[personal profile] csjewell
Well, I'm the new Strawberry Perl release manager/pumpking/whatever the job is called.

Talk about diving in to the Perl community with a splash.

Adam Kennedy is only giving up two thirds of the job that he had, however. He'll be Strawberry's "project manager" - the elder statesman of the project, if you will. I'll still have his cool head, sharp coding skills, and vast knowledge available for advice when I need them.

My quick and funny description of what our jobs entail is that I'm now the one that has to herd the cats. Adam gets to point the direction that the cats are to be herded. (I like the cat-herding imagery. It just fits me so well, in more ways than one. My immediate family has two cats, and my grandmother has five.)

So, what's really involved in the job? Well, it means three things:

1) I build Strawberry, and I write the code that builds Strawberry. I'm planning on some neat things happening with Strawberry over the next 3 to 6 months - the building code has significantly evolved since January 2009 when I started hacking on it, and it'll evolve some more. By January 2010, it'll be 90% new code since that point in 2009, if it isn't already.

If you feel like helping to write the code, feel free to check it out! I won't refuse patches!

I'm on p5p for this reason - I need to know what's coming up. If 5.10.1 comes before October 2009 (as I hope it does), I hope to have a beta-test Strawberry Perl version available soon afterwards.

2) If a module that Strawberry needs or that I'm interested in having work under Strawberry does not compile or test correctly, I'm available to help fix it. Note that I said help. I do not have infinite tuits. I wish I did.

3) I give advice (and sometimes patches) on how to make Perl scripts and modules work under Microsoft Windows. I'm on IRC quite a bit for that purpose. This isn't an official part of the job per se, but it's a neccessary one - if you can't explain how Strawberry does what it does, should you really have this job?

It's a volunteer position for the most part, and I'm glad to have it. I hope to gain your confidence, as I know some people are asking (and have asked) "Why is a new guy taking over this position from Adam Kennedy? We don't know him from Adam. (pun intended.) Can he do the job?" I find it easiest to answer those in reverse order.

For the second question, the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding in question happens to be the July 2009 version of Strawberry Perl.

I do plan to keep future releases within the first month of the quarter, with the aim being to have them released by the Friday after the second Monday of the release month in my time zone [which happens to be United States Mountain time, currently GMT-6.] (The second Monday does not work so well for me.)

If you want to know when beta or release candidate versions will come out, please contact me, and I'll put your e-mail address on my list of people to contact, or you can check win32-vanilla@perl.org or use.perl.org/~DiamondInTheRough/journal or csjewell.dreamwidth.org. (Speaking of which, I do have a few DW invite codes if people in the Perl community want them!)

As for the first, I'm not a rank newbie, it's just that I haven't stepped up and done much to make myself noticed until now. (That, and for the most part, I've lived too far away from any groups of Perl users.) I've been programming in Perl since 1999, with version 5.005_04, for web sites, data manipulation, and system administration on Linux and FreeBSD, and remember running ActiveState builds of 5.6.0 on my Windows boxes soon after that. I was at the 2002 YAPC::NA in St. Louis (I lived in Columbia, Missouri at that point in time) - haven't been able to get to any since. I also released a module on CPAN back in 2007. (It's now only on the BackPAN - the code got incorporated into its parent module about 3 weeks after release.) The first version of Perl::Dist::WiX was distribution #2 that I released to the public - and there are other distributions that I've written now on CPAN, as well as modules that I've sent patches to.

Just like most Perl programmers, I release modules and fix bugs when I have itches to scratch. Strawberry was a big itch.

I know I still have quite a bit to learn, but I'm learning it quick (I don't quite have the Camel book memorized yet), and am glad to have the opportunity to learn, and to have fun doing it. I say that because working on Strawberry has been fun for me for the most part. Occasionally frustrating (I have some pretty slow computers), but fun.

I'm sometimes impatient, and I'm sometimes lazy. Hubris? Not the way Miss Jewell brought up her little boy! (At least, not much.)

Feel free to ask any questions you'd like to know, and I'll try to answer them.



June 2011

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