I got a great e-mail from Gabor earlier this week that proposed a simple challenge: Let’s not get distracted trying to promote Perl itself, but — instead — let’s focus on promoting projects written in Perl.
One of those projects — the one I’m most excited about on a day-to-day basis — is Bricolage, the enterprise-class content management system. Gabor’s note — which asked about the status of the project — makes me wonder why more folks in the Perl community aren’t taking a closer look at what is undoubtedly one of the most capable publishing systems on the market today?
So, in the interest of beating the drum for a Perl project that’s alive and well, I wanted to summarize what I think is exciting about the Bricolage project right now:
The upcoming 2.0 release: After eight years, it’s a bit of an understatement to call Bricolage "stable," it’s like a clock that — for the most part — just keeps on ticking. That said, there are lots of improvements being added all the time, and the project is heading for a big milestone this year — Bricolage 2.0. There’s currently a developer release out, so if you’ve got cycles, please do take it for a spin.
The user interface improvements: It’s hard to summarize all of the improvements expected in Bricolage 2.0, but the one that most folks will experience in day-to-day use is the new, AJAX-powered, user interface. There’s a short screencast of some of the new UI over here. (There’s also work being done to re-think the UI altogether, which is something the project is always looking for support on.)
The new API browser: Bricolage exposes a powerful API for interacting with your data via both the templating system (which supports either Mason or Template Toolkit) and a SOAP client. The API documentation browser has recently been updated to make it easier for developers to get up-to-speed quickly.
New source code repository: Along the same lines, Bricolage’s source code was recently migrated to GitHub, and bug reporting to Lighthouse, to encourage more people to get involved. If you’ve never taken a look under the hood, now is a great time to do so.
Active user community: Like the Perl community itself, some folks seem to think that Bricolage is a little quiet these days. Fortunately, that’s not the case — the Bricolage community is alive and well (and incredibly helpful) and can be found on the Bricolage mailing lists or on #bricolage on irc.perl.org.
If you don’t have time to dig into Bricolage today, you can always subscribe to the "Output Channel," the quarterly e-newsletter that covers most of what’s happening in other places (via e-mail, or RSS).
Just looking for an excuse to give it a try? Or wondering how it stacks up against the other options out there? Try out the VMware image, or check out these previous posts:
And if Gabor gets his way, you might just find a Bricoleur or two at FOSDEM in February. Other than that, what will it take to see some sites out there in the Perl ecosystem running an easy-to-use, stable-as-a-rock, pure-Perl, content management system?
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