Yak shaving

Two days ago I wrote about Recursive development that leads nowhere.

As I was not satisfied with the idea of not doing anything I started to learn about Module::Starter. I installed it and created a new distribution with it just to find out it did not include the license key in Makefile.PL. As that is just what I was complaining about last week in Licenses in META.yml on CPAN I decided to ask about it on IRC.

I was lucky as Ricardo SIGNES was also awake who explained that actually he has stopped using Module::Starter as he is writing Dist::Zilla that provides much better project management capabilities. I pointed him at my blog entry and after reading it he asked me if I know the expression yak shaving. I've heard it, actually I even read about it in in The Productive Programmer I mentioned earlier in The Quest for the Perfect Editor but I did not really understood it.

Actually I think I understood it back when I read the book but promptly forgotten it as I did not have any way to connect the expression to the actions or lack of actions.

I was so lucky to find Ricardo on IRC as he explained:

I need to fix this bug, but first I better eat something so I don't get tired.
So I'm going to have some cereal, but I'm out of milk.
So I'll go get some milk. But I heard that yak milk is the best, so I'll go
out to Nepal to find a yak.
But they're all so hairy, I can't get to their udders.
So, first I'll just shave the yak.

This is just the way you have to teach. Now I can remember it much more easily.

So I spent some time trying to understand Dist::Zilla but came to the conclusion that what I need now is still Module::Starter that I might later need to combine with Dist::Zilla. Now that I know Dist::Zilla is not really a replacement for Module::Starter, I patched the latter to include the license keys in Makefile.PL (it already worked with Build.PL). I hope it will get in the next release.

Then I went on and integrated Module::Starter in Padre and today I released v0.11 0f it. I'll write about it shortly in a separate post.


In other news, after the discussion in IRC I wrote to the module-authors list about Integrating license related things of CPAN.

I really hope we can get something moving in that department too.

Published on 2008-10-23 by Gabor Szabo