Where can someone find Perl modules to contribute to?


Bradley Andersen (his gmail username is bradley.d.andersen) wrote asking

i am looking to try and contribute to perl and foss in general. do you know of a list of perl modules that are currently marked as 'maintainer died' that i might hijack, or, some list of module maintainers who may be looking for help? i am interested also in learning python and doing roughly the same kind of thing in that domain.

Here are my suggestions, and I trust others will add suggestions in the comments:

  • First, pick a module that you actually use. The best module to work on is one that you already use. Check its bug queue, which will probably be at rt.cpan.org, but not necessarily.
  • Take a look at the ADOPTME user on CPAN. This is where orphaned packages go to live.
  • Check out 24pullrequests.com, a holiday-themed site of open source projects looking for help.
  • OpenHatch says it is "dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools, and education."

Remember, not all contributions to projects need to be in the form of written code. There are plenty of ways to help out that work on the module tests and infrastructure, or don't require any coding at all. For some ideas, see my article 14 Ways To Contribute to Open Source Without Being a Rock Star".


Look at the dists that have most bugs, and see whether you can fix one of those bugs. The downside is that the easier bugs tend to get fixed first. Here's the current top 10:

  1. CPAN (157)
  2. Perl-Critic (143)
  3. libwww-perl (137)
  4. ExtUtils-MakeMaker (137)
  5. Module-Build (107)
  6. Tk (103)
  7. YAML (100)
  8. DBD-mysql (91)
  9. CGI.pm (78)
  10. GD (75)

My next idea took a bit longer to work on: look for dists that haven't seen a release for a while, but which have recently raised (and still open) bugs. You can see the top 50 dists identified by my first whip-up in my blog post.

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