The Summer of MetaCPAN
Lots of exciting things have happened with MetaCPAN since I posted the last update. The most important development was the announcement that Moritz Onken's Google Summer of Code proposal for MetaCPAN was accepted. Moritz had already made a huge impact on MetaCPAN before his proposal was accepted and this gives him even more time to devote to improving both the front and back end of MetaCPAN.
I've always thought of this project as a marathon rather than a sprint, but with the rate things have been happening lately, I may be forced to re-evaluate. I'd like to see us get the maximum benefit for the Summer of Code grant. In order to do this, we still need some volunteers to dig into our big list of open issues. The more issues we can clear up, the more of his time Moritz can devote to some of the meatier parts of his proposal, like module tagging, comments etc.
So, if you're inclined to dig in and write some code/tests/documentation or if you just want to give us a piece of your mind, please visit us at #metacpan on irc.perl.org
This project is still very fresh and malleable. We don't have years of code to support or backward compatibility to care about. We can use all the latest toys, break things and generally see what goes boom without causing a lot of problems. Some of that will change when things go live, but for the time being it's still the Wild West.
Do you like writing tests? Do you want to write some interesting Plack::Middleware? Do you want to work with ElasticSearch? Do you want to work with large, constantly changing data sets? We may just have something for you.
This is the sort of project upon which you can have an immediate impact. You don't have to have years of experience with Perl. In fact, if you're happy helping out with documentation or taking care of some sysadmin tasks, that's equally needed help.
The API which MetaCPAN will provide can be used to power command line applications, web apps, mobile apps etc. It can be used as a back end for a next generation CPAN search or even to host your own local, searchable CPAN. It takes the unenviable task of breaking down what's in the CPAN and makes all of that data available to you with just a few REST API calls. If we do the right things, MetaCPAN will help to improve a lot of tools which already exist and some which have yet to spring into existence.
That's my pitch for today. It won't be my last pitch, either. I'm not bashful about asking for help. If you're curious at all, join us on IRC and we'll see if we can't find something interesting for you to do.