Perl Foundation Archives

July 10, 2007

July 9th, 2007 - New TPF Community Relations Leader

After four years of excellent (and often thankless) work behind the scenes of, Dave Cross has decided to step down and take a well-deserved rest. Thanks, Dave!

Stepping into Dave's role is José Castro, already well-known to many in our community as cog. José will be leading a team charged with helping to establish and nurture Perl Mongers groups throughout the world.

There are already a number of projects under way, and several more in the planning stages, but José and his team want to hear from you. Any feedback or suggestions you have to offer will be greatly appreciated.

(Many thanks as well to log for generously sponsoring a portion of Jose's time throughout 2007 to work on Perl Mongers and Perl Foundation activities.)

March 20, 2007

March 20, 2007 - TPF and SoC 2007

A few people have raised questions about TPF's lack of involvement in this year's Google Summer of Code, wondering if TPF simply decided not to participate, or if there was more to the story. There is, and I hope this post will help answer the questions. The short version: We submitted an application to be a mentoring organization, but we weren't accepted.

The longer version starts back in 2005, when TPF was part of the first Summer of Code program. Although I wasn't directly involved in the day-to-day SoC activities, I remember how upbeat people were about the program; Google was making a huge show of support for Open Source, and we were glad to be a part of it. There was a lot of energy and excitement, and everything seemed to be going well.

Things didn't stay so positive, however. There were early mentor/student communication and coordination issues that, frankly, we just didn't deal with effectively. While these issues were eventually resolved -- mostly through the heroic efforts of Curtis Poe (a.k.a., Ovid) -- we never really overcame that poor first impression. Google was left with a pretty dim view of TPF.

It's fair to say that the only reason we were involved in the 2006 Summer of Code program at all was because Robert S, a Google employee that also was a member of TPF, served as a "proxy" for TPF. Robert asked the SoC organizers directly to allow us to participate, and offered to coordinate. Apart from Robert, there was actually very little direct TPF involvement in SoC 2006. (I certainly don't claim that this was a perfect situation, but it did give a number of students an opportunity to work on interesting projects and contribute to Perl. It's very unlikely it would've happened otherwise.)

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of assuming that the same thing would happen again this year, and I was wrong. By the time I learned that, due to other commitments, Robert wouldn't be able to serve as the TPF / SoC liaison in 2007, we were up against the deadline. I quickly assembled and submitted an application, knowing that it was unlikely to be accepted. It wasn't.

I'm sure it's clear by now that I'm not happy about this situation, and I apologize for letting it happen. While it's not the end of the world, it's disappointing; SoC is a worthwhile program, with the potential for a lot of positive exposure for Perl. As difficult as TPF involvement in SoC has often been, I'd certainly still prefer that we were participating.

Looking Ahead

Fortunately, the story doesn't end here. Many of the folks that were gearing up for SoC (both within and outside of TPF) are loathe to just set that motivation aside, and are exploring alternatives. Whether these alternatives take the form of an SoC-like program, or something more appropriate to our community, is under discussion right now. (It's a discussion I encourage you to join; comments are open.)

So as unhappy as I am about all of this, I'm also hopeful that moving forward with one or more of these alternatives will result in some very positive activities in the Perl community. We'll make announcements here soon as these discussions resolve into specific plans and programs.

Thanks for reading.



Last year I contacted Robert to participate as mentor. My project was not accepted (as expected, as it was quite academic), but I think other projects went running and with interesting results (at least the parrot related ones).

This year it is too late. Probably the best is to forget Google SoC and (if possible) suggest Perl-related projects using other mentoring organizations.

I think we should start thinking on an approach to add TPF back as a mentoring organization for 2008.

contributed by Alberto on March 20, 2007 10:32 AM

So is the title of president just nominal, and no real leadership exists?

contributed by Anonymous on March 20, 2007 4:33 PM

Hi Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Commenter,

Could Bill have been more on the ball? Sure. Could you? Yup!

Volunteer organization and all that - what comes out is roughly proportional to what comes in.

There are plenty who talk and talk and suggest and suggest and debate and debate ENDLESSLY. Preciously few who actually come and do ANYTHING AT ALL.

- ask

contributed by Ask Bjørn Hansen on March 21, 2007 12:11 AM


TPF should try to become a mentoring organisation in SoC 2008 - definitely! As SoC is a well known event, good Perl projects can mean good publicity.

"Whether these alternatives take the form of an SoC-like program, or something more appropriate to our community, is under discussion right now. (It's a discussion I encourage you to join; comments are open.)" (Bill)

So you think about such a program just for 2007 or for the future?

I don't like the idea of a "TPF-only" program:

  • We have the Grants - that is one ability to work on interesting Perl projects. And that will compete against the other program.
  • The number of people who will notice this program is not that big.

This is a problem that lots of Perl project have. They are well-known in the Perl community but nobody outside the community knows it.

Just my 0.02 EUR


contributed by Renee on March 22, 2007 11:28 AM

August 22, 2006

August 22, 2006 - TPF RFC

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, and websites, it's hard to get a feel for how much activity there is in the Perl Mongers. The homepage ( ) has events as its entire right hand column. It would be nice for at least and 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 ( ) and Madison ( ) PM websites. At YAPC::NA 2006, it was mentioned people should subscribe to various PM mailing lists and help out. Highlighting PM meetings on 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" ( , and ). If you go to the Planet site ( ) 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 ( ) 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,, and 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: ">

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:

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

December 09, 2005

December 9, 2005 - The role of the president

If you've read through the first few posts here on the brand-new TPF blog (and you really should; they're good), you've learned at least a little about what we do and how we do it, and about some of the folks involved. It's a busy bunch of people, volunteering their not-so-copious free time to work on TPF tasks.

