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Perlbuzz news roundup for 2012-03-20

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These links are collected from the Perlbuzz Twitter feed. If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2012-01-16

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These links are collected from the Perlbuzz Twitter feed. If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at andy@perlbuzz.com.

Parrot tickets now converted to GitHub

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The Parrot project is now using GitHub's issue tracking system. Parrot has used GitHub's source code control for months now, but we had hundreds of tickets in the Trac system.  Now, over the past few weeks, I've been working with Rick from GitHub to migrate the tickets out of Trac into GitHub's issue system.

Like most data conversion projects, the challenges were less about the coding and more about making the decisions about how to massage the data between two similar systems.  For example, Trac has fields for Severity and Priority of tickets, but GitHub only has free-form tagging, so I had to create GitHub tags that correspond to Severity and Priority in Trac. GitHub's tracking system doesn't handle file attachments, so my conversion code had to make inline comments of the file attachments.

Most time-consuming of all was the conversion of users from Trac to GitHub.  We needed the issue history to have accurate user IDs on them, so I needed a big lookup table to do the job. While users like "coke" and "chromatic" have the same user IDs on both the Trac instance and GitHub, Trac user "jonathan" is "jnthn" on GitHub, and so on. Anyone I couldn't find a match for became generic user "Parrot".

The actual code to do all this is only about 200 lines of Perl code, which should be no surprise for someone who has the CPAN at his disposal. I used Net::Trac to read from the Trac instance, and the JSON module to write out JSON files in the GitHub API format. The bulk of the code is project-specific conversions to make little data tweaks like change severity to tags, and to make the output code a little more friendly in Markdown.

I have to specifically thank Rick at GitHub for helping us through this project.  I used a lot of his time with questions about how GitHub would handle my import format, and we had two test imports for us to see real results, so that I could adjust my conversion process. The final results are beautiful, and the Parrot team is excited to see this move made.

I've long been a fan of GitHub and how they help out the community, and this just adds to it.  This sort of aid to open source projects should stand as an example to other companies that work with open source.  Many companies give back to the communities of the projects on which their businesses are based.  It's fantastic to have a company willing to use human capital actually working with a project in which they have no direct involvement.  In helping us, GitHub gains nothing but the grateful thanks of the Parrot project.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-10-17

These links are collected from the Perlbuzz Twitter feed. If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at andy@perlbuzz.com.

Google Code-In brings fresh blood to the Perl and Parrot communities

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By Jonathan Leto

I'm excited to announce that Parrot Foundation and The Perl Foundation have been accepted as organizations in Google Code-In 2010!

Google Code-In is a contest, similar to Google Summer of Code, where Google pays students aged 13-18 to do tasks designed by open source communities, while learning about open source. Google pays for the work to be done, and we get new members to our communities, while students learn useful skills. It is a big win for everyone.

In 2010, Google Summer of Code was a great success for Perl and Parrot. We got amazing new features in Parrot, Perl 5 and Perl 6 . In 2009, we had similarly spectacular results.

For the students, the benefits are huge. They get mentored by some of the best minds in open source and get "street cred" in the community. This contest also acts as a stepping stone for Google Summer of Code, so students that excel at Code-In will most likely be sought after for future Google Summer of Code involvement. It's also fantastic experience to put on a résumé. I see many Google Summer of Code students get snapped up by respected companies, or accepted to prestigious academic institutions.

The more well-documented tasks we have before that, the more students we will have the potential to attract. I can attest that these kind of contests attract some of the smartest students in the world, so the Perl and Parrot communities have much to gain by being involved.

I expect great results for Code-In as well, but we need your help. The Google Code-In contest opens up for students on: November 22, 2010 at 12:00 AM Pacific Time / 08:00 UTC.

How Can You Get Involved?

  • Add a task to our task list There is a template that you can copy and paste, as well as many examples. Any task related to Perl 5, Perl 6 or Parrot is fair game.
  • Improve the description of an existing task. The more specific a task and the more documentation and links you provide, the easier it is for a student to choose and complete a task.
  • Volunteer to mentor a student on a task. You apply to be a mentor here. Please join the tpf-gsoc-students mailing list and introduce yourself. Provide a brief description of why you are interested when you sign up, so we know you aren't a bot :) Please also join the #gci channel on irc.perl.org.
  • Tell potential students about Google Code-In and how we are involved. Here is a link to the timeline and FAQ that you can send them, as well as flyers to post.

Jonathan "Duke" Leto has been heavily involved in co-ordinating the Perl and Parrot projects in Google Summer of Code for the past three years. He's also a core contributor to the Parrot and Perl 6 projects, as well as the maintainer of many CPAN modules. You can find his Perl-related blog at http://leto.net/perl.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2010-08-27

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These links are collected from the Perlbuzz Twitter feed. If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2010-06-18

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These links are collected from the Perlbuzz Twitter feed. If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at andy@perlbuzz.com.

Coverity scans the Parrot project again

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Back in 2007, I worked with David Maxwell of Coverity to get Parrot scanned by Coverity Prevent. Coverity Prevent is a static C analysis tool that looks for potential bugs in a codebase, and it's far more comprehensive than built-in GCC warnings or splint. It's also expensive, licensed per-seat, but Coverity offers a service to open source projects to analyze their source code.

I worked on the Coverity results for a while, fixing bugs and removing dead code here and there, but for whatever reason turned my attention elsewhere.

Last week, I ran into David during OSCON, and it sparked my memory of how useful the Coverity tool was. It had been so long since I'd checked, I couldn't even remember my login credentials. It didn't matter, as it turns out the scanner hadn't been running, and in fact was still pointing at the old Parrot Subversion repository. Now, he's got things going again, and I have a raft of new potential bugs to investigate and fix.

I want to thank Coverity for providing this service to the Perl and Parrot communities. There are plenty of ways to support open source without having to shell out cash. This is a very useful one indeed.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2009-07-17

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These links are collected from the Perlbuzz Twitter feed. If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at andy@perlbuzz.com.

  • What's Ricardo Signes working on? (rjbs.manxome.org)
  • Test::Pod now checks for illegal L<> constructs (perlbuzz.com)
  • Changes in the board of the Perl Foundation (news.perlfoundation.org)
  • Parrot covered in SDTimes (sdtimes.com)
  • WWW::Mechanize::Cached under new ownership, now with first new version in five years (search.cpan.org)
  • How I came to contribute to Perl 6 (perlmonks.org)
  • Join the Padre team for Padre's first birthday party (use.perl.org)
  • On Parrot: "Truly, this is a project to watch." (sdtimes.com)
  • 48% of Perlbuzz feed subscribers are from outside the USA
  • Jim Brandt to represent Perl in open source language roundtable webcast (oreilly.com)
  • I'm ready to give Brad Choate a big smooch for Text::Textile just about now. (search.cpan.org)
  • Perl's own Skud will be keynoting at OSCON (en.oreilly.com)
  • Generating heat maps with Perl (internetsamhard.com)
  • Testers needed for next release of Strawberry (use.perl.org)

Perlbuzz news roundup 2009-07-05

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These links are collected from the Perlbuzz Twitter feed. If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at andy@perlbuzz.com.

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