Personal end-of-year report for 2011

2011 is my most productive year yet in my "CPAN career": 495 releases (compared to 119 in 2010 and 54 in 2009). So far I have 115 distributions listed under my account (compared to around 15-20 in 2010, around 10 in 2009, and 2 before that). It really never occured to me that I would release over a hundred modules to CPAN, but all of a sudden I did. Perhaps next goal should be 1000 :)

Dist::Zilla helps a lot. I can't imagine doing manual tar and updating version numbers and README and all those distribution meta files manually for tens, let alone hundreds of releases. So thanks again to RJBS and other Dist::Zilla contributors!

Johnny O's Sports Lounge has Rooftop Seating

One thing that many people like to do when they travel is find restaurants and bars with rooftop seating. These kinds of places often have great views of the city, plus the crisp and refreshing air of the night sky. It’s hard to resist, especially since it’s only 3 blocks from YAPC.

Johnny O’s Sports Lounge is one such place in Madison, and they also have the distinction of being the closest restaurant/pub to YAPC to offer rooftop seating. An interesting feature of Johnny O’s is that they also offer basketball on the rooftop, as well as the a band on some nights.

Marpa::XS is now 1.000000

Marpa::XS is now 1.000000. Marpa::XS is the current lead implementation of Marpa, an algorithm that I hope will become standard for those parsing problems which are too complex for regular expressions. Apparently quite a number of people have put the beta to use. Feedback has been positive -- often extremely so.

What is Marpa?

Marpa is a general BNF parser -- it parses anything you can write in BNF, no exceptions. Left-recursion, right-recursion, ambiguity and even infinite ambiguity, you name it, Marpa parses it. If the grammar is of a class in practical use, Marpa parses it in linear time -- O(n).

Looking for Jeff Kim

I'm trying to contact Jeff Kim about his Net::Amazon::EC2 module. I have a repo on github that closes most of the open tickets on RT for this module. I'd very much like to prepare and upload a new distribution to CPAN and close those RT tickets.

Jeff, if you see this please email me: mallen at cpan dot org.


Not a designer? Get involved with the MetaCPAN logo contest anyway!

The MetaCPAN logo contest is now in full swing, thanks in no small part to FLORA for his blood, sweat and tears in organizing it and also to the Enlightened Perl Organization, which fully funded this contest with astonishing speed.

Just to recap, the contest rules are posted at and the entries are being posted at

Now, you don't need to be a designer to get involved. Here are a couple of ways you can help out:

1) Get the word out. Let your designer friends know there is $400 up for grabs (not to mention eternal glory). If you're active on Twitter, please tweet about it as well. Send an email to your local PerlMongers group etc.

2) Comment on the entries. Because there is no limit on the number of entries per contestant, the logo submission process is allowed to be iterative. Constructive criticism can lead to authors resubmitting tweaked versions of their logos, which can only be good for the contest.

Go Lamers Bus Lines To YAPC

We’ve covered a number of other bus services to get you to YAPC, but Lamers Bus Line offers something a bit different. All the other bus services will get you here if you’re traveling from a major hub like Chicago, Milwaukee, or Minneapolis. Lamers has daily service from smaller cities all over Wisconsin. So if you’re from Wisconsin, but you’re from one of those less serviced regions, then check this out. They have daily service from the North:

  • Wausau
  • Mosinee
  • Stevens Point
  • Westfield
  • Portage

From the North East:

  • Green Bay
  • Appleton
  • Oshkosh
  • Fond du Lac
  • Waupun
  • Bever Dam
  • Columbus

From the South West:

  • Dubuque
  • Platteville
  • Dodgeville
  • Mount Horeb
  • Verona

All of these locations drop off at the UW Madison campus (where YAPC is being held). And perhaps best of all, they do this for less than $40. So if you live in Wisconsin, but don’t want to drive or can’t, then this is a great short range travel option for you.

GitHub is an amazing service that much of the Perl community has...

GitHub is an amazing service that much of the Perl community has adopted, but there are still a few holdouts using their own git repos, Subversion, and even CVS. I’m here to tell you that other than writing tests, there’s very little you could do to improve your software development process more than moving your applications and modules to GitHub. It’s not just a hosted git repository. They back up your repos, provide collaboration and documentation tools. They even provide plugins for other repositories so that if you prefer to use Mercurial locally, you can still use GitHub. And if your app is open source, you host it with them for free! Make a new years resolution and switch to GitHub.

Here’s how they describe themselves:

GitHub is version control for software development and so much more. Whether it’s a weekend side project, your favorite open source library, a startup destined for glory, or your company’s app, GitHub helps everyone work together with tools for easier collaboration and more visibility. Check it out — open source is free! 

I’m pleased to announce that GitHub has decided to sponsor YAPC::NA 2012.

Tie::Array::CSV is now more efficient on row ops

Not nearly so exciting as my announcement of Zoidberg, but today I announce the release of Tie::Array::CSV version 0.04.

Tie::Array::CSV leverages Tie::File and Text::CSV to allow access to a CSV file as a native Perl 2D array (i.e. array of array references), without having to read the (entire) file into memory.

The major improvement in 0.04 was inspired by a conversation with David Mertens at the imformal meeting a couple weeks back. As I was explaining T::A::CSV to the group over a couple beers, David asked if the file is updated at every change. I said proudly that it was, however he noted that this has some drawbacks.

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