Perl programming enthusiasts are being encouraged to take part in the CPAN Pull Request Challenge, which sees all participants assigned a randomly selected CPAN distribution where they have to do a pull request to make a useful contribution.

The aim of the challenge is to help improve the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) by fixing bugs, improving documentation, and updating code and distributions to best practices and current conventions. Earlier this week Perl enthusiasts denied that the programming language was a “legacy” solution, citing big name commercial users like

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Challenge organiser Neil Bowers said: “There are currently over 350 people signed up. Many of them are people currently active in Perl who wanted a way to 'give back'. But there are also a lot of people who signed up saying that Perl isn’t their day job, but they still have a soft spot for it, and this was a way to participate in the community in their spare time.”

At the start of each month a script will select a distribution for each participant and email them their “assignment”. If there are known things that can usefully be done for the distribution, these will be pointed out in the email.

By default each CPAN author only has one of their distributions assigned per month to "spread the load", although enthusiasts can sign up for more. Everyone has a month to do at least one pull request.

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