ShadowCat’s “Enlightened Perl Iron Man Competition”


ShadowCat Systems, an open-source development company from the UK posted an entry on their blog today which hits the nail on the head. Perl needs marketing and it needs it within the realms that the rest of the world moves.

We, the collective Perl consciousness, do not really like all this modern internet stuff. We don’t appear to like blogging, we don’t appear to like forums and pretty web 2.0 stuff? That’s right out. As Matt so correctly described it

Perl people hang out on mailing lists. We bottom post, carefully interleaved, with 76 character lines. We have signatures that meet the McQ standard for acceptable size. We hang out on IRC servers and bitch, moan, interact and collaborate with the aid of an 80×25 xterm with irssi, BitchX or IrcII in it[3]. Sometimes we sit at home with a beer and do one or more of the above. Forums? Meh. Those are the things the PHPtards like because they can’t figure out how to work a mailing list, right? Blogs? That’s not even a fucking word!

I hate to quote so much at once, but this paragraph captures the issue completely. The reason for all of the “Perl is fading” nonsense is almost entirely because we don’t seem to like to talk about Perl in any format which is post-1997.

But it seems that we have finally started to realize that this is a problem and have, to paraphrase, “become the change that we want to see” because we’re actually seeing blogs about Perl which if not exactly web 2.0 are at least not from 1997.

The most popular “new” site of course is Perl Buzz, but it isn’t the only site. There are many small blogs where people post infrequent articles about Perl, but finding them can be tricky. To help address this issue Shadowcat’s Matt Trought has decided to start handing out awards to people for frequent postings on Perl through his Enlightened Perl Iron Man Competition.

If you haven’t already read the article then you should do. Really. Matt expresses his frustrations with what can only be described as proper English enthusiasm – yeah, that does mean with lots of swearing. And frankly he’s right. Every word of it is true.

Indeed I can remember posting a similar rant on starting to post at blog. Sadly the server behind it was a freebie server hosted by a friend and it needed to be ditched and, as yet, I’ve not seen the data since to resurrect the blog else where. My irritations were something similar – although I also went on to criticize the fact that for years we’ve been told that Perl 6 will be better and “is coming”. For my efforts I got a couple of snarky comments telling me that I shouldn’t criticize Perl 6 , that I was only adding to the problems by doing so, and one note saying that “I did go on..”.

Well that was my rant, and Matt has posted his. But Matt has also gone on to proposed a solution, his “Perl Iron Man Competition“. To paraphrase a commonly used term about the current economy, perhaps we are seeing Perl’s green shoots of recovery?

I hope so. Rock on Matt!

Fix for SVN::Web and ‘subversion/libsvn_ra/deprecated.c’ line 289: assertion failed (*path != ‘/’)

Updated: April 22nd 2009:
This issue is actually SVN::Web Bug 37388. I didn’t see that because I that bug was filed using the error messages for SVN v1.5.0 and the function svn_ra_get_log() that is called is in a totally different library in v1.6.0 so searches for the v1.6.0 error do not find that bug report or the patches. Thanks to commenter Alexandr for drawing this to my attention.

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