A free, once a week e-mail round-up of hand-picked news and articles about Perl
HTML Other
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.



Build Status

Website of the Perl Weekly newsletter


The source format

Each edition of the Perl Weekly is in a JSON file in the src/ directory. There is a skeleton called src/next.json. The chapter (section) titles are there to help but can be reordered/removed/replaced.

The main part of the JSON has the following fields

"date" : "2016-08-08",  # The publish date of the edition.
"editor" : "",          # A key from the src/authors.json file.
"subject" : "",         # The main subject line of the email.
"header" : [            # The top text of the edition. Your 'editorial' comments.
   "More bla..."
"footer" : [            # The same at the end of the edition. Usually unused.
"chapters" : [          # The sections of the newsletter.

Each section (chapter) has the following fields:

"title" : "",     # Short title
"sponsor" : 1,    # only used in the Sponsors section to make it stand out
"header" : "",    # of the section. Rarely used.
"footer" : "",    # at the bottom of each section. Rarely used.
"entries" : [     # One entry per article we share.

Each entry has the following fields:

"title" : "",        # The title of the entry (usually the title original of the article)
"author" : "",       # One of the keys from the src/authors.json file
"text" : "",         # Whatever is our longer description of the article
                     # Extra links can be added as <a href=\"http://..\">...</a>
"url" : "",          # The real URL of the article
"ts" : "2016.08.01", # The date of the article
"tags" : []          # List of keywords. (Unfortunately not in use)

"link" : ""          # Was used for a shortened bitly url, but it is currently not in use.

Checking your file

You can generate the HTML files by running perl bin/generate.pl web all and then you can run plackup and visit to see the results.

Linking to blogspot

The blogspot URLs should end with .com: blogspot has local URLs in every country so when you visit site.blogspot.com it will automatically redirect to site.blogspot.CC (Where CC is the country you are browsing from.) In order to avoid having blogspot links all over the world there is now a check that will make sure we use only .com


Apparently in JSON the values need to be within double quotes and internally, if you'd like to use double-quotes in one of the values you need to escape them.

The 'editorial' process


I follow a bunch of RSS/Atom feeds of blogs. Look at some other resource such as http://blogs.perl.org http://www.reddit.com/r/perl and probably a few others. I am subscribed to "perl" on Google Alerts. Sometimes people send me e-mails. As a side note, I am also posting quite a few links to https://twitter.com/perlweekly during the week, so if you are looking for a source for ideas, you can use that too.

When I want to start preparing the next edition (and this can happen the day after the previous edition, or if I am too busy, then the day before the next edition is due) I copy src/next.json to the appropriate src/###.json and manually update it.

I update the 'title', 'text', 'url', 'author', and 'ts' fields. I have not touched the 'tags' for quite some time, though it would be nice to use that too and then display the values. At least on the web site.


I first create a 'week-123' branch (where "123" is the current week number, natch). Then I copy my Markdown template in the src/ directory

cp template.mkd src/123.mkd

I keep all the feeds that I usually peruse in data/feeds.url, and I have a script that visit them all and auto-generate entries for anything that appeared in the last week

perl bin/gen_mkd_from_feeds.pl data/feeds.url >> src/123.mkd

I then edit src/123.mkd manually. Add anything else I saw elsewhere, put the entries in the appropriate section (sections that don't have entries will be automatically removed, and entries will also be chronologically sorted in the next step).

Then I convert the markdown in json

perl bin/mkd2json.pl src/123.mkd

Check that all looks good

perl bin/generate.pl web 123
firefox html/archive/123.html

Finally, I commit src/123.json and send a pull request to Gabor.

The final touch

This is done (and partially skipped) by Gabor before sending out the newsletter. Don't worry about it.

  • Run bin/tidy_json.pl to make the source JSON files unified.

  • Run tidyall -a --refresh-cache to make the Perl source code tidy.

  • Update src/next.json to have the next date (this is used on the front page)

  • Update src/count.txt from https://mail.perlweekly.com/mailman/admin/perlweekly/members

  • add sponsors, if there are any

  • Update the src/events.json by running bin/perl-events.pl and maybe by moving some old items to src/old_events.json

  • Copy the section of events from the previous edition, and update it (remove old, add new)

  • Add authors where they are missing.

  • Run ispell on the source file and try not to "fix" British English with American English

  • Run bin/bitly.pl to add the bitly links

  • Run bin/generate.pl web all

  • I commit, push

  • Then run my own 'up.pl' script that will ssh to the production server and pull this repository from github.

  • Look at the web page. If things need to be fixed, I go back to one of the previous steps.

  • Once I am satisfied I ssh to the perlweekly.com server.

  • run perl bin/sendmail.pl --issue --to my@email.address

  • look at the received e-mail to see if it looks ok.

  • If it does, run the sendmail script again but this time to the address of the perlweekly.com mailing list.

  • If I don't make a typo there, then Mailman soon sends me two e-mails. One because I sent an e-mail that was held for approval and the other one as I am the list administrator. I follow the link in this second e-mail and approve the message to go out to the mailing list.

  • Then I go and paste the link of the latest edition in the Perl Developers group on Facebook, the Perl Weekly page on Google+, LinkedIN, Twitter.