in reply to Re: Is it worth tracking down absent cpan owners?
in thread Is it worth tracking down absent cpan owners?

Is there anything out there that is like a SourceForge for Perl? Does the Perl community leverage sites like SourceForge at all?

There are quite a few Perl modules hosted on SourceForge and CPAN -- Log::Log4perl comes to mind as one such dual-hatted module. A number of Perl-based apps are also hosted on SourceForge. A quick search there will pull up a few, although the Search appears to be down currently.

However, SourceForge will not seriously aid the "abandonware" issue, nor ensure additional documentation -- and neither will any other similar setup. The problem exists in both Open and closed Source apps, and has much more to do with the nature of humans and communications than anything to do with any system. The only solution would be to somehow ensure that every CPAN program had a constant update, and was forced to do certain docs, and that would be an undertaking, as well as distasteful to a number of programmers, for hopefully obvious reasons.

One possible solution is to "flag" modules where the user has not responded to either a manual or a (yearly?) automated "check in with us, please" email. Yet that's not really a solution, and the potential for inaccurate information (say if the automated email was dumped into a spamtrap) is high.

All in all, I'm not certain what kind of solution you propose to this kind of issue. From a personal standpoint, I use tons of modules on CPAN for mission-critical code. There's a risk, yet it's a similar risk to what I run into when I utilize .NET-based code from the web -- or, frankly, even the .NET stuff that comes from MS, which isnít always well-documented, or stable from version to version. At least with Perl, when it's Open Source, I have the chance to dig in, or ask for help, and I've done it myself on more than one occasion, with good results. I cannot force anyone to fix their code, but I can ensure I have the chance to fix it myself, or ask others (such as the good people here) to help me fix it, if it's Open Source.

Does that make sense?

----Asim, known to some as Woodrow.

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