Celebrate CPAN day on August 16th
Back in 1995 CPAN was a visionary concept that propelled Perl to the height of its popularity during the dotcom boom. For the first time there was a single, integrated online system for Perl programmers to distribute software. Today CPAN continues to go from strength to strength as Perl’s “killer feature”. CPAN Day is August the 16th - the day of the first ever upload to CPAN, and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our wonderful tool and give back to the Perl community.
Ways to celebrate
The idea of CPAN Day was conceived by Philippe Bruhat from an IRC conversation with Neil Bowers. Since then, Neil has blogged daily about different ways to celebrate CPAN Day. Most of these ideas are Neil’s:
- Help make history by releasing a new distribution
- Give your module good extract, description, synopsis () or see also section
- Thank a CPAN author or acknowledge a contributor
- Help keep Perl strong and donate to the Perl Foundation
- Put your module on Github so other programmers can easily contribute
- Classify your RT tickets or fix a bug
- If you have a stable module, let others know and update the distribution version to 1.0
- Check your test coverage with Devel::Cover
- Make your module more portable by fixing your CPAN Testers failures
- Increase your module’s “kwalitee” by improving your CPANTS rating
- Maybe improve your module name or remove the module entirely
- Write an article about your favourite CPAN module
So there are loads of different ways to contribute! Earlier today I caught up with Neil Bowers and asked him if he had to pick one, which was the most important contribution. Neil said:
I would pick the see also section - it outlines other relevant modules, the pros and cons of each one and saves people time when first approaching a problem.
For you self-interested module authors out there, Neil also explained that a good SEE ALSO section can make your own module more popular. This is because metacpan is built on elastic search and by listing other modules in the SEE ALSO, you ensure that your modules appear in the search results for those other modules.
So how will you celebrate CPAN Day? Even if you did just one of the above suggestions, you’d be supporting the community in some way. Apparently some of CPAN’s most prolific authors are planning large releases to CPAN. Diff records will be broken, commit history will be made. I’m planning to move my modules to GitHub and to thank an author. I can’t wait to see what everyone else does. The inaugural CPAN Day is August 16th 2014, let’s make it our day!
Thanks to Neil Bowers for contributing additional detail in support of this article.