The Perl Master Plan is a collection of centralized plans & resources available here,
implemented & distributed by the decentralized Perl Mongers groups around the world.

Yes, that means YOU!


The Managed Decline of Perl

“If the Perl community cannot attract beginner users like Python successfully has,
it runs the risk of … dwindling away to a standstill; vast repositories of
hieroglyphic code looming … like the halls of the Mines of Moria”

Dice Insights, August 2018

“Still today the Perl community hasn’t defined a clear future, and as a consequence,
it is slowly fading away.”

Programmer News, April 2018


* Perl curriculum in every school

* Perl jobs in every company

* Perl apps on every device

* Perl accessible to every person

* Perl as the fastest language

* Perl as the most popular language



Perl classes should be taught in every high school, college, and university. We will start by targeting teenagers, who are most likely to be interested in becoming software developers.


Perl jobs should be created at every corporation, non-profit group, and NGO. We will start by implementing machine learning algorithms, which are central to modern industry trends.


Perl software should be used on every mobile device, personal computer, and supercomputer. We will start by implementing 3D graphics rendering systems, which can be utilized by games, VR, AR, scientific applications, etc.


Perl should be easier to access than every other computer programming language. We will start with OS-specific installers, OS-independent containers, and the CloudForFree platform.


Perl should be faster than every other computer programming language. We will start with the RPerl optimizing and auto-parallelizing compiler.


Perl should be more ubiquitous than every other computer programming language. We will start with a digital advertising campaign for software development news websites.


No Programmer Left Behind

  • In the past, Perl classes could be found at many educational institutions.
  • Currently, most software courses teach either Python or (worse yet) Java.
  • Efforts to form new Perl classes are met with indifference or rejection.
  • We are now creating a new Perl curriculum and educational gaming platform,
    targeting teens and young adults.
  • Each Perl Mongers group will organize fun educational activities in their
    local libraries, community centers, and schools.
  • The goal is to have our Perl curriculum in every school on Earth!


Programming Makes The World Go Round

  • In the past, Perl jobs could be found at many major employers.
  • Currently, most software jobs require either Python or (worse yet) Java.
  • Efforts to design new Perl products are met with indifference or rejection.
  • (Starting to sound familiar?)

  • We are now creating a new collection of Perl libraries, for use in cutting-edge
    scientific and machine learning software products.
  • Each Perl Mongers group will organize live demos and mini job fairs with their
    local corporations and software development employers.
  • The goal is to have Perl jobs in every company on Earth!


Variety Is The Spice Of Programming

  • In the past, Perl applications could be found on most computers.
  • Currently, most new apps are written in Objective-C, JavaScript, Python, Java,
    and dozens of other so-called “fad languages”.
  • Efforts to distribute new Perl apps are met with indifference or rejection.
  • (Notice a pattern yet???)

  • We are now creating a new collection of Perl apps, including video games,
    an office suite, various mobile tools,
    and solutions to the Grand Challenge problems.
  • Each Perl Mongers group will organize regular hackathons in their
    local hackerspaces and coffee shops.
  • The goal is to have our Perl apps on every digital device on Earth!


Make Every Single Program

Accessible To Every Single Person

  • In the past, CPAN was the only centralized way to install Perl software.
  • Currently, most new software is installed via operating system packages and cross-platform containers,
    or accessed online with no installion at all.
  • Efforts to install new Perl software are often fraught with incompatibilities,
    missing non-Perl libraries, and failed CPAN test suites.
  • (Just tell Grandma to type
    `cpanm –notest –force Dancer2`)

  • We are now creating a new collection of Perl access points,
    including DEB packages, RPM packages,
    Docker containers, VirtualBox images,
    and the CloudForFree platform.
  • Each Perl Mongers group will organize regular installfests and
    accessibility clinics in their local universities, corporations, and community venues.
  • The goal is to have every piece of Perl software accessible to every human being using every operating system on Earth!


Programs Have A Serious Need For Speed

  • In the past, XS C was the only native way to make Perl run fast.
  • Currently, most new software is written using pure C or C when runtime performance matters.
  • Efforts to write new high-performance Perl software are often fraught with
    incomprehensible manual optimizations, 3rd-party C libraries, and other non-Perl solutions.
  • (Just try using BioPerl without the BLAST C libraries…)

  • We are now developing the RPerl compiler,
    which provides startup optimization, serial runtime optimization,
    automatic parallelization, and memory usage minimization.
  • Each Perl Mongers group will organize annual speed competitions with their
    local non-Perl programming clubs.
  • The goal is for Perl to be the fastest language on Earth!


