PERLCOMMUNITY(1) Perl Programmers Reference Guide PERLCOMMUNITY(1)
perlcommunity - a brief overview of the Perl community
This document aims to provide an overview of the vast perl community,
which is far too large and diverse to provide a detailed listing. If
any specific niche has been forgotten, it is not meant as an insult but
an omission for the sake of brevity.
The Perl community is as diverse as Perl, and there is a large amount
of evidence that the Perl users apply TMTOWTDI to all endeavors, not
just programming. From websites, to IRC, to mailing lists, there is
more than one way to get involved in the community.
Where to Find the Community
There is a central directory for the Perl community: <http://perl.org>
maintained by the Perl Foundation (<http://www.perlfoundation.org/>),
which tracks and provides services for a variety of other community
Mailing Lists and Newsgroups
Perl runs on e-mail; there is no doubt about it. The Camel book was
originally written mostly over e-mail and today Perl's development is
co-ordinated through mailing lists. The largest repository of Perl
mailing lists is located at <http://lists.perl.org>.
Most Perl-related projects set up mailing lists for both users and
contributors. If you don't see a certain project listed at
<http://lists.perl.org>, check the particular website for that project.
Most mailing lists are archived at <http://nntp.perl.org/>.
The Perl community has a rather large IRC presence. For starters, it
has its own IRC network, <irc://irc.perl.org>. General (not help-
oriented) chat can be found at <irc://irc.perl.org/#perl>. Many other
more specific chats are also hosted on the network. Information about
irc.perl.org is located on the network's website:
<http://www.irc.perl.org>. For a more help-oriented #perl, check out
<irc://irc.freenode.net/#perl>. Perl 6 development also has a presence
in <irc://irc.freenode.net/#perl6>. Most Perl-related channels will be
kind enough to point you in the right direction if you ask nicely.
Any large IRC network (Dalnet, EFnet) is also likely to have a #perl
channel, with varying activity levels.
Perl websites come in a variety of forms, but they fit into two large
categories: forums and news websites. There are many Perl-related
websites, so only a few of the community's largest are mentioned here.
Originally run by O'Reilly Media (the publisher of the Camel Book,
this site provides quality articles mostly about technical details
Many members of the community have a Perl-related blog on this
site. If you'd like to join them, you can sign up for free.
Perlsphere is one of several aggregators of Perl-related blog
Perl Weekly is a weekly mailing list that keeps you up to date on
conferences, releases and notable blog posts.
use Perl; used to provide a slashdot-style news/blog website
covering all things Perl, from minutes of the meetings of the Perl
6 Design team to conference announcements with (ir)relevant
discussion. It no longer accepts updates, but you can still use the
site to read old entries and comments.
PerlMonks is one of the largest Perl forums, and describes itself
as "A place for individuals to polish, improve, and showcase their
Perl skills." and "A community which allows everyone to grow and
learn from each other."
Stack Overflow is a free question-and-answer site for programmers.
It's not focussed solely on Perl, but it does have an active group
of users who do their best to help people with their Perl
PrePAN is used as a place to discuss modules that you're
considering uploading to the CPAN. You can get feedback on their
design before you upload.
Many cities around the world have local Perl Mongers chapters. A Perl
Mongers chapter is a local user group which typically holds regular in-
person meetings, both social and technical; helps organize local
conferences, workshops, and hackathons; and provides a mailing list or
other continual contact method for its members to keep in touch.
To find your local Perl Mongers (or PM as they're commonly abbreviated)
group check the international Perl Mongers directory at
Perl workshops are, as the name might suggest, workshops where Perl is
taught in a variety of ways. At the workshops, subjects range from a
beginner's introduction (such as the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop's "Zero
To Perl") to much more advanced subjects.
There are several great resources for locating workshops: the websites
mentioned above, the calendar mentioned below, and the YAPC Europe
website, <http://www.yapceurope.org/>, which is probably the best
resource for European Perl events.
Hackathons are a very different kind of gathering where Perl hackers
gather to do just that, hack nonstop for an extended (several day)
period on a specific project or projects. Information about hackathons
can be located in the same place as information about workshops as well
as in <irc://irc.perl.org/#perl>.
If you have never been to a hackathon, here are a few basic things you
need to know before attending: have a working laptop and know how to
use it; check out the involved projects beforehand; have the necessary
version control client; and bring backup equipment (an extra LAN cable,
additional power strips, etc.) because someone will forget.
Perl has two major annual conventions: The Perl Conference (now part of
OSCON), put on by O'Reilly, and Yet Another Perl Conference or YAPC
(pronounced yap-see), which is localized into several regional YAPCs
(North America, Europe, Asia) in a stunning grassroots display by the
Perl community. For more information about either conference, check out
their respective web pages: OSCON <http://conferences.oreillynet.com/>;
A relatively new conference franchise with a large Perl portion is the
Open Source Developers Conference or OSDC. First held in Australia it
has recently also spread to Israel and France. More information can be
found at: <http://www.osdc.com.au/> for Australia,
<http://www.osdc.org.il> for Israel, and <http://www.osdc.fr/> for
Calendar of Perl Events
The Perl Review, <http://www.theperlreview.com> maintains a website and
Google calendar (<http://www.theperlreview.com/community_calendar>) for
tracking workshops, hackathons, Perl Mongers meetings, and other
events. Views of this calendar are at <http://www.perl.org/events.html>
Not every event or Perl Mongers group is on that calendar, so don't
lose heart if you don't see yours posted. To have your event or group
listed, contact brian d foy (email@example.com).
Edgar "Trizor" Bering <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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