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Re: Criterion for success in open source

by Scott7477 (Chaplain)
on Feb 14, 2007 at 15:27 UTC ( #599966=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Criterion for success in open source

To expand on my initial post, I think that within the Perl community the barriers to contribution are low relative to Sourceforge at least, and on par with other language/platforms in general. I thought up a list of things that someone can do to make a contribution to the Perl community, listed in ascending order of time requirements/difficulty.

1. Install CPAN modules after installing CPAN::Reporter and using CPAN; or alternatively using CPANPlus to install modules. In either case, a test report is automatically generated reporting the success or failure of the module installation to CPAN Testers, which gives the module author useful information.

2. Install Chris Williams'(BinGOs) module POE-Component-CPAN-YACSmoke and the minismoker script that is associated with it and run minismoker.pl. The minismoker script run without any flags "obtains a list of recently uploaded modules and processes them." So it tests the modules in question to see if they will install successfully on your machine and reports the sucess or failure to CPAN Testers. One of the nifty things about this is if you have registered your email address with CPAN Testers you'll get emails back showing the test results so you will have a list of modules that you know can be successfully installed on your machine or not without actually having to attempt installation. Chris's work with this has been truly heroic. In the month of January, Chris submitted 10,158 test reports to CPAN Testers using this system that he's developed. That is not a misprint. Chris's approach has been endorsed by at least one of the folks in charge of CPAN Testers here.

3. If you have a blog, post code that you've written and commentary on Perl issues. Last time I checked Perlmonks is still somewhat opaque to Google searches, so having stuff you've created in a searchable location is worthwhile, I think.

4. Submit bug reports to CPAN's public bug tracker.

5. Post patches for bugs that you've identified in modules.

6 Write a module that fills a hole in CPAN's coverage of functionality.

7. Take over maintenance of a module.

I'm sure I've left some things out, but to sum up in terms of my original post I think that the Perl community has made it possible for someone to make meaningful contributions regardless of your skill level with the language, or in other words the barriers to meaningful contribution are low. That said, I thought that chromatic has some thought provoking questions over at use.perl that are worth a read as well.

Update: fixed external links..D'oh!
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