The Perl and Raku Conference 2023 in Toronto
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Thursday, July 13 • 10:30am - 11:20am
Whither Perl?

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Perl isn’t dead, but it also doesn’t have the broad appeal it once had. The reach of the Perl ecosystem is still impressive, but helping hands are harder to find. Can we get more help? Will we do more with less? Let’s explore ways we can improve the ecosystem and possibly embrace a shared vision.

Neil Bowers has posited that there’s no such thing as the Perl Community. https://neilb.org/2021/04/27/perl-communities.html I think he’s correct. I also think that this could, to some degree, be changed. To quote my child’s music instructor, I’d like to look at the things we’re awesome at and also the things we can improve. We talk very much about the changes we’d like to see in the Perl language itself and that’s very important, but I’d like to talk about the other things. The outsider’s perception of Perl. Our inability to get behind one logo. Where is TIMTOWDI helping us and where is it hurting? Why is it so hard to take over or even fork a module? Can we be kinder to each other? How can Perl projects get more corporate sponsors? Could there be an improved mechanism for getting consensus across the various communities? Can we improve our bus number on important projects – especially those which are part of the toolchain? Is our reliance on IRC helping, hurting, or both? How can we improve the discoverability of modules? Is perl.com something we still care about?

These are the kinds of things I’d like to approach and suggest some possible solutions. I could condense this down to a shorter talk if that’s desired, but I think there really is a lot of material to cover and, in the absence of a Benevolent Dictator or even a 5 year plan for the Perl communities, I think it would be helpful to think about some of these things in a public forum to see what we, as a group of fiercely independent people, can do about occasionally marching to the same drumbeat.

avatar for Olaf Alders

Olaf Alders

Senior Software Engineer, MaxMind Inc
I am coder #1 on MetaCPAN. I help keep a bunch of Perl modules mostly up to date. In my spare time I occasionally pick up a guitar and stand behind a microphone. I am into running, cycling and open water swimming. My kids are teaching me how to skateboard.

Thursday July 13, 2023 10:30am - 11:20am EDT
Track 2