Giving up on weekly neoCPANisms
For a brief period of time (well, one week), I had a chain of 4 weekly neoCPANisms in NEILB's NeoCPANisms contest (which is subtly different from the Monthly New Distribution Challenge 2014 quest on questhub).
Then at the end of week 23, instead of pushing out an entirely new module (I have a two or three "almost ready" distributions in my CPAN folder), I decided to give up.
I had started to participate seriously in the weekly neoCPANisms contest when I saw I had reached 3 weeks in a row (with Task-CPANAuthors-Regional, Task-CPANAuthors and Acme-CPANAuthors-MetaSyntactic. It didn't take much effort to produce Acme-MetaSyntactic-cpanauthors (an idea I had kept in the back of my mind for more than a year, actually maybe two).
Last Saturday (June 14), around 22:00 GMT (i.e. two hours before the deadline), I probably still could have rushed something out. However, I decided I wouldn't.
My main reasons were that:
- I was tired
- even though noone else but me is watching my code (I mean, look at the proportion of "joke modules" in those neoCPANisms), I didn't want to put out something too shabby
- putting out stuff I'd be ashamed of later definitely goes against the spirit of the game
- it's just a game
Neil and I have discussed "bending the rules" recently, and he decided that "unlike the original release-once-a-week competition, there would be no special dispensations, even if PAUSE died. The PAUSE timestamps are really final." Obviously, no special cases mean simpler code, and simple, easy to understand, rules. Making a special case for a PAUSE breakage or a release that was pushed on time but indexed and put on CPAN after the deadline for the sake of an author's chain length is making the whole thing more serious than it needs to be.
It's amazing to realize that DROLSKY has put at least one release on CPAN every month for 162 months (13½ years!) and counting. But even if he was playing the CPAN once-a-month game, I don't think he should think twice before taking a month-long vacation from CPAN if he wants one. He definitely deserves it!
Actually, one of the ideas Neil and I share about those dashboards is that the more leaderboards we have, the more games we have, the harder it's going to be for anyone to compete in all categories. I'd actually love to have CPAN games that are in direct contradiction: to perform great at one of the games means you will perform poorly at another. So you, as a CPAN author, would have to pick your battles.
Remember: it's just games. They are designed to encourage a certain type of CPAN behaviour (for those interested in playing) and the one important, unwritten, rule of all those games is to make CPAN better. That's the end goal, and the only one that really matters.