Rolf Schaufelberger wrote:
> Hi Adam,
>
> quite interesting.
> Thanks for doing all that work.

Thanks too. Interesting indeed.
>
> Am Montag, 10. November 2008 03:59:13 schrieb Adam Prime:
>> The results of the mod_perl survey that Fred Moyer and I conducted can
>> be found at the following link:
>>
>> http://kabob.ca/mod_perl_survey/
>>
>> Here's a quick list of obvious (though arguable) conclusions:
>>
>> - a lot of people have switched to mod_perl 2, mod_perl 1 is still very
>> significant.
>> - most of the people using mod_perl have been using it for a long time.
>> - the rate of new people coming into the community has been declining.

The responses there are indeed a bit scary. It feels like we're a dying
breed.
I believe this is to a large extent a "marketing issue" for perl in
general, and mod_perl by extension, with regard to the younger
programmers generation. At least in various European countries I know,
perl is not really being taught in programming schools as a "serious"
programming language for applications. These young people have all heard
the name, but seem to consider it as a powerful but somewhat messy
scripting language to create system administration scripts.
I am personally doing my best to introduce these newbies to the beauties
of perl and mod_perl, but it feels rather lonely sometimes.
Java and PHP seem definitely more popular, or better-known.

>> - linux is by far the most popular platform. the BSD's, Solaris and
>> Windows also make a significant showing.

Not enough people know that Perl is at least as multi-platform as Java,
and much lighter.

>> - Fred and I didn't really break down frameworks very well, but mason,
>> Catalyst and CGI::Application are quite popular. TT is also very
>> popular, but not exactly a framework, but not quite as popular is old
>> fashioned Handlers.
>> - A surprising number of people are running mod_perl under the worker MPM.

What is so surprising about this ? (genuine curious question)

>> - Most of the Handler phases are getting some use.
>> - There are a lot of people using CGI Emulation, which is not a surprise.
>> - not very many people are using the mod_perl2 filter api.
>> - there is quite a bit of interest in a mod_perl Workshop, but location
>> would be a key factor for a lot of people
>> - the documentation could use some work. Specifically more tutorial /
>> intro kind of stuff.

Agreed. There is a definite need also for something like a new mod_perl
Guide and Cookbook all-in-one, updated for mod_perl 2 and with a section
about the framework/template systems mentioned above. Written in a style
meant to show that these are not old-fashioned technologies only
practised by oldies like me (us?).
What I mean is that to cover all one needs to know to create some
serious web applications in Java, you'd need at least 6 thick volumes,
while for Perl 800-1000 pages would be more than enough.
O'Reilly, where are you ?

Stas Beckman's mod_perl 2 book is good, but I believe only really
accessible to people who already know perl and mod_perl quite well.
The CPAN library is incredibly rich, and the documentation of most
modules is a superb source of information on a lot of things, even apart
from the pure perl aspect of it. But the main issue I believe is that
younger programmers don't even go looking there, because they are
intimidated by perl. It's a pity.

Maybe there isn't much to do about it though, except feeling nostalgia.
Both Java and PHP have a few commercial organisations behind them to
promote them, while Perl doesn't really. Maybe that's the difference in
the long term.

I work for a small company, and we know that using perl and mod_perl and
CPAN and Apache, we can do things that would be out of our reach
otherwise. So we know we're on to a good thing for ourselves, but it is
not really enough to make these things more popular on a broad scale.