Our Programming Culture Is Our Brand

  • In the past, Perl was the language of choice for most web-based and
    scripting and rapid development software.
  • Currently, most word-of-mouth promotion is focused on Python.
  • Efforts to promote new Perl technologies are met with the same tired cliché:
    “Perl Is Dead”
  • (Just try selling Perl to your local software company’s management…)

  • We are now creating a new collection of Perl marketing materials,
    including various video series, podcast talk shows,
    promotional schwag such as t-shirts and stickers and coffee mugs,
    tri-fold brochures, handbill flyers,
    authoritative white papers, academic research papers,
    publishable news articles, personal blog posts,
    colorful infographics, and commercial banner ads.
  • Each Perl Mongers group will organize the ongoing promo parties
    to encourage the distribution and publication
    of the marketing materials at their local news outlets, professional
    computer conferences, and open source events.
  • The goal is for Perl to be the most popular language on Earth!


The Programming Language

Formerly Known As Perl 6

  • The Raku language was designed by Larry Wall as a successor to Perl.
  • Over the years, Raku and Perl diverged rather than converged.
  • Raku’s usage of the Perl name is “confusing and irritating”.
  • Raku is in the process of officialy removing the Perl name.
  • Some developers may choose to continue using both Raku and Perl.
  • We wish Raku only the best, and Godspeed in all future endeavors!


“In 2012 I created the RPerl compiler and helped found the Perl 11 movement.
The Perl Master Plan is the culmination of many decades of hard work and dedication.
We are standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Will ‘the Chill’ Braswell

President, Austin Perl Mongers

“My passion is Perl, and my goal is for Perl to meet the increasingly-complex needs of the
global technology industry. I have been working with the Perl 11 team for several years,
and I personally helped develop the Perl Master Plan. Let’s work together to help make Perl
better, faster, and stronger than ever!”

Tommy Butler

President, Dallas Perl Mongers


A few rules of thumb for designing with charts and graphs

Examples of various data visualization types

Examples of various data visualization types

Illustrations courtesy of the author

YYou’ve got a credible statistic or two, and you’re ready to share that information with your audience. Do you write it out? Draw a picture? Use a chart? To make sure your audience understands and retains the information, it needs to be compelling and accurate.

But the choice of what type of visualization to use isn’t purely aesthetic, nor is it entirely personal. The wrong choice can lead your viewer to boredom, confusion, or both. Even worse, visualizing data inaccurately can constitute a breach of trust between you and your audience.

So let’s take a look at how to choose the most accurate and engaging way to visualize your data.

Bar graph data visualization examples

Bar graph data visualization examples

For data sets that evolve over time or are grouped by multiple categories—like different industries or foods—or both, a bar graph is a solid choice. A few tips will help ensure your bar graph is easy to read:

  • Order your bars chronologically.
  • Use one axis to label the time frames, and use the other to label the quantities.
  • Never order the data from most to least or least to most—chronology is the better measurement for your viewer.

For bar graphs that involve multiple categories, you can either make individual graphs for every category or keep it as one by including multiple bars (one for each category) at each time label. These bars can be side-by-side or stacked on top of each other, as in this graph from an interactive annual report for Bluetooth:

Stacked bar graph data visualization example from Bluetooth report

Stacked bar graph data visualization example from Bluetooth report

Bluetooth-enabled device shipments worldwide (billions). Excerpt from an interactive report for Bluetooth, designed by Killer Visual Strategies.

If your data set is grouped into multiple categories and is NOT bound by time, you should organize the bars from most to least, or least to most. This type of organization helps viewers to draw conclusions quickly. However, if it adds up to a whole—such as total revenue by category—that won’t be apparent in a bar graph. For this type of information, you should use a pie chart instead. I’ll get to those shortly.

Line graph example of data visualization

Line graph example of data visualization

Much like bar graphs, line graphs are useful for showing data over time or grouped by category. But a line graph allows for nuance. It’s a great choice for showing information over very long periods or a wealth of incrementally changing data. That’s because the organic nature of a line allows it to bend and change with more detail.

A beautiful chart that no one can read is just abstract art.

In fact, you should be careful when using line graphs to show only a few points in time. Without knowing how to accurately fill in the data in between the time periods for which you have data, you’ll presumably draw a straight line. However, the rate of growth or decline between those times may not have been so linear. For this reason, line graphs should be used carefully and with complete data sets to avoid distorting data.

Allen Downey offers up a great example of when to use a line graph in his article about whether first-born babies are more likely to be born late. He uses a line chart to map the likelihood of birth over a nine-week window:

Line graph of distribution of pregnancy length

Line graph of distribution of pregnancy length

Given that this chart is based on over 30,000 data points — each a single recorded live birth — there’s more than enough data to account for all the incremental changes over time and to arrive at an average distribution.

If you aren’t showing data over time or by category, a line graph is not for you. Categorical data has many helpful graph applications, though. The following is another option that works well for showing portions of a whole.

