February 2013 Archives

Play Perl: Sign In with Email

Starting from today, you can sign in to Play Perl using email, even if you don't have a twitter account. (It won't ask you for password; it uses Mozilla Persona.)

Quick recap: Play Perl is a new social and gamified website for Perl developers, where people can declare their open source plans and get points for completing them. I launched it 2 weeks ago.

This week was much slower than the last, due to me being back to my daily job from vacation. Still, I managed to get more than a 100 commits in, including:

  • the ability to unclaim quests, moving them into a global "up-for-grabs" pool
  • the ability to abandon quests without removing them
  • RSS for the global news feed
  • 4 separate explore sub-tabs
  • performance optimizations
  • many refactorings, html improvements, bugfixes and new bugs, as usual

Also, thanks to the awesome creaktive@, Play Perl got a favicon. And then, thanks to the awesome neilb@, it got another one :)

Play Perl is more popular than rt.cpan.org!

Sorry for the eye-catchy title, but seriously, number of Play Perl quests created in 1 week since its launch:

$ curl -s 'http://play-perl.org/api/quest' | jq length

rt.cpan.org tickets created after 2013-02-07: 128 (no idea how to add a permanent link to its search results).

Some other stats:

  • 282 players
  • 1,349 unique visitors
  • 28,222 page views (half of them are probably mine)

New features since my last post:

  • Email notifications (if you have registered in the first few days, go to your settings and set your email!)
  • New Explore tab
  • Players list is now the leaderboard
  • Comments preview with client-side markdown engine
  • Comments and quests editing
  • Auto-highlighting CPAN module names in comments
  • "Like" button in quest lists
Also, tons of JS refactorings and bugfixes, backbone and bootstrap upgrades, etc.

Several people wrote some really nice posts about Play Perl. Go read them if you haven't already, they explain better why Play Perl is important than I do, with my non-native crude English writing skills :)

So, what's next?
I think most important features to add next are:

  • the ability to add a quest directly to some kind of a quest pool (without taking on them personally and immediately);
  • the ability to join someone on a quest;
  • the ability to abandon a quest, to pick up an abandoned quest, and generally move them between different states.
Here's a relevant discussion on Play Perl about how I see it working and why.

After all that, I'd love to finally get to the fun part: pre-scripted quests, especially for newbies (Example: "Pass a tutorial at perltuts.com"; another example: "Solve 10 new Project Euler problems in Perl and publish them online"). I want to get at least one example of such pre-scripted quest implemented and see how it will work out in practice.
And then after that, achievements.

Summing up: you guys are awesome, I didn't expect it to be so popular.
Now go and play some more :)
And don't forget that the final objective is to complete your quests and not just add them!

PS: I need help with desigining a small Perl Raptor icon. Anyone?

Play Perl: first 24 hours and the power of likes

This is fun. Maybe even too much fun, I didn't get enough sleep last night :)
Hacking on a live website with real users is so much more interesting than developing it in a local sandbox.
(I'm developing and supporting a big website with >1M hits/day at my daily $job, but somehow it's just not the same.)

In the last 24 hours, I implemented:

  • open quests counter in /players list
  • News Feed with opened/closed quests and new comments
  • likes and comments counter in the quest list
  • several bugfixes and html/css improvements

I think that's more features than I've added in the last 2 months :)

The power of likes

Play Perl is online

play-perl.org is up.
It's a very, very early alpha. There are no achievements, no news feed (Upd: news feed is in), no pre-set quests, not enough quest metadata and almost no introductory texts.
Still, I chose to release what I have now, because I want to start dog-fooding it myself, and because I want to see if anyone will care enough to try it.
(Also, my self-inflicted deadline was February 1st; I wanted to launch it with more features, but other projects and procrastination got in the way, as usual.)

With that being said, here's what already works:

About Vyacheslav Matyukhin

user-pic I wrote Ubic. I worked at Yandex for many years, and now i'm building my own startup questhub.io (formerly PlayPerl). I'm also working on Flux, streaming data processing framework. CPAN ID: MMCLERIC.