This was the final message given to us at the conclusion keynote speech of the YAPC::EU::2009 which was held in Portugal from the 3rd-5th August. So why was this, seemingly bold, claim made and how can we be certain of this?
Well let’s first examine some of the facts.
To begin there is the statistical information about CPAN, for those of you who do not know what CPAN is take a look at this description. I am not going to repeat the statistics themselves as they can be found in the slides from Barbie, the slides can be found here, with further statistics from CPAN here, and Barbie’s journal post gives a much better description than I can here. Below there are two images that give us a quick view, they are the number of new Authors uploading to CPAN each month and the number of new distros uploaded each month:
Authors Uploaded
Distros Uploaded
What these two graphs tell us, and coupled with the rest of the Statistics on the linked pages is that the trend of new people uploading to CPAN and number of new libraries, modules etc., is in fact on the increase.These figures are not the total number of, but the new (additional) on a month by month basis.
The next area to consider is the number of conferences and events that are being held. In the Perl world there are more YAPC’s each year, not only that but the attendance to these events is generally quite high for a conference that devotes itself to a dynamic language. There is always the same question that is asked at these events which is “for how many of you is this your first YAPC?”. It is always a pleasant surprise to see that the numbers of “new” attendees seems quite significant, for instance out of the 192 people (67%) who too the survey for YAPC::EU::2008 (YAPC 2008 Survey found here) sixty-seven of them said it was their first YAPC – a third of the attendees.
There are an increasing number of workshops, hackathons and local Perl user group meetings and events being organised with many of them showing increases in attendance as they repeat them on a yearly basis (see osfameron’s talk here).
So there are more new authors, more new distros, more conferences, more events and workshops, new monger groups and I haven’t even had to cover the development of the language which is seeing a Renaissance/Enlightenment in Perl Five, there are so many events happening in the language being covered by a growing number of bloggers.
Now we just need Brian Blessed to take us out…”Perl is Alive (aha, saviour of the universe)”