Examples of circle charts (pie and donut)

Examples of circle charts (pie and donut)

The circle chart is one of the most commonly used forms of data visualization. There are pie charts (filled in) and donut charts (hollow, with a circular bar containing the data).

This type of chart is so popular that, unfortunately, it’s also one of the most misused types of data visualization.

A circle chart can only be used when you are showing portions that add up to a whole. For example, “75% of all caterpillars like apples” could be shown with a pie chart because it’s referring to 75% out of a total 100% of all caterpillars.

You can also convert proportions to percentages for this goal. If your data point is three out of four caterpillars, that’s equal to 75% of caterpillars.

Visualizing data inaccurately can constitute a breach of trust between you and your audience.

Unlike bar and line graphs, circle charts cannot be used on their own to show an increase or decrease. To see an example of what I mean, let’s take a look at a stat about video marketing from Tubular Insights.

Between 2016 and 2017, there was a 99% increase in branded video content views on YouTube. A circle chart showing 99% would be incorrect. That would make it appear that 99% of video views were of branded video, which is wrong. Instead, you need a bar chart with two bars, one representing our baseline number of views from 2016, and one representing a 99% increase over that baseline:

An example of incorrect data visualization using a donut chart, and how to show it correctly using a bar graph

An example of incorrect data visualization using a donut chart, and how to show it correctly using a bar graph

This may not feel intuitive. Percentage changes can be tricky if you don’t work with them all the time. This cheat sheet from Investopedia can help you work with these kinds of numbers.

If you want to use pie charts to show changing data over time, you’d create a new chart for every time period you’re measuring and display them together for comparison.

An image of pictographs, or quantagrams, being used to show a quantity

An image of pictographs, or quantagrams, being used to show a quantity

A quantagram is a repeated pictogram or icon used to show quantity. A common example is using multiple characters to show a number of people. You’ve probably seen this technique using the classic male and female icons from bathroom doors.

Quantagrams are great for small numbers (like “12 new restaurants opened on our street”). They also work well for small percentages or proportions where a pie chart could work. An example would be “three in four restaurants [75%] on our street serve pizza.”

If you need a key to explain it, a quantagram isn’t the right choice.

Quantagrams generally don’t work well for larger numbers. Imagine your stat was “11,214 items sold in 2018.” You don’t have space for 11,214 icons in your design — and if you think you do, I recommend you think again! That’s a massive number to count out one by one. So, it’s tempting to add a key — “1 shopping bag = 1,000 items” — and just show 11 shopping bags. Right?

You’re probably trying to show that this is a big, impressive number. But when you reduce it like this, this visualization now has the opposite effect. Eleven shopping bags don’t look or feel that large, even with a key. The number “11,214” is more powerful on its own. (I’ll talk about why typography is the better fit for stats like these in a minute.)

The same thing happens with ratios. For example, imagine visualizing the stat “8,370 of the 11,214 items sold in 2018 were mugs” using quantagrams. No thanks! So if you need a key to explain it, a quantagram isn’t the right choice.

If your stat fits the bill for a quantagram so far, think about what pictogram you should use. Be careful: Because they’re so simple, pictograms can feel too reductive for serious topics. You don’t want to appear to be trivializing a serious topic by using simple icons.

If your stat is too large or not suited to pictograms, there’s an easy fix: typography. Here’s how and when to incorporate it into your design.

The words “using typography”

The words “using typography”

I bet you didn’t expect to see a section on typography in an article about data visualization. But when used correctly, typography does have the capacity to bring information to life.

The truth is, there are limited cases in which typography really is the best solution. To be clear, it should never be used just because you don’t want to create visuals. Don’t go back to the old text-only solutions of the past! Instead, use typography intelligently to achieve a successful and effective piece of content.

Your data point or number is probably a good candidate for typography if:

  • It’s large (greater than 100)
  • It isn’t a percentage of a whole or a percentage increase/decrease
  • It’s standalone — that is, it’s not being compared to another number

Before settling on typography, check your data against each of the points above and consider the other types of data visualization I’ve already discussed. You should eliminate all other possibilities before using type. That’s because visuals are simply more compelling and more effective at engaging your audience. Yet, visuals are only effective insofar as they’re accurate. If you face confusion or inaccuracy by visualizing your number, just go with text.

One way to enhance your typography is to combine it with a pictogram (like you would use in a quantagram, but just a single one), an icon, or an illustration. This will help provide the viewer with visual context as to the subject matter of the stat, while letting the number speak for itself.

