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What has helped me figure out better names for my distributions, better code in my distributions and better scoping the functionality of my distributions from very early on was (and still is) to open up other's projects and write patches for them. Most have been accepted, others not. The ones that weren't, the authors were kind enough to explain why. For example, years and years ago, I wanted an addition to Type::Tiny. My patch wasn't accepted because the author thought my change took away from the "Tiny" aspect. Reading other's work and writing patches is a great way to learn.

For other things, such as adding a feature that doesn't reflect what the module does directly what it's name implies (such as the missing ordinal functionality in Number::Format) is to sublcass the module, and add it yourself (eg: Number::Format::Ordinal). This gives you practical experience in understanding someone else's API, as well as incorporating that into your own work. It also forces you to read others' documentation and that helps you write your own better (or, supply doc bug fixes if you find errors/omissions between what their docs say and what the code says. Patching documentation is a valuable lesson as well, as it will undoubtedly cause you to improve your own POD writing skills.

Part of becoming a confident distribution writer for the CPAN is re-inventing the wheel for practice, part of it is learning how others do things, another part is learning to use other good modules if they are available, and gauging whether an existing project can incorporate an idea you have reasonably sanely.

To this day, and I've been doing this for 15 years now, is look at the most recent distributions/dist updates on the CPAN a few times per week, open up ones that I either use, find interesting or think I may use in the future into new browser tabs, then I read through the docs and the code and check for obvious issues. If there's nothing worth opening a ticket for or worthy of patching, I think about how I might use the distribution (or have used it in the past) and consider if there are any deficiencies or additions that could be made. This again teaches new ways to do things (or finding out that the distribution you always thought was great was simply a ticking time bomb in which case you learn how NOT to do things ;)

Anyway, rambling on. I'm half way through a 12 hour drive through the mountains to northern BC, waiting for my girlfriend in a hotel room to finish getting ready so we can take off again.


In reply to Re: Is what you want available? by stevieb
in thread Is what you want available? by Lady_Aleena

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