Call for proposals: CPAN META Spec

The CPAN META Spec is the basis for the META.yml metadata files included in
most modern CPAN distributions. Since the spec was last updated two years
ago, there have been suggestions in many forums for how it could be
improved in clarity or functionality, but nothing has been done.

To move from ideas to implementation, I have convened a working group of
Perl/CPAN toolchain developers, maintainers, packagers and indexers -- the
people responsible for the tools you use to configure, build, install or
search for CPAN modules -- to review proposals, reach consensus and
ultimately implement a new CPAN META Spec.

To ensure that we benefit from the best ideas in the Perl community, on
behalf of this working group, I am issuing a public call for proposals.

Process

Here is the process and timeline:

  1. Add proposals to the CPAN Meta Spec Proposals page
    on the Perl QA Wiki. Discussion and refinement is encouraged through
    the discussion page on the wiki or on the cpan-workers mailing list (see
    below for details)
  2. The Call for Proposals will close on Oct. 1, 2009.
  3. The working group will post proposals on the cpan-workers mailing list
    for public discussion
  4. Public discussion will close on Nov. 1, 2009.
  5. The working group will reach consensus on proposals to adopt or reject
    and release a new CPAN META Spec no later than Dec. 1, 2009.

Criteria

Since the work of implementation requires volunteer effort, the working
group is looking for incremental improvements rather than complete rewrites
of the spec. Proposal are more likely to be adopted if they:

  • Improve clarity or resolve ambiguity
  • Are narrow in scope
  • Address specific, current deficiencies
  • Are consistent with the general style of the existing spec
  • Require minimal implementation effort

Resources

The current spec: Browse the current spec, as converted to HTML, here:
http://module-build.sourceforge.net/META-spec.html.

The repository: The official spec draft file, META-spec.pod, has been moved
from the Module-Build repository into its own repository on github. Please feel free to include proposed patches as part of proposals:

The wiki: Proposals will be kept on the Perl QA Wiki:
http://perl-qa.hexten.net/wiki/index.php/CPAN_Meta_Spec_Proposals

The mailing list: Subscribe to cpan-workers by emailing
cpan-workers-subscribe@perl.org. List archives are available at
http://www.mail-archive.com/cpan-workers@perl.org/

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