Put up or Shutup, part 1: Starting somewhere

My ranting and raving from the previous post, which I expected to only receive shun, flame and troll turned out to have a positive side effect: being told to actually do something about the things I was complaining about. So instead of disappearing into /dev/null or somewhere equally as stupid, and despite my own inabilities to do them all, the least I can do is something which is greater than being a clown on the internet.

The things I bitched about boil down to a few key bits:

  • Usability and experience on Perl related websites need significant improvement

  • Monitoring the effectiveness of the usability and reach along and iterating changes on the websites to improve usability for new comers and regular users

  • A greater effort to aggregate and supply high quality recordings of talks and screen casts.

Don't start me here
I'm hopeless with video recording equipment, but I would like to think that there could be some way, somehow of at least getting people or parties interested in the department of creating good footage and learning materials. I personally don't know where to start on this topic, and if someone could give me an idea on how one might go about doing such a thing, it would be appreciated - quite possible by more than myself.

Capability and communication
I'd like to start somewhere if I'm useless with a camera. Where? Well, work on the usability, presentation, look & feel of a few key Perl websites that do see significant traffic and desperately need work on their look and usability - jobs.perl.org, www.cpan.org, perlfoundation.org, and I would like to talk to whomever maintains these websites and ask if they are interested. If the owners of use.perl.org or perlmonks.org are also interested, I would like to hear from them. I'd also like to get in touch with whomever maintains all the sites recently updated by the designers at Foxtons - perl.org, learn.perl.org, etc and see if they are willing to at least look at myself working at analyzing the metrics already gathered and improving these websites to attract more users, but more importantly, work on the goal of having a much greater user experience. Some of that really does depend on the content - that might take camera and some good footage but let's not go there yet.

I've sent emails to the fine people at the Perl NOC, and to a few others asking if they would be interested, but the chances are of my emails ever getting there may, or may not be slim. If you're one of the above or know them - please point them this way. Am I the only one here interested in making these topics real?


The TPF Marketing committee (which was mentioned by Ovid in your previous post) has discussed all of these topics and we're well aware of all that needs to be done.

We've discussed modernizing the various Perl websites, but the tricky part is getting the owners and the people doing the work (volunteers) to get it done. A month ago, I tried contacting Jarkko about giving cpan.org a face lift, but haven't heard back yet. Casey West is currently our webmaster. If you'd like to help him out, then you should try getting a hold of him. Pudge is currently in charge of use.perl.org, but from what I've heard, upgrading the site is not high on his list of TODOs.

I believe that a few of the recent YAPC::NA conferences have been video taped (including this year's) but it seems that it never makes it out of post production. I'm hoping the guys in Columbus this year can make it happen and get the videos out there. I believe that there is a site that EPO(?) setup to be the central site for all Perl related videos (anyone have the link?).

If you would like to help out, you should sign up on the marketing list so that we're not duplicating our efforts.

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The Ubuntu Screencast Team has detailed information on how to create screencasts on its FAQ page. There's no camera needed at all.

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About Captain Coconut

user-pic I blog about Perl.