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Re: The CPAN Covenant

Neil Bowers
November 28, 2011 20:55
Re: The CPAN Covenant
Message ID:
Mustn't get sucked in, mustn't get sucked in ...

oh bugger.

>  In that case, such modules on CPAN are worse than DEAD WEIGHT, they don't
> just take up space.  People, like you say, come to CPAN for 'modules that
> install in a straight forward manner'.   If the module fails in that
> regard, then the module has no place on CPAN.

In part, I agree with you. I had a slide on this in my talk on CPAN Curation at LPW:
I think we should have a process for retiring modules [slide 20], which would see
them removed from the CPAN shop-front.

But I think it's too strong to say that such a module has no place on CPAN.
What you call a heap of junk someone else might come across and imagine
an amazing car that can fly (Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang, for those who don't get
the reference), and start breathing life into it.

In reviewing modules recently I've come across a number which
you might consider dead weight. One of them I think is a candidate for starting
a retirement process on (other modules better address the same need).
But another I just fixed a bunch of bugs in and mailed the author. If I don't get
a reply I'll start the process to get co-maint.

> In fact, I would propose that anyone who even raises that option in order
> to even accept a patch should be banned from CPAN (maybe not on 1st
> offense), but CPAN is suppose to be like perl, free as in beer...etc.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and am still trying to work out
what I really think.

CPAN is a mechanism which makes it really easy for people to share
their code with other Perl users.

Part of the reason for its success is that there are very few rules. In fact just about
the only thing you have to do is cooperate with PAUSE enough for it to be able to
upload your dist.

I think we should work to establish conventions, and instil a sense of responsibility
(to CPAN, to other (future) module authors, Perl users, and the PAUSE admins),
but not start adding rules.

As you point out, name-space "ownership" is a tricky situation, but I don't
think it's one solved by controlling how it's bestowed on suitors, or removed
from transgressors.

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