2015 Pull Request Challenge: At First Glance

So, I have a couple of confessions to make:

  • I confess that sometimes I am a little judgemental of others code
  • I confess that I am defensive when other people judge my code
  • When I first looked at my assigned module, I confess that I started passing judgement on it.
  • When I first started really digging into my assigned module, I confess that I seriously considered recommending that it be deprecated.
  • I confess that I was absolutely wrong, and that in being a judgemental ass I almost missed the whole point of this exercise.

Neil did not ask me to be judgemental, or to critique other peoples’ contributions to the rich set of modules contributed freely to CPAN. Neil’s challenge wasn’t for us to help identify modules to remove from CPAN, I suspect that there are already parameters for doing that and that when it is appropriate to do so that this is done.

The challenge at hand was to take a module that has been abandoned and left lonely, not being updated or added to, and give it a little TLC. Even if it is just a spit-shine, these modules need something… anything.

I can’t help but feel like I walked into this challenge having completely missed the point of the whole thing.

It’s hard releasing stuff into open source. I’ve been doing so for more than 18 years now, and it’s not an easy thing to do, subjecting your work to criticism. We owe it to one another to at the very least not be judgemental and dismissive in this challenge.

So, what am I doing to improve App::CLI::Extension? I’ve got two things in store:

  1. First, this module doesn’t currently build. I think it’s a change in Module::Install that’s causing trouble, so I want to fix that.
  2. Second, I want to improve the module to meet more of the current best-practices. I’ll probably use a lot of perlcritic and PBP for this.

I don’t know what else to do just yet, but it seems like so far I’ve got a few hours of work. Let me know what you think, and if you use this module, definitely speak up and let me know if you have any specific requests.

2 Replies to “2015 Pull Request Challenge: At First Glance”

  1. Congratulations for a frank self-assessment. I’m sure that many of us, at various times, face similar issues.
    Just a few days ago I went to Neil Bowers module adoption page, http://neilb.org/adoption/, and focused on Text::Balanced. With 24 issues, it needs TLC, and it’s used by many modules.
    But I baulked at working on it, and did what I felt like doing, wrote a similar but somewhat incompatible module from scratch: Text::Balanced::Marpa.
    This immediately raises issues of back-compat, and just a few minutes ago Tony Inkster – whose opinion is important – asked on blogs.perl.org if I might ship a compatibility wrapper. That doesn’t appeal….
    I’ve had another look at the source and docs, and am still reluctant, but I won’t rule it out permanently.
    I should add I have adopted various modules, and worked on them, so it’s not like I always do things my way.

    1. Thanks for the comment Ron!
      How did you come to the decision to make the new module? Was there a specific DGR?
      The thing I’ve been trying to remind myself is that I wasn’t asked to do something new, I was asked to clean up something existing. The nice thing about that is that I get to submit my pull request, and then move on to the next month. Also, there’s a certain freedom – for me at least – in not having to come up with the whole idea myself, but rather to find some specific areas for improvement and work towards that.
      I’m curious to see what you and others think about this.

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