I’m pleased to announce the completion of a new and thorough information-architecture study of Perl’s developer documentation, conducted and written by Khawar Latif Khan. This represents an exhaustive audit by a communications expert of Perl’s enormous documentation collection, which in the typical manner of long-lived open-source projects has accrued over many years by countless contributors.

Khawar’s work includes a number of reports and recommendations for Perl’s development team to pursue, with the goal of making the language’s vast and often intimidating documentation more friendly and accessible to newcomers.

Relevant links:

This project was organized by me, with assistance from The Perl Foundation (the nonprofit that helps fund Perl), and with the knowledge and approval of the Perl Steering Council (the volunteer body that manages Perl development). Funding came from Google, via its annual Season of Docs program. Google’s financial contribution allowed us to hire Khawar as a paid professional, a phenomenon seen so seldomly in open-source projects—even ubiquitous and venerable ones like Perl.

My sincere gratitude goes out to Khawar, Google, and the many individuals from the Perl and technical-writing communities who helped make this project possible. I extend special thanks to Doug Orleans for introducing me to Season of Docs at the start of this year.

I hope that the Perl team finds the work inspiring and instructive towards future development.

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