Eric and Tina - Improving learn.perl.org

Title: Improving learn.perl.org

Name: Eric Wilhelm and Tina Connolly

Grant Manager: Renée Bäecker

Duration: 4 months

Started: March, 2008

Amount Requested: $2000

Synopsis
Revamp the learn.perl.org website to be more inviting to new users of Perl by creating a new series of articles which form a coherent and fun tutorial arc.

Benefits to the Perl Community
The learn.perl.org site should be a welcoming, fun, and educational experience for new users, complete with exciting projects and straightforward instructions to make it easier to get started enjoying Perl. This project will provide introductory material which allows users to quickly become productive with Perl and the CPAN.
The Perl community needs to provide fresh and interesting content to attract and keep new users. For example, http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/documentation/ is welcoming, approachable, and thorough.

Deliverables
Six new tutorials oriented at new users.

Website updated to focus on new users' needs.

Project Details
The project will include the following tasks:

Tutorials

Getting Started with Perl -- An engaging introduction that leads the beginning Perl user through the first basic steps of Perl.
Fun with control, structures, scoping, and subroutines. -- Deeper into the syntax and details.
Using and creating modules. -- How perl finds and loads modules.
An introduction to objects. -- Using, extending, and defining objects.
How Do I Set Up My Perl and CPAN? -- A how-to covering installation and configuration for Linux/Mac/Windows and hosted vs personal machine environments.
Your first GUI desktop application. -- A simple wxWidgets application.

Website Updates

A modified layout including propaganda, introductory text, the above-mentioned tutorials, and additional links.
The website updates and redesign will be initially hosted on a publicly visible staging site, then uploaded to learn.perl.org as it becomes complete. This will be coordinated with Robert and Ask to fit into the perl.org infrastructure (including use of combust and dealing with CSS as appropriate.)

Inch-stones
The first month would be spent on the first tutorial and planning the arc of the other five, and getting the website set up.
Each additional tutorial will take two weeks to develop.
The website updates will take approximately one week of effort, spread over the length of the project.

Project Schedule
The entire project would be complete in 3-4 calendar months. It could begin on March 1st.

Bio
Eric Wilhelm is an established CPAN author, president of the Portland Perl Mongers, an experienced Perl developer, and served as TPF's administrator for Google's Summer of Code in 2008.
Tina Connolly is a professional speculative fiction writer with a technical background, who has a new user's perspective on Perl.