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Perl Project?

by why_bird (Pilgrim)
on Mar 26, 2008 at 16:33 UTC ( #676451=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

why_bird has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Dear Monks

Using Perl at work has taught me a fair amount of things, but I'm generally just doing data analysis with it. The functions of the scripts I write are pretty similar so now I feel that I'm not learning a huge amount more about Perl

I miss feeling completely confused, bemused and banging my head against a wall every day (though I've got C++ for that now..) so..

Can anyone suggest to me a medium sized project I could undertake in Perl? Perhaps something that someone else is writing that they would like a bit of simple-ish stuff doing for? Something web-based perhaps? (I know not-a-lot about web stuff, though I'd like to, but don't really know where to start..)

Any suggestions welcomed, though if it could do something 'useful' then that would be a bonus. Something that will teach me something new is a must (though that won't be hard!). Then I can start bothering you lovely monks again with inane questions ;)


Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.
-- Groucho Marx

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Perl Project?
by kyle (Abbot) on Mar 26, 2008 at 16:49 UTC

    I was recently looking at the volunteer page at the Tor Project, and they have a piece of Perl,, that needs a revamp. What it does is go to various web pages both via the open Internet and via a proxy to make sure that the proxy is not altering the pages on the way through.

    There are things you could improve without changing the functionality. These include simple things like open without the requisite or die after it. It spawns a shell to md5sum instead of using Digest::MD5, wget instead of LWP::UserAgent, etc.

    Functionally it could be improved by using HTML::Parser to look over the web pages and focus on parts that aren't expected to change (i.e., because of normal dynamic content or GeoIP differentiation). It could do with a config file or the judicious application of Getopt::Long (and the corresponding Pod::Usage).

    This looks like low hanging fruit to me, but I might not be able to get the time to put into it. It would be a win for Perl evangelism because it might counter the idea that Perl "sucks at life", as the volunteer page suggests.

      "Perl sucks at life" seems like a terrible way to get anybody to work on your Perl script for free. (Nevermind the fact that it looks like the original author is the one who made that thing a mess, not Perl).

        All that's true, but it leaves something out, specifically that the original author, who made the mess, is looking to rewrite in Python. I'm suggesting that the Perl be cleaned up instead.

Re: Perl Project?
by ruzam (Curate) on Mar 26, 2008 at 18:19 UTC
    I've started a project for my daughter's high school to provide them with an open source, web based, school administration system.

    Authentication methods, language translation, database access, object methods, templates (themes, access control), javascript, css, web page layout design, graphics and even a smidgen of AJAX (for buzzword effect). Everything you need to pump out a turnkey web application. The project is going well and the school and faculty are 110% behind it, but it's a huge undertaking and I need more help.

    90% of my time is wasted making sense out of and converting the data from the school's old system (the conversion program is the single biggest hold up of the project). There are gaps all over the project waiting for a "when I have time" moment. Some gaps are small, some are big. I'm sure there's a gap in there somewhere that would be just perfect for your level of experience and interest. Send me a pm if you're interested.

    Always looking for new hands, and that applies to anyone else reading this thread :)
      Def interested in this one too. I've pm'd you.
      Lots of fun things to do:)
      Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.
      -- Groucho Marx
Re: Perl Project?
by explorer (Chaplain) on Mar 26, 2008 at 16:51 UTC

    hmmmm.... An ERP?


Re: Perl Project?
by Elias (Pilgrim) on Mar 27, 2008 at 15:49 UTC
    Hi why_bird,

    I've looked all over for a linux (debian) alternative to a great mac osx tool called MidiStroke ( It gives an easy to use interface to map midi notes to any keystroke, combination of keystrokes or even keystroke sequences.

    It should be a challenge to map midi events to keystrokes (the other way round of what is usually done where keystrokes are mapped to midi events to simmulate a music-keyboard)

    Applications (to name just a few):
    - Use a midi foot controller for recording (start, stop, record, rewind etc).
    - use a midi footcontroller to select / start / stop songs for playback

    The applications are endless, and it will remain current for long time. Midi will remain a standard in the music and controller neck of the woods.

Re: Perl Project?
by pseudomonas (Monk) on Mar 27, 2008 at 13:44 UTC
    MySociety has a programmers' volunteer page that has some potentially interesting tasks, though you might consider them small rather than medium-sized, I don't know. They're happy to use Perl alongside other Open Source languages.
Re: Perl Project?
by arbingersys (Pilgrim) on Mar 27, 2008 at 15:25 UTC

    If you're interested, I've got an Open Source web project that combines the concept of a forum with a blogging platform. It's called Sylbi, and more information is at

    It uses CGI::Application and is a true MVC application with a MySQL backend. I've tested it to run under Win/IIS and Apache, and installation is really pretty easy. The basic functionality is there, but there is plenty of work to be done. I have been busy with other projects, and frankly, I've been neglecting it a little.

    A blog among millions.

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