perl-achievements, the return

February 1st, 2012

perl-achievements, the return

So there I was, leisurely perusing my twitter feed… Oh, an entry by brian d foy? Should be interesting. So I clickety clicked, and let my eyes wander and almost immediatly fall on

Yanick already has perl achievements (although it’s not on CPAN, wtf Yanick? :)

As I strongly believe that the measure of a man is taken from whom he bestirs wtfs from, my first reaction was, and I quote: WOOHOO!

My second reaction was to comment on the blog entry, pointing on my own blog entry narrating the genesis of the thing, and explaining that the absence of the module on CPAN was only to preserve the latter of the alphaness, lack of documentation and general hackery of the former.

Was this comment met with understanding and compassion? Ah! I wish! No, it was met with a dire threat:

Yeah, Yanick, you don’t get the CPAN achievement if you don’t upload perl-achievement.

Eeeeeee! The monster. So I had no choice, no choice whatsoever. And thus, Perl::Achievements is now on CPAN. The goal of the app (scan your Perl scripts and unlock achievements in function of what is found therein) is the same as presented in the original blog entry. I’ve, however, fleshed out a little bit more the documentation, tidied up the code a wee bit (well, it’s still a mess, but it’s using a lot of cool stuff, so it’s a shiny mess), and changed the innards just a tad.

Wanna use it?

That’s easy. With Perl::Achievements comes the script ‘perlachievements`. To prepare the playground, do

$ perlachievements init

Which is going to create the directory ~/.perl-achievements, where the persistent data used by the app is kept. Once this is done, scanning a script or module is only a question of doing

$ perlachievements scan ...

If your code unlock an achievement, it’ll be proudly be displayed on the console. A subsequent release will allow you to generate a web page to publish your badges of honor, but that’s for the future.

Good thing to point out: unlike the previous version, this iteration of perlachievements keep an history of already-seen files (as a sha-1 digest of the file’s content kept in ~/.perl-achievements/scanned), so you can safely scan the same file over and over again without skewing your achievements (no, no, you’re welcome).

Wanna create achievements?

Of course, such a system is boring and useless if it’s not filled to the gills with achievements as various as they are amusing. In that regard, I’ve made sure that creating a new achievement would be as easy as possible. In this case, the strict minimum one has to do to is to create a module under the Perl::Achievements::Achievements:: namespace, and implement a scan() method that calls ‘unlock()’ if the achievement should be awarded. And that’s pretty much it. For example, a WeekendWarrior achievement could be implemented as

package Perl::Achievements::Achievement::WeekendWarrior;

use Moose;

with 'Perl::Achievements::Achievement';

sub scan {
    my $self = shift;

    my $wday = (localtime)[6];

    return unless $wday == 0 or $wday == 6;

    $self->unlock("Was at the computer during the week-ends");


There’s also the possibility to have levels, and a mechanism to maintain states across runs — see

Perl::Achievements::Achievement for a little bit more details. And, of course, there are mad plans for the future, like getting the description slurped directly from the module's POD. But even in its current proto-state, it's surprisingly usable.

Incidentally, I recommend having a peek at the code. It’s not very nicely structured yet (I refactored the whole thing on a mad Sunday frenzy in a semi-sleep deprived haze, and it shows), but it’s using a lot of the latest and coolest tools: Moose, MooseX::Role::Loggable, MooseX::App::Cmd, Path::Class, Method::Signatures, DateTime::Functions, Module::Pluggable, Data::Printer, and more (yup, I’m the kind of kid who spill out his whole toybox at playtime).