TPF's been a busy little foundation lately. Interesting things are taking shape, and you'll be seeing announcements about some of them very soon. Be sure to stay tuned.
Much of this progress is a result of the excellent feedback we've received from the community. (It's not always pleasant feedback, but it's useful all the same.) But we're a greedy bunch, and making progress just makes us want to make more.
That means we need to continue to hear from you. Do you know what TPF does, and what it supports? What can we do to keep you better informed? Perhaps most importantly, what else do you want us to do, or to do more often?
We've got lots of ideas, but limited resources. It's critical that we know what you need most. How can we serve you, our community, more effectively?
The harsh impression I have of TPF, is that it is opaque where it should be transparent. That it is influenced by a cliquey inner circle. It communicates poorly outside that circle, and that grant recipients tend to be awarded to friends of the inner circle.
These are the impressions I have either built for myself, gathered from other local perl mongers, or seen expressed in forums and/or mailing lists.
I do believe things have been getting better. Possibly they are better still, but I don't take much time out of my days to track TPF goings on. I have noticed the addition of the blog and occassionally wander over to check it out.
The best thing I think TPF could do, would be to make publicly accessible unedited archives of all correspondence, meeting minutes and IRC logs. I.e., no private mailing lists, etc.
I do know that TPF is significantly staffed through volunteer efforts. But I would recommend that TPF get a couple prominant programmers from the Eastern hemisphere on board like Audrey Tang and Tatsuhiko Miyagawa. And at least 1 or 2 prominant outsiders. Sam Ruby or one of the other-than-perl6 developers currently working on pugs or parrot.
It'd be nice if people who fund TPF played a role in some decision making process. Such as voting on awards and grant recipients. In the past I have contributed over $2000 to TPF. I am sure that the money was well spent supporting Damian Conway. But the lack of communication and the fact that there was no two-way discussion of how I wished my contributions to be spent have left me without the desire to renew funding.
contributed by Garrett Goebel on August 23, 2006 3:53 PM
I think the most important thing for TPF to focus on is the continued development of Perl 6, which is pretty obvious. But I would love to see TPF fund or help organize a better PR machine.
We need some notable Perl hackers and large users of Perl ( Amazon, Ticketmaster, Slashdot, etc. ) to promote Perl more. Mentioning it in trade press, conferences, etc. Talking about how not only is Perl not dead, but it is vibrant, alive, and getting better every day. I'm not talking about a few warm fuzzies posted on Perlmonks for our own community, it needs to be told to the programmers and suits outside the Perl community.
The computer industry as a whole needs to hear more about Perl, in non-Perl related sites, magazines, etc.
I think as a community we do a great job of taking care of the technology, we need to focus a bit more on the marketing.
contributed by Frank Wiles on August 23, 2006 10:05 PM
I've said this before, but let me repeat for the larger audience.
The best and coolest updates and reports are the talks you guys give at conferences.
If at all possible, as soon as possible, can I suggest you get a copy of your talk from YAPC::NA, and post it for all to see.
That is all :)
contributed by Adam Kennedy on August 23, 2006 11:00 PM
Why be coy about the exciting stuff coming up? You want to know what the community would like you to do but you don't tell the community what you are doing.
contributed by Anonymous on August 24, 2006 3:50 PM
I know Perl 6 is the elephant in the living room so I won't say anything about that. Here are two specific, reasonably easy things that I think the TPF should do:
1.1) Highlight Community (Perl Mongers) Activity: Perl Mongers is one of the great strengths of Perl. What other language has a community that can come together and put together events like YAPC which are low cost enough for programmers that aren't sponsored by a company. However, if you look at the pm.org, perl.org and perlfoundation.org websites, it's hard to get a feel for how much activity there is in the Perl Mongers. The PHP.net homepage ( http://www.php.net/ ) has events as its entire right hand column. It would be nice for at least perl.org and pm.org to list upcoming YAPC and PM events. Many PM groups have monthly meetings. Listing the meetings as they are about to happen can show the Perl community is alive and well, highlighting which PMs are active. It may also encourage various PM groups to design nicer websites like the London ( http://london.pm.org/ ) and Madison ( http://www.madmongers.org/ ) PM websites. At YAPC::NA 2006, it was mentioned people should subscribe to various PM mailing lists and help out. Highlighting PM meetings on perl.org can be a way for TPF to generate more visibility for the PMs.
1.2) Highlight Perl-based apps that can be used outside the Perl community (Plagger): Many people tend to use the best tool for the job, regardless of language. Many Perl-based apps are old and written with an old-school Perl style. Promoting modern Perl-based apps for all types of users can help improve Perl's reputation. One such app is Plagger, Tatsuhiko Miyagawa's RSS/Atom feed aggregator. Right now, TPF runs 3 Planet sites with the Python-based Planet software. All three sites say "powered by Python" and/or "powered by planetplanet" ( http://planet.perl.org/ , http://planetsix.perlfoundation.org/ and http://planet.parrotcode.org/ ). If you go to the Planet site ( http://www.planetplanet.org ) you will see a list of many (non-Python) sites that use the Python-based Planet software. By promoting Plagger, the Perl community can get more (Perl and non-Perl) users using a modern Perl app. Planet Catalyst ( http://planet.catalystframework.org/ ) runs on Plagger. By moving the 3 TPF-maintained Planet sites to Plagger, Plagger will have a base of users which it can use to try and attract non-Perl users. I've used Plagger and Planet and Plagger is by far the better architected product. Introducing people to Plagger will also introduce them to modern, OO, plugin-based Perl architecture.
As for marketing, I think the following would be useful:
2.1) More Discussion of "Modern" Perl Programming: One perception problem Perl has is that many people think they already know what Perl is about and that it's not maintainable for large projects. Many of these people are familiar with old-school Perl programming and apps developed with that style. While there are some large-scale Perl users many of them are from the early days of the Internet when other alternatives were not as well developed. It may be more interesting to highlight some of the more recent Perl success stories such as del.icio.us, editgrid.com, iusethis.com and hiveminder.com. More discussion of modern Perl tools and techniques such as Catalyst, Jifty, Moose, Plagger, PAR and POE may also help overcome Perl's perception problem before Perl 6 arrives.
I think the Community Events sidebar and move to Plagger should be done. There are other things that can be done but I think those two are important to do. I'll post more after I see some traction either on these and/or the other "interesting things."
PS: I haven't been able to reach Bill Odom's email address listed at: ">http://www.perlfoundation.org/contacts.html
contributed by John Wang on August 25, 2006 3:02 AM
John Wang said I haven't been able to reach Bill Odom's email address listed at: http://www.perlfoundation.org/contacts.html
Hmm. Perhaps MT's spam filters aren't the only ones working overtime.
The Contacts page should reference my new TPF address anyway, so use it instead: bill dot odom at perlfoundation dot org.
contributed by Bill Odom on August 29, 2006 10:13 PM
Adam Kennedy said: If at all possible, as soon as possible, can I suggest you get a copy of your talk from YAPC::NA, and post it for all to see.
Duly noted. Again. :-)
But yes, I agree. If getting the video (or at least a transcript) continues to be a problem for much longer, I'll be posting a roughly-equivalent essay version here soon.
contributed by Bill Odom on August 29, 2006 11:55 PM
Anonymous said: Why be coy about the exciting stuff coming up?
I wasn't trying to be coy, and I apologize if it seemed that way. We just want to emphasize results over promises. Real accomplishments count for so much more than the grandest of plans (especially considering TPF's less-than-stellar reputation).
contributed by Bill Odom on August 30, 2006 1:21 AM