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September, 2003: Perl News

Perl News

The Perl Journal September, 2003

By Shannon Cochran

Beta System Implemented for CPAN Ratings

Got a favorite obscure CPAN module? Or have you ever wasted hours of time on a module that never delivered on its promises? Now you can let others benefit from your hard-earned experiences. As a "weekend project," Bjorn Hansen has built a site where CPAN modules can be rated by users: Each rating must be accompanied by an explanation or review, and only users with accounts at can submit ratings. Every three hours, the list of distributions and their average ratings is updated into The rating system is still officially in beta, but a good number of reviews have already been posted.

Sherzod Ruzmetov made another contribution to the CPAN infrastructure, this one in the form of documentation for new users. His tutorial at details how to prepare new distributions, how to deal with prerequisites, and how to add more files to the distribution.

German Perl Forum Moves

Martin Fabiani posted an announcement to regarding the German Perl site: "Since the owner of the domain doesn't want to continue the German Perl forum in a noncommercial way, the community decided to found a new German Perl forum at" The new site is still under development, but Martin says, "We'll do our best to keep the good spirit of the former, and to give a stable and helpful community to German-speaking perl programmers."

Venues Chosen for 2004 YAPCs

Five cities vied to host next year's YAPC::NA show, but in the end Delaware, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. lost out to Buffalo, N.Y. The proposal was created by the Buffalo Perl Mongers via a wiki-style web page, and submitted by Jim Brandt. The University of Buffalo's Natural Sciences Complex will host the conference; wireless networking is available along with many different sizes of rooms all wired with AV equipment, and a large central hallway for registrations and exhibits. The university's campus catering service will provide food for the event.

The location for YAPC::EU::2004 has also been chosen—the YAPC Europe Committee decided to give the honor to Belfast, Northern Ireland. In their announcement, the committee gave a nod to the Copenhagen Perl mongers, who also submitted "an excellent proposal." Denmark may well host the event in 2005.

RPMPan Comes Online

Linux fan Kevin Pedigo has created a repository of CPAN modules implemented as rpm packages. He writes: "The actual building of the RPM packages is done using cpanflute2. A cron job runs every night that downloads the module list from CPAN. This list of modules is then mirrored, and anything new is run through cpanflute2 to create an RPM. The shell script then goes on to generate the HTML pages, which are then mirrored up to SourceForge." RPMPan lives at

Kevin served as technical editor for the book Linux Toys (by Christopher Negus and Chuck Wolber: John Wiley & Sons, 2003; ISBN 0764525085), and is president of the Kitsap Peninsula Linux User Group.

Perl \prl\, n

The latest edition of the OED includes a new entry for Perl. Enthusiasts of the English language can pick up a copy of the Oxford Dictionary of English (second edition), published on August 21st, and learn that Perl is a noun used in computing to denote "a high-level programming language used especially for applications running on the World Wide Web." The OED goes on to date the term to the 1980s, originating as a "respelling of PEARL, arbitrarily chosen for its positive connotations."

Exegesis 6 is Out

If you haven't yet gotten around to reading Exegesis 6, which Damian Conway released at the very end of July, you're in for a treat. Beginning with a funny rendition of a hard-boiled detective story ("As soon as she walked through my door, I knew her type: She was an argument waiting to happen"), and ending with an elegant demonstration of why scripters will want to switch to Perl 6, Conway's explanation of the new subroutine semantics is engaging and enlightening. You can find it at


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