New logicLAB Policies for Perl::Critic Released to CPAN

Today I have uploaded a new release of my Perl::Critic::logicLAB, it lists the two new policies I mentioned on earlier occasions in my blog.

– Perl::Critic::Policy::logicLAB::RequireParamsValidate
– Perl::Critic::Policy::logicLAB::RequirePackageNamePattern

Both released are released and maintained as separate distributions and Perl::Critic::logicLAB acts as a collection (Task::). RequirePackageNamePattern 0.01 was uploaded to CPAN about a month ago and RequireParamsValidate 0.01 was uploaded today together with Perl::Critic:.logicLAB 0.08.

I could have uploaded RequireParamsValidate earlier, but I decided to participate in the Questhub challenge of releasing a new CPAN distribution for every month for 2014 so I decided to stretch the releases for two months. Apparently I forgot to blog about the releases as nicely pointed out by the master questhubber and overall CPAN magician Neil Bowers, so here it is the public announcement of the two releases for January and February.

Their basic details have been fleshed out earlier so I am not going to go into details with the policies as such, but I do however want to address an issue that was raised in conjunction with the challenge on Questhub and that was the flooding of CPAN of new releases bringing no actual value (as I read it). This brings me back to my own contributions and the two mentioned policies.

It is really hard to come up with CPAN distributions that satisfy a greater audience, I for one do by no means satisfy needs other than my own, I would love to, but lets be honest, that is hard – I will get back to that later.

The same problem applies to Perl::Critic policies, coming up with original ones are not so easy as it sounds. But I write policies that my own scratch my own itch and I write policies to get accustomed to working with policies. And just as policies, Perl distributions serve many purposes and some are for getting your head around a specific problem area or improving your own workflow for working with a certain problem area.

A very positive thing in all this apart from the obvious reasons like learning something new, sharing your knowledge and sharing your techniques as open source benefits others – yes it might be annoying and it might be hard to find exactly the best suited module for addressing a certain problem, but my experience with CPAN tells me that the community part of CPAN will take care of that and you can always use trusted sources like the Intarwebs to find your way – what I really mean is that you can always go to you local Perl mongers group, IRC or places like StackOverflow to get guidance and pointers in the right direction and if all is lost – roll you own.

I have several distributions on CPAN, which are dead-ends, they should perhaps be deleted, they will persist on BackPAN, but I just have not gotten “around to it”. These distributions served a purpose at one time, I made errors and mistakes, I learned lessons and I improved as a Perl programmer, CPAN distribution maintainer and Open Source contributor.

Most of us can agree that trial and error is one of the best learning practices and practicing with CPAN distributions might be overkill for silly and personal experiments, but for a long time and still to some extent CPAN is the main repository for Perl code, yes we have Github and cpanm and we can do things differently, but CPAN is just a part of larger ecosystem and the questions you most hear often when you interact with the Perl community when people outline an idea, a concept or a project are:

  1. It is on CPAN?
  2. When will it be on CPAN?
  3. Will it be on CPAN?

(the order of the questions should be random, but for the sake of the beauty of the poetry in the questions the order here is arranged).

So CPAN is important for marketing and distributing your work and getting all the benefits of the community driven tool-chain. And to get back to a previous blog post on Perl and its role in the overall developer community, where it is often regarded as dead, every little contribution, every new distribution which is uploaded or updated on CPAN matters. Perl is alive because of CPAN (*1), because here everybody can play along and it is not so hard and it should not be hard to contribute. I recently migrated my Workflow distribution from SourceForge to Github, simply to easy the process of contributing and SourceForge and Github are important, but CPAN is the distribution channel.

And if you read the blog post I mentioned, the other languages to which Perl is compared their repositories are larger and they are growing and have outgrown CPAN and they are generating buzz, so there is absolutely no need to shut the castle gates and go all ivory over Perl – yes there will be lots of useless crap uploaded and I for one will be one of the contributors in to the (cr)App:: namespace (*2), but natural selection will sort it out and the best distributions will survive, long after there authors have stopped maintaining them, simply because of the community – and CPAN is the community, so when you contribute to CPAN you contribute the community.

It is hard to contribute with original stuff, it is hard to come up with original ideas and implementations that will rock the community. But everybody who has just touched product development, entrepreneurship know so. So until you ship that distribution, which will rock CPAN and get the Perl community all buzzing, because “you can get it on CPAN today” – code, share and learn.

I plan to upload 10 more new distributions this year, I have about 5 up my sleeve and I will run out of ideas just after summer with the current plan, but I am sure that using CPAN and interacting with the Perl community will give me additional ideas for contributions and this gives me a slight chance that I might be able to complete the challenge for 2014.

jonasbn, Copenhagen/Denmark

*1 Not solely, I do not want to forget all the people contributing to the Perl core, they are indeed keeping Perl alive, but in this context they will be mentioned in a footnote – sorry.

*2 This is just a pun, like “Captain of the USS Make-shit-up”, the App:: namespace is a fine a well respected namespace of which I am a happy user – thanks to its contributors

Advertisements
New logicLAB Policies for Perl::Critic Released to CPAN

CPAN Maintenance release of Business::DK::Phonenumber

Version 0.02 of our open source Perl module Business::DK::Phonenumber have been uploaded to CPAN.

The release contains two bug fixes. Both related to the build system used, namely Module::Build. The bugs are not in Module::Build, but in the script using Module::Build, namely Build.PL

The script lacked dependencies to external CPAN modules, being used in the test suite, not part of the functional components, but just the test suite.

These kind of errors are hard to catch in the development environment, we can only point to the importance of smoke testing on segregated environments, since this often helps to catch this sort of errors. Development environments are often changed during development so they do not necessarily reflect the target environments where the product is supposed to be running after released.

We are currently not running our own smoke testing facility, but we are lucky that exactly CPAN offers this via CPAN-testers.

So if you look at:

http://www.cpantesters.org/distro/B/Business-DK-Phonenumber.html#Business-DK-Phonenumber-0.01 (you need to select version 0.01 in the drop-down).

You can see the sheer amount of test reports indicate the of efforts freely available to help us get our distributions smoke tested, with minimum effort and for free. All we need to do is upload

And as you might also see is the tests for version 0.02 are passing, so it seems as if the issues reported by the reports indicating failing test for 0.01 have been patched correctly.

Open Source is often described as sitting on the shoulder of giants, but CPAN and the Perl community really makes it worth while distributing Open Source Perl distributions via their infrastructure. We might not be sitting on the shoulders of giant, but we have a multitude of minions tirelessly working for us.

Thanks to the CPAN-testers – you do a marvelous job.

Business::DK::Phonenumber is distributed under the Artistic License and can be downloaded from your local CPAN mirror or via: search.cpan.org.

CPAN Maintenance release of Business::DK::Phonenumber