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1=head1 NAME
2
3perlcommunity - a brief overview of the Perl community
4
5=head1 DESCRIPTION
6
7This document aims to provide an overview of the vast perl community, which is
8far too large and diverse to provide a detailed listing. If any specific niche
9has been forgotten, it is not meant as an insult but an omission for the sake
10of brevity.
11
12The Perl community is as diverse as Perl, and there is a large amount of
13evidence that the Perl users apply TMTOWTDI to all endeavors, not just
14programming. From websites, to IRC, to mailing lists, there is more than one
15way to get involved in the community.
16
167dbc9f 17=head2 Where to Find the Community
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18
19There is a central directory for the Perl community: L<http://perl.org>
20maintained by the Perl Foundation (L<http://www.perlfoundation.org/>),
21which tracks and provides services for a variety of other community sites.
22
167dbc9f 23=head2 Mailing Lists and Newsgroups
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5691d108 25Perl runs on e-mail; there is no doubt about it. The Camel book was originally
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26written mostly over e-mail and today Perl's development is co-ordinated through
27mailing lists. The largest repository of Perl mailing lists is located at
28L<http://lists.perl.org>.
29
30Most Perl-related projects set up mailing lists for both users and
31contributors. If you don't see a certain project listed at
32L<http://lists.perl.org>, check the particular website for that project.
33Most mailing lists are archived at L<http://nntp.perl.org/>.
34
35There are also plenty of Perl related newsgroups located under
36C<comp.lang.perl.*>.
37
38=head2 IRC
39
40The Perl community has a rather large IRC presence. For starters, it has its
41own IRC network, L<irc://irc.perl.org>. General (not help-oriented) chat can be
42found at L<irc://irc.perl.org/#perl>. Many other more specific chats are also
43hosted on the network. Information about irc.perl.org is located on the
5691d108 44network's website: L<http://www.irc.perl.org>. For a more help-oriented #perl,
241e7389 45check out L<irc://irc.freenode.net/#perl>. Perl 6 development also has a
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46presence in L<irc://irc.freenode.net/#perl6>. Most Perl-related channels will
47be kind enough to point you in the right direction if you ask nicely.
48
49Any large IRC network (Dalnet, EFnet) is also likely to have a #perl channel,
50with varying activity levels.
51
52=head2 Websites
53
54Perl websites come in a variety of forms, but they fit into two large
5691d108 55categories: forums and news websites. There are many Perl-related
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56websites, so only a few of the community's largest are mentioned here.
57
58=head3 News sites
59
60=over 4
61
62=item L<http://perl.com/>
63
5691d108 64Run by O'Reilly Media (the publisher of L<the Camel Book|perlbook>, among other
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65Perl-related literature), perl.com provides current Perl news, articles, and
66resources for Perl developers as well as a directory of other useful websites.
67
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68=item L<http://blogs.perl.org/>
69
70Many members of the community have a Perl-related blog on this site. If
71you'd like to join them, you can sign up for free.
72
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73=item L<http://use.perl.org/>
74
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75use Perl; used to provide a slashdot-style news/blog website covering all
76things Perl, from minutes of the meetings of the Perl 6 Design team to
77conference announcements with (ir)relevant discussion. It no longer accepts
78updates, but you can still use the site to read old entries and comments.
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79
80=back
81
82=head3 Forums
83
84=over 4
85
86=item L<http://www.perlmonks.org/>
87
88PerlMonks is one of the largest Perl forums, and describes itself as "A place
89for individuals to polish, improve, and showcase their Perl skills." and "A
90community which allows everyone to grow and learn from each other."
91
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92=item L<http://stackoverflow.com/>
93
94Stack Overflow is a free question-and-answer site for programmers. It's not
95focussed solely on Perl, but it does have an active group of users who do
96their best to help people with their Perl programming questions.
97
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98=back
99
100=head2 User Groups
101
10a3d64e 102Many cities around the world have local Perl Mongers chapters. A Perl Mongers
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103chapter is a local user group which typically holds regular in-person meetings,
104both social and technical; helps organize local conferences, workshops, and
105hackathons; and provides a mailing list or other continual contact method for
106its members to keep in touch.
107
10a3d64e 108To find your local Perl Mongers (or PM as they're commonly abbreviated) group
109check the international Perl Mongers directory at L<http://www.pm.org/>.
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110
111=head2 Workshops
112
113Perl workshops are, as the name might suggest, workshops where Perl is taught
114in a variety of ways. At the workshops, subjects range from a beginner's
115introduction (such as the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop's "Zero To Perl") to much
116more advanced subjects.
117
118There are several great resources for locating workshops: the
119L<websites|"Websites"> mentioned above, the
120L<calendar|"Calendar of Perl Events"> mentioned below, and the YAPC Europe
121website, L<http://www.yapceurope.org/>, which is probably the best resource for
122European Perl events.
123
124=head2 Hackathons
125
126Hackathons are a very different kind of gathering where Perl hackers gather to
127do just that, hack nonstop for an extended (several day) period on a specific
128project or projects. Information about hackathons can be located in the same
129place as information about L<workshops|"Workshops"> as well as in
130L<irc://irc.perl.org/#perl>.
131
132If you have never been to a hackathon, here are a few basic things you need to
133know before attending: have a working laptop and know how to use it; check out
5691d108 134the involved projects beforehand; have the necessary version control client;
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135and bring backup equipment (an extra LAN cable, additional power strips, etc.)
136because someone will forget.
137
138=head2 Conventions
139
140Perl has two major annual conventions: The Perl Conference (now part of OSCON),
141put on by O'Reilly, and Yet Another Perl Conference or YAPC (pronounced
142yap-see), which is localized into several regional YAPCs (North America,
143Europe, Asia) in a stunning grassroots display by the Perl community. For more
144information about either conference, check out their respective web pages:
145OSCON L<http://conferences.oreillynet.com/>; YAPC L<http://www.yapc.org>.
146
80983d21 147A relatively new conference franchise with a large Perl portion is the
cbd87e7e 148Open Source Developers Conference or OSDC. First held in Australia it has
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149recently also spread to Israel and France. More information can be found at:
150L<http://www.osdc.com.au/> for Australia, L<http://www.osdc.org.il>
151for Israel, and L<http://www.osdc.fr/> for France.
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152
153=head2 Calendar of Perl Events
154
10a3d64e 155The Perl Review, L<http://www.theperlreview.com> maintains a website
156and Google calendar
157(L<http://www.theperlreview.com/community_calendar>) for tracking
158workshops, hackathons, Perl Mongers meetings, and other events. Views
159of this calendar are at L<http://www.perl.org/events.html> and
160L<http://www.yapc.org>.
161
162Not every event or Perl Mongers group is on that calendar, so don't lose
163heart if you don't see yours posted. To have your event or group listed,
164contact brian d foy (brian@theperlreview.com).
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165
166=head1 AUTHOR
167
168Edgar "Trizor" Bering <trizor@gmail.com>
169
170=cut