it wd need to handle logging in, registering a new user, creating encrypted passwords, emailing lost passwords, and logging out. It probably ought to be flexible about where users store info, perhaps by outputting everything via, leaving the user to pick the underlying db. And it wd need to handle cookies. When I've raised this before, a negative response has been "it's too specific - do it in a script, not a module". So you could become famous by proving the doubters wrong.

    George Sherston
      I created a module /script like that .. it did most of the things you asked for, and in hind sight, the others (emailing lost password / registration) would make a great addition.

      It's written explicitly for use with CGI::Application and has specific hooks for HTML::Template.

      I put code out to members of the CGI::Application mailing list a while ago and got some decent feedback .. adding the features you mentioned might boost response a little.

      If you or anyone else wants the code gimmie a shout at and i'll throw you the link for it .. (i think i'll have to repost the code on my web site because it got shuffled around during a re-vamp).

Re: Ideas For Modules
by jonjacobmoon (Pilgrim) on Jan 04, 2002 at 20:55 UTC
    Thanks all some good ideas, and some good advice.

    I don't expect to become famous. That was really very much of a joke. I do expect to get better and that is the goal. Being able to say, "well my code sample is at CPAN," will, I think help me in my ultimate goal which is to finally get re-employed at someplace good.

    But once again, the best and most popular answer is: "PERLMONKS."


      Lots of folks use the very popular GD::Graph (and ::Graph3d)

      But it is missing a horizontal bar graph (only has vertical). I know I would like to see this feature and so would lots of other posters on the newsgroups...

      Just a (somewhat self-serving) project idea ;-)
Re: Ideas For Modules
by ralphie (Friar) on Jan 04, 2002 at 22:54 UTC
    i was reading along, generally agreeing that the challenge issued you is pretty lame (who is this person? are they famous?) and that the best source for inspiration is probably internal, and then i read george's post, which i like, and it occurred to me that if you took that and extended it to include authenticating against ads, nds, and ldap stores you'd have something very cool that would teach you a lot even if you never got it done. and that's what i would call appropriate motivation.
Re: Ideas For Modules
by TomK32 (Monk) on Jan 04, 2002 at 15:37 UTC
    Some suggestions
    It's hard to find something to make a module of, but write some more programs and maybe you'll find something worthy for CPAN.

    paco for president
    TomK32 - just a geek trying to change the world

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