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From David Stewart <>
Subject Re: decline and fall of modperl?
Date Sat, 28 Mar 2009 02:03:10 GMT

On Mar 27, 2009, at 6:17 PM, Joe Schaefer wrote:
> That's called advocacy, and as I said before, there's a mailing list  
> set
> up for that for people who actually want to *do* some of that  
> instead of
> issue general gripes on a thread called "decline and fall of  
> mod_perl".
> I don't mean to suggest that such activity is unimportant, just to  
> point
> out again that it's not topical on a user support list like this one.

Just to clarify, this list is not just for user support, it is a  
general mod_perl list (as explained in the posting guidelines).  There  
is a separate list for advocacy, but that doesn't mean that these  
sorts of threads aren't appropriate to be posted here.  In fact the  
posting guidelines specifically ask that people not bring up issues of  
whether advocacy should be in another list or not.  In the end it may  
be more appropriate to have more technical discussions, such as this,  
in this list as it will likely attract more informed opinions (as  
people subscribed here are theoretically practicing mod_perl users).

> Having lots of users of your code doesn't necessarily translate to
> putting food on a developer's dinner table.  TicketMaster funded a lot
> of the work that went into mod_perl2, largely out of their own self-
> interest, but that is a *contribution* that many of us are thankful  
> for.

That's certainly true and I was actually thinking about bringing up  
just this point in my previous post.  Another reason to be clear about  
the technical issues and advantages/disadvantages of mod_perl is to be  
able get corporate support for continued development.  If you've got  
consultants going around with misguided opinions of mod_perl then  
there is almost certainly going to be less chance for someone like  
Ticketmaster to adopt and champion it.

> I would like to think that ego stroking isn't what motivates  
> developers
> to write perl code.  They do it because the perl community is still by
> and large a gift culture, and if you want to be a full partner in the
> community you really should pony up to the table and contribute  
> something.
> Whether or not 10 people use your code or 100,000, if your users are  
> happy
> and you are approachable regarding bug reports, then the fact that you
> are *contributing* to intellectual assets a user community means
> something.

Well, whatever you'd like to think, ego is a big part of a lot of  
development, however this goes beyond ego.  It's more a question of  
how best to spend your time.  Developing well laid-out generalized  
modules suitable for reuse is almost always much more time consuming  
than a one-off hack.  If you are the only one using the code, then  
often the one-off hack is going to be the best use of your time.   
However, if you know a lot of others could benefit with a little (or a  
lot of) extra work on your part, then you will likely be willing to  
put in that extra time.

I had a professor who helped write one of the lexical analyzers  
generators.  He joked that he had spend five years writing a program  
to do automatically what it took him two hours to do by hand.  He  
would have been better off for himself to just do it by hand, but  
creating the general purpose tool was a way to help out the wider  
community.  Such projects aren't sensible if that community isn't  
large enough to make the investment in time worthwhile.

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