[tpm] CPAN as a web service

Olaf Alders olaf at vilerichard.com
Thu Oct 7 09:17:19 PDT 2010

After the last meeting a bunch of us got to talking about how much better the CPAN would be if there were some sort of web service which could provide CPAN and CPAN-related data.  Imagine how much more useful CPAN ratings or AnnoCPAN would be if you could query them directly for information rather than  the current method (download a CSV and an SQLite db respectively).  Imagine a system of up and downvoting your favourite modules with real time charts and statistics to map out what the community currently cares about.  

People are always saying that the CPAN is one of the best things about perl, but imagine how much better it really could be and what sorts of applications people could build to work with the available data?  iCPAN certainly stands to benefit from a web service, but so would a similar application built on the Android platform or even some of the command line clients used for installing modules etc.

search.cpan.org isn't open source, so we can't improve it, but we can certainly provide some layers which could be used to improve it or even to offer a viable alternative at some point.  

Dave will be giving a talk about CPAN at the next meeting, so maybe those who are interested in contributing to this project could make it a point to be there and to be available afterwards to chat about this in more detail.

As a starting point, I would suggest grabbing a copy of iCPAN: http://github.com/oalders/iCPAN  The stuff in the /perl and /website folders can be run without being on a Mac and it's a small introduction to how the CPAN works and is organized.  Just trying to get a discussion started at this point.  Thoughts?

Olaf Alders
olaf at vilerichard.com

http://vilerichard.com -- folk rock

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