The Perl Toolchain Summit (PTS) is a yearly event that gathers the maintainers and contributors to the Perl Toolchain for four days in one room. Having all the people with both the knowledge and access to work on this critical corner of Perl all together in one place always leads to progress which is much more than the sum of those individual contributions. What is the Perl Toolchain? It is any part of Perl which is involved with modules, from creating, authoring, testing, uploading, distributing, loading, reporting on tests and test coverage, etc, etc. Projects like CPAN clients (cpanm, cpm), aggregation sites like MetaCPAN, CPANTesters, cpancover, and critical infrastructure like PAUSE and modules like Test::More/Test2 and many others are represented.
This year’s event was hosted in Oslo, by the indomitable Salve Nilsen, who first started this event in 2008 ten years ago, back when it was called Perl Quality Assurance Hackathon (QAH). Together with local organizers Stig Palmquist and other Oslo.pm members, as well as remote organizers Philippe Bruhat, Neil Bowers, and Laurent Boivin, (and others as well, I’m sure) it was again a wonderful event!
While I have hung out on the fringes of the p5p and toolchain communities for a few years now, my largest “qualifying” contribution has been Alien::Base, which has largely been handed off to Graham Ollis (plicease).
Therefore I was a little surprised but very honored to be invited to the 2016 Perl QA Hackathon held in Rugby, England.
Overall it was an incredible experience.
Day after day the energy in the room was palpable.
Everyone was creating and improving the code that we would all get to use one way or the other.
People hacking on PAUSE and MetaCPAN and CPANTesters, on ExtUtils::MakeMaker, on Test2 and Test::More.
In a future post I will recount the details of my delightful experience at the 2016 Perl QA Hackathon (N.B. now published here).
Since this is my first post since that time I do want to tip my hat to the great sponsors of the event and to my own employer ServerCentral without whom I would not have been able to attend.
I will thank them in more detail in that post.
Before I get to that however, I want to post a reflection on one discussion that is and has been weighing on my mind since then.
That topic is the upcoming release of Test2, which I consider to be a very important step forward for Perl’s testing architecture.