Rock on, Rakudo dudes.
In addition to the yearly [Perl Advent Calendar](http://www.perladvent.org/2008/) from Jerrad Pierce, originally started by Mark Fowler, the Catalyst Team have put together their own [Catalyst Advent Calendar](http://www.catalystframework.org/calendar/).
Each calendar gives a new tip or trick or module to use each day. [Today's tip](http://www.perladvent.org/2008/8/) on the Perl Advent Calendar is about how to use IPC::Filter to communicate between processes, while [yesterday's entry on the Catalyst Advent Calendar](http://www.catalystframework.org/calendar/2008/9) discusses how to create PDFs for your web application.
Mark-Jason Dominus' fantastic book *Higher-Order Perl* is now available for free download at [http://hop.perl.plover.com/book/](http://hop.perl.plover.com/book/).
> This is better than the bootleg copies available from download sites in at least three ways:
> > - It is the complete text of the second printing, which incorporates many minor corrections; the bootleg copies are all bootlegs of the first printing.
> > - It does not have a nasty little grafitto advertising a vainglorious bootlegger plastered on every page.
> > - It was come by honestly, not stolen from the printer.
Everyone is now out of excuses for not having read it. Go read it now if you have not. You will not be sorry.
The CPAN Testers group do some pretty cool work. According to the group itself, they are
> ... a group of over 100 volunteers who test as much of
> CPAN as possible across a plethora of Perl versions and operating
> systems, which is usually many more environments than authors have
> available to themselves.
Don't write for Windows, and don't have [access to a Windows VM courtesy of Microsoft](http://perlbuzz.com/2008/12/microsoft-will-support-cpan-authors-with-free-access-to-windows-machines.html)? At least the CPAN Testers will send you the error report from a failed attempt to build on Windows.
The downside of CPAN Testers is that you may not care about certain configurations. If one of the CPAN Testers mistakenly tries to build Win32::OLE on a Mac system, the author of Win32::OLE isn't going to be very interested. Along those same lines, if your module for Perl 5.8 doesn't degrade nicely for 5.6 or earlier, then you're going to get error reports as well.
Now, [the CPAN Testers site gives authors flexibility](http://stats.cpantesters.org/updates.html#December2008b) in how they'd like to tests on their modules reported. I can specify which types of reports (pass, fail, NA, etc) I get, and on which versions of Perl I'm interested. I can set up a default profile and then set up per-distribution profiles as well.
It's fantastic. Anyone who is doing CPAN modules should take a look at [this excellent service](https://prefs.cpantesters.org/) and its new customizations. Thanks to the CPAN Testers for making it available.
The always amazing Peteris Krumins is starting a series of blog postings on cool plugins for vim, starting with [this post about surround.vim](http://www.catonmat.net/blog/vim-plugins-surround-vim/).
Just reading the article about the "old way" to do what surround.vim does was informative, showing me vim tricks I didn't know.
Seriously, anyone who reads Mechanix should have [Peteris' blog](http://www.catonmat.net/) in her syndication reader.