Getting the Perl Mongers into shape

The Perl Mongers, as we call the mostly location specific Perl user groups is one of the key binding tools of the Perl community and that of the larger Perl ecosystem.

According to the Perl Mongers web site there are several hundred groups spread on all the continents but if you try to actually visit the web sites of the individual groups you will find that for example none of the groups in Africa have a working web site.

This does not look good so I decided I take a few steps to get at least the content of the web site back into shape. I hope someone will decide s/he can spend some time and make it even look nicer.

The data about the various Perl Monger groups is kept in an xml file. According to the little script I wrote there are 675 groups listed in that file. 339 of them are marked as active while 336 have various other status values such as inactive, sleeping, on hold, etc or there is not even a value in the status field.

Out of the 339 that are marked as active 92 has no web site or their web site failed to answer a plain GET request. That's a pretty bad ratio.

I think a Perl Mongers group at least needs a single we page telling about itself where to sign up to a mailing list or the fact that it is currently being organized. In the latter case having a date on the web site also helps visitors understand if it is really a new group or one that failed to get past the initial setup phase.

I believe having fewer but active groups is much better than having a large number of groups with almost 30% not even accessible.

So in the coming weeks I'll try to contact the leaders of each one of the groups without a working web site and change their status to inactive in case the person does not respond in a few days. Of course if the person later shows up we can easily revert the change.