SPUG: SPUG@cpan.org

B.Ingerson at epixtech.com B.Ingerson at epixtech.com
Sun Jul 16 01:13:42 CDT 2000

Hi Everyone,

My name is Brian Ingerson. I have been attending SPUG meetings regularly
since August of last year. Some of you may know me from the talks I gave in
May about "Extending Perl with C" and "Perl Internals" (at ESPUG).

I was very impressed by the volume of technically savvy spugsters who
turned out for the latest SPUG and ESPUG meetings featuring Dr Damian
Conway. I was also a bit surprised. Where has everyone been all year? After
the meetings I lamented to Colin and Ryan that the August attendance would
probably drop back down to the usual 10-20. (I think I have the all-time
record low of 6 attendees for "Perl Internals"; 2 of whom were newbies 8^O)

I pondered about what could be done to raise the interest level of our
organization. Obviously the present format of discussing programming topics
and defaulting to the "Cookbook", isn't a huge draw. And I don't reckon we
can count on guest speakers of Damian's caliber to be showing up each
month. But what if the meetings could be more proactive; if we could come
to not only discuss programming, but actually do it. If we could work
together on building something useful and have it continue from month to
month. What if everyone could contribute according to their level, and
everyone could learn hands-on and by example. And finally, what if we could
take the results of our collaboration and return it to the Perl community.

Here's my idea:

I think we should have interested members of SPUG and ESPUG work together
to create a new module for the CPAN. We'd register the entire group as a
single CPAN author (handle = SPUG). (This automatically gives us an email
address of SPUG at cpan.org which could be used for the author address of the
module and forwarded to a spug-dev-list at pm.org) We can vote on a project,
work on its design, break the work into chunks, have people volunteer for
the various duties, code it, package it, upload it, and maintain it using
the mailing list. This would probably span several months. We'd likely need
a Development Coordinator, a PAUSE Uploader (someone with the password to
actually upload), and someone to host a source-code repository, at a
minimum. We can work out those details a SPUG meeting.

This project should not only be highly educational, but hopefully would
give people a good reason to drag themselves out once a month. At the very
least, it would give us firsthand knowledge of how to create and contribute
a full-blown open source project to the CPAN. I don't think many people in
our group have much experience at this. When I took a poll at the
"Extending Perl" meeting, not one of the 20 or so fairly seasoned
programmers had ever contributed (including myself). But the real intent of
this would be to make (E)SPUG meetings a bit more attractive to all you
smart people (and to keep Tim and Ryan's efforts alive).

I suggested the proposal to Tim (Maher) yesterday, and he seemed to take
the bait ;-) I went ahead and requested the PAUSE id. We should get
confirmation of the registration within a week. Tim agreed to devote the
August meeting to the initial discussion/planning/voting phase. We need to
come up a good module idea to work on.

Whaddya think?

Off to the Conference :-)!!!  Brian

PS Check out these sites for CPAN and PAUSE info:

http://www.xray.mpe.mpg.de/mailing-lists/modules/            #mailing list
archive where our request is pending

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