So what's the president do?

Well, I've spent these first few weeks helping to put people, processes, and tools in place for us to do a better job fulfilling TPF's mission:

The Perl Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of the Perl programming language through open discussion, collaboration, design, and code.

Of course, much of my "help" has consisted of me asking others to do the real heavy lifting. Many of the items in Richard's earlier summary of activities are a result of me poking and prodding, asking questions, and, well, generally being a pest. Thankfully, I'm surrounded by people that are really, really good at the heavy lifting, and at dealing with my pestering.

As we get more of the fundamentals in place, my role will shift to setting goals and direction, and toward executing specific projects in line with those goals. You can see evidence of this already; this blog, for example, is a step toward better and more frequent communication. The reporting that Richard mentioned in the previous post will provide greater transparency and accountability. You'll soon see more activity around outreach and promotion. Sure, these are just initial steps, but they're important, and there are more to come.

In preparation for the goals-and-direction side of things, I'm spending a stupefying amount of time on the phone, in IM, and in e-mail. (I thought I couldn't possibly deal with any more e-mail. Turns out I was wrong. Heh.) I'm talking with lots of people, both inside TPF and otherwise, to learn how TPF can use its resources to best serve the community.

As I said in a recent e-mail to the TPF Steering Committee list...

There are as many worthwhile things to do as we have time and energy to do them.

The interesting -- and difficult -- part is determining where to focus that time and energy, and how best to execute once we've made that determination. These are also areas where we most want the community's input and involvement, so don't hesitate to let us know what you're thinking.

i just came cross this post on perlmonks

i guess someone from TPF can give some attention to

'perlmonks fund' as perlmonks people never get the fund donated thr tpf

'require of donation receipt" by saberworks

btw, the comments box in the form is so small. are you guys trying to limit the comment size? ;-)

my appology at last as i don't know where i can post this.

contributed by Qiang on December 11, 2005 6:37 PM

Kurt DeMaagd (TPF treasurer) has posted a follow-up in the Perlmonks thread, answering some of the questions raised there:


I'll also send a note to the right people about the donation receipt. Like nearly everything else, that process is in the middle of being overhauled, too.

As for where to ask questions like this, you can always send a note to the "pr" address at, and the question will be forwarded to the person or people best able to respond.

Thanks for the comment, and the heads-up.

contributed by Bill Odom on December 19, 2005 8:04 AM

December 06, 2005

December 6, 2005 - Announcing the Perl Foundation Blog

The Perl Foundation was established in December 2001, but is a mystery to many people. Today we announce The Perl Foundation Blog at (also available as Atom and RSS).

Perl Foundation News is the place to read updates on what members of the Foundation's working groups are working on and for other project-related announcements. Where before a working group member might post an update to his use.perl journal, or a meditation on, from today those updates and more will be appearing on the Perl Foundation Blog.

The Perl Foundation's work includes:

  • sponsoring the YAPC conferences and supporting their organizers
  • managing grants for Perl-related projects
  • working with outside groups, as on Google's Summer Of Code project
  • putting a public face on the work of the Perl community
  • providing technical infrastructure for web hosting and Subversion repositories
  • supporting and coordinating volunteer efforts

Now you can get information about these activities.

Comments are enabled, allowing you to give feedback directly to our working group members. Talk directly to us and tell us what we're doing right or wrong. Ask us questions and we'll do our best to answer. We love comments and want to hear your views.

We're well aware of the problems of the past. We know that communications have been weak. We're working hard for the trust of the Perl community, and creating the Perl Foundation Blog is a crucial step as we work to earn that trust.

Whether you want to participate in helping make the Perl community even better, or interested in what's going on, we hope that helps.

So, is it "" or ""

contributed by Anonymous on December 6, 2005 8:47 PM

Hi Anonymous Poster,

Both, for now. :-) Eventually we'll likely move all the news items from the TPF website to the weblog infrastructure.

- ask

contributed by Ask Bjørn Hansen on December 6, 2005 9:00 PM

You mentioned the folks who manage the various * domains. Could you explain how one goes about getting one of those (with or without hosting) for a Perl project?

Phil Crow

contributed by Phil Crow on December 6, 2005 9:07 PM

I originally posted this on Perlmonks, but was asked to post it here:
Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing some news about this Perl 6 I've been hearing so much about. I haven't seen an update to the "This week in Perl 6" here since October (though feel free to tell me if I'm not looking hard enough or if I'm looking in the wrong place). Also, I wouldn't mind such summaries being more high level. I don't follow the goings on of the Perl 6 community, so many of the comments in those posts are lost on me. A short list of "here's what we've worked on, we've got this much to go" would be appreciated by at least by this monk. :)

contributed by Ben Thul on December 6, 2005 9:24 PM

Hi Ben,

The "This week in Perl 6" are posted regularly on, ">

I'll try to find out why they are not being posted to

- ask

contributed by Ask Bjørn Hansen on December 6, 2005 10:04 PM

yes, could we have a, maybe groklaw style' bit with links to latest Parrot, Perl6, and P5P blog entries and weekly summaries.

contributed by Aaron 'Teejay' Trevena on December 7, 2005 11:15 AM


I take it you are talking about are the news at But which address will the weblog live at? It is currently available at both as well as

contributed by Aristotle Pagaltzis on December 7, 2005 1:35 PM


Both addresses will keep working, so use whichever one you prefer. :-)

- ask

contributed by Ask Bjørn Hansen on December 7, 2005 10:32 PM

I just fixed to display the summary links again. Sorry about the confusion!

contributed by chromatic on December 8, 2005 11:37 PM

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