New lease of life for Yahoo::Search

I’ve recently started looking into geocoding in perl. We’re currently using some old hand-coded logic to query the Yahoo Search API. I wanted to switch to Geo::Coder::Yahoo but I noticed that that depended on Yahoo::Search which hadn’t been updated since March 2007 and had accumulated a number of bug reports (which may well be closed by the time you read this).

Several related to the fact that Yahoo::Search didn’t handle Unicode properly when using its default internal XML parser (instead of the optional XML::Simple which does the right thing, but slowly).

What happened next makes a nice little example of getting things done in the Open Source world…
I emailed Jeffrey Friedl, the author of Yahoo::Search, to enquire about the status of the module and saying I might be willing to help out with maintenance. He replied promptly saying he’d be delighted if someone could take it over.

So I created a new repository on github (with the release history from the repository maintained by the amazingly useful gitPAN project).

Then I started hacking, mostly adding tests and applying patches and straight-forward fixes for the open tickets. The Unicode fix turned out to be reasonably small and simple.

I also changed the distribution from using a traditional Makefile.PL over to the awesome dzil tool to reduce friction and simplify future releases.

Then I changed the permissions on PAUSE to enable me to make releases and eventually, when that propagates to RT, be able to maintain the bug tracker and close the tickets.

And finally for today, I’ve uploaded a development release to CPAN for cpantesters to smoke test. I’ll close the RT tickets in due course.

Once I’ve made a final release in a few days I’ll have shaved my Yahoo::Search yak. After that I’ve no real interest in maintaining it on an ongoing basis.

Could you be interested looking after a freshly shaven and sweet smelling Yahoo::Search? Available free of charge to a good home!

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