[sf-perl] sf.pm.org

Fred Moyer fred at redhotpenguin.com
Wed May 9 08:18:08 PDT 2012

On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 5:12 AM, Jonathan Swartz <swartz at pobox.com> wrote:
> http://sf.pm.org/ seems sort of abandoned - e.g. incorrect 8pm schedule, a pointer to another seemingly abandoned upcoming.org page, and the owner's pining for Perl on his Palm III. :)
> Should it just redirect to the meetup page at this point?

Are you volunteering to take on the webmaster duties? :) This is
actually a situation which is more involved than it looks on the
surface. Gather round here folks and I'll detail the long version.

The current sf.pm.org website is hosted on a custom built CMS
(Greymatter) that is probably a decade old. I think half the people on
this list have built their own CMS at some point or another. We had a
partial design for a new website a few years ago, but that never
really took hold. I've been using the App::PM::Announce tool to post
the meeting announcements to sf.pm.org as well as Meetup, LinkedIn,
and use.perl.org. So the meetings page was consistently up to date for
probably the last 3 years.

Until last year, when LinkedIn decided to add a captcha to their
application, so we couldn't cross post announcements there. Then
use.perl.org went belly up, and Meetup decided to obfuscate their
login process with form tokens (thanks a lot meetup). I spent some
time updating the announcement tool and put in a github pull request,
but the original version is still on CPAN.

So at that point I started posting the meeting announcements only on
Meetup by hand, this was July of 2011. I usually tweet the
announcement also at http://twitter.com/sfperlmongers. Back to your
question though, why don't we redirect sf.pm.org to Meetup?

Two reasons. I made a promise to keep the original sf.pm.org site on
the web, which means creating another DNS entry for legacy.sf.pm.org
or something similar. DNS for pm.org is handled by perl mongers
volunteers, who often have scare time available and want things done
in a certain way to make life easy for them; custom requests aren't
always handled quickly and efficiently. If this sounds like an IT
department at a large company, you're starting to get the picture.

The second reason is that Meetup is a paid service costing about
$100/year (covered by one of our sponsors Red Hot Penguin), and I was
somewhat hesitant to shift the sf.pm.org presence to them. They like
to change things without telling me, and I never really got the time
to investigate if they can properly handle CNAMEs.

Add into all this that Joe and I spend the bulk of our SF.pm tuits
organizing meetings, and now you can start to see why we haven't put a
lot of work into sf.pm.org. We've been lucky to have sponsorship from
O'Reilly, Mother Jones, Red Hot Penguin, and Six Apart (Say Media) for
a long time, but it still takes manpower to make this operation work.
We also got some great t-shirts from Blekko and dotCloud (thanks
guys!), but there haven't really been any other Perl supporters that
have stepped up.

I'll see what I can do about polishing up sf.pm.org. Maybe this email
will inspire someone to put together a nice shiny new website for us

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