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How to promote scripts on cpan?

by neophyte (Curate)
on Aug 13, 2001 at 13:10 UTC ( #104406=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

This morning there was a cb discussion about Not Matt's Scripts, the scripts section on cpan and of course Matts scripts.

An important question was: Why are Matts scripts so popular and widely used?
And the answer seems to be:
The intended audience for those scripts have nothing or little to do with Perl or programming. They want something out of the box they can run with as little modification as possible.
When they search for such a thing, they might not know about Perl at all - they search for form and email and they get Matt (at least I did some years ago, when I didn't know anything about Perl).

So now we know, what the audience wants - How do we inform them of other available scripts?
The problem with that is:
  • The audience is not aware of CPAN and / or any other Perl-sites.
So we have to find a way to promote cpan scripts that is actually echoed in and others.

My first suggestion was: place a link on your perlmongers site. But actually it is more useful to make a page dedicated to scripts, that has all the keywords (cgi,form,mail,guestbook,...) in it, describes some of the cpan scripts and feed that to Another way of getting something containing the link to cpan scripts in google would be writing hints in your local Perl/cgi - forum. Do that only in appropriate places, when hints are welcome.

Can you think of other ways to promote cpan scripts or Not Matt's Scripts?


update: I should say, I use the node name Not Matt's Scripts just as node name here out of sheer lazyness.
I suggest naming it Web Scripts Suite or something alike.

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Re: How to promote scripts on cpan?
by virtualsue (Vicar) on Aug 13, 2001 at 13:42 UTC
    I agree that we need to promote the scripts on CPAN. Jazzing up the repository couldn't hurt (it looks like it was created by Mennonites, and people looking for plug-n-play stuff for their web sites are not likely to be impressed), along with more aggressive search engine promotion (as neophyte suggests).

    "Not Matt's Scripts" desperately needs a rename ASAP, because

    1. it's negative, which we usually try to avoid
    2. we shouldn't be hard on Matt, who as a teenager (IIRC) came up with something which has obviously filled a massive need
    3. it might backfire into an advertisement for the very scripts we'd like to help people avoid.

    Update: I should say here that I know that davorg never meant for that name to be permanent

      we shouldn't be hard on Matt, who as a teenager (IIRC) came up with something which has obviously filled a massive need

      Actually, I disagree with this one very strongly. Matt was a teenager when he first wrote the scripts, but that was six years ago. In the meantime many people have pointed out the problems with his scripts and have offered to help him fix them. As far as I know he has made no attempt to rewrite the scripts using better practices. He occasionally patches security problems (whilst still not using -T) and in the middle of January last year he issued fixes for all of the Y2K bugs in the scripts.

      Let's not forget that Matt has made a lot of money out of these scripts. As far as I'm concerned Matt has earned as much criticism as we can throw at him.


      Perl Training in the UK <>

        I don't want to get into an argument over this, but I still have to kinda admire a high school student who managed to cover the Internet with his crufty CGI. Why has it taken the Respectable Perl Programmers of the World so long (6 years) to try to take his customers away from him? He treats his customer base like crap, and he gets away with it.
      On the matter of renaming the alternative scripts:

      I completely agree, and davorg has already said something to that end - for the time being the title is just some placeholder for a better name.

      Might make a nice quest. (HINT,HINT)


Re: How to promote scripts on cpan?
by davorg (Chancellor) on Aug 13, 2001 at 14:10 UTC

    Just to confirm what other people have said. "Not Matt's Scripts" was a name that was kicked around when started to talk about this project some months ago. Although we realise all of the problems with the name (neatly summarised by virtualsue elsewhere in this thread) the name is in danger of sticking. Actually, as the project is usually refered to as "NMS" we'll probably find something that we can retro-actively stick on to that abbreviation. "New Monger's Scripts" seems to be the current favourite.


    Perl Training in the UK <>

Re: How to promote scripts on cpan?
by VSarkiss (Monsignor) on Aug 13, 2001 at 19:06 UTC

    This is getting fairly OT, but....

    Just to provide an alternate viewpoint, I have to say that to my Americanized ears, Not Matt's Scripts doesn't sound pejorative or negative. It actually sounds like a spoof or a joke, in the sense of "We couldn't think of anything better" rather than "Avoid Matt".

    Let me relate a couple of things that came to my mind when I heard it:

    • In the late '70s/early '80s, the DEC VAX was the most popular machine that ran UNIX, and the host names were things like ucbvax, decvax, iuvax, and many others. At the place I worked, when the first Motorola-based machine we were manufacturing booted up, it was christened notavax. Everyone there expressed that it was a witty and clever name.
    • For those of you who remember the TV show "Dinosaurs", the baby referred to its parents as "Mama" and "Not the mama". I (and my kids) thought it was funny.

    To me, it sounds more like: "Over here are Matt's scripts. And over there, those are, uh, Not Matt's scripts."

    Maybe the fact that davorg, virtualsue, and I are from different sides of the pond has something to do with it ("separated by a common language"). If so, then given the worldwide reach of PM, I defer to their judgement. Better to err on the side of caution.

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