Here’s an example of intentional choices for different types of data visualization, including typography:

A portion of an infographic showing different types of data visualization: quantagrams, donut charts, and typography

A portion of an infographic showing different types of data visualization: quantagrams, donut charts, and typography

Credit: Killer Visual Strategies

In this example, it makes sense to visualize the number 16 using quantagrams — it’s a small number and therefore easy to add up visually. But the 1.8 million stat would be incomprehensible using a quantagram with a 1-to-1 ratio. And we’ve already learned that if you feel the need to use a key, such as equating every icon to quantities of 100 or 1,000, then a quantagram just isn’t the right choice. That’s why very large numbers are generally best left to typography.

No matter what solution is best for your data, aesthetic considerations span all forms of data visualization. Beyond simply choosing the right data visualization technique to use, you must pick the right aesthetic to represent your information and reach your audience. A fun neon line graph with modern type might not work for a report to investors and the C-suite. A flat, grayscale pie chart is probably the wrong choice for a summer camp pamphlet.

So always ensure that form and function are equally considered — because a beautiful chart that no one can read is just abstract art.


You already know the entry-level SEO factors you need to think about constantly to make your rockstar brand visible to your audience. You’ve covered your keyword research, content strategy, domain authority and backlink profile. It’s all solid.

But at the same time, it’s 2019, and those elements won’t always cut it in the same ways they did ten or even five years ago. As we prepare to enter the 2020s, digital marketers everywhere need to stay current with changing trends in the SEO space. In this post, I’m talking about the mostly untapped opportunity of optimizing your SEO for voice search.

You know voice search, that on-the-rise realm of online querying that’s performed with nothing more than your voice and a virtual assistant, be it Amazon Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant or Siri. You can buy things online, set reminders for yourself and, of course, perform searches.

I don’t know anyone who denies that advanced voice search is one of the coolest pieces of technology to come out of the 21st century so far. But what does it mean for SEO going forward? Here’s a statistic to give you an idea: Comscore has forecast that 50 percent of all online searches will be performed by voice search by 2020. That’s a sufficient reason for any digital marketer to take pause and think. Half of all online searchers will soon be finding results using their voices.

With that in mind, ask yourself: Is your SEO optimized for voice search? If it isn’t, you may be missing out on about a billion voice searches per month. In 2017, 13 percent of Americans owned some kind of smart assistant. This number was 16 percent by 2019 and is predicted to skyrocket to 55 percent by 2022. Let’s face it. Users like the convenience of interacting with the internet using only their voices and this should affect the way you do SEO.

With all of that said, here are four actionable tips for optimizing your SEO for voice search.

1. Think featured snippets

Voice queries that can be answered directly with a featured snippet almost always are. The Google Assistant specifically tries to do this wherever possible, reading most of the snippet aloud to the user. Position zero is a great place to be and digital marketers, of course, are already vying for that coveted spot. So how do you get to be the featured snippet for a voice search? How can you ensure that Google will read your site’s content out loud to a voice searcher?

  • First, featured snippets are not always pulled from position one. Only about 30 percent are, while the other 70 percent generally come from positions two through five. What does this tell you? It says that once you’re on page one, relevance matters more than position.
  • To become the featured snippet, your content should be optimized to answer specific questions. A large portion of featured snippets are related to recipes, health, and DIY subjects, but don’t be discouraged just because those aren’t your industries. Use SEMrush’s topic research tool or the free Answer the Public tool to generate content ideas for answering specific user questions.
  • Your content will be more likely to be featured in a snippet if it’s presented as a paragraph, list or table. If you go for the paragraph, try to keep it below 50 words, and make the sentences brief. You should also optimize the paragraph with your targeted keyword. Lists and tables are likely to get featured as well, since they’re easy to follow logically and visually. Whichever direction you go with your content, make sure it’s easy to understand and free of advanced terminology. Remember, you’re going for a large audience here, and jargony content is a huge turn-off.

Combine all of these steps – getting to page one, researching one specific query and answering that query briefly and in an easily digestible format – and you’ll be well on your way to getting your time in the spotlight with one of Google’s featured snippets.

Once you’ve done that, just imagine millions of virtual assistants presenting your page’s content as the best answer to a user question. That’s the power of voice search-optimized SEO.

2. Optimize your content for voice search

I touched on voice search-optimized content in the previous section, but content itself is important enough to merit its own section. By this point in the existence of search engines, the best way to type a query into an engine comes as pretty much second nature to most people. We know to keep our searches concise and detailed. “Italian restaurants Scranton” is a quintessential typed query.

As virtual assistants get smarter with every voice search, however, queries are becoming more conversational in nature. A person could say to Siri, “Show me the cheapest Italian restaurants in Scranton.” In response, Siri might say, “Here are the best Italian restaurants near your location.” It almost sounds like two people speaking. For that reason, optimizing content to be found by voice searchers will require you to leverage long-tail keywords such as “cheapest Italian restaurants in Scranton” rather than “Italian restaurants Scranton.”

Long-form content – as in, content with a word count above 1,800 words – is as strong in voice search as it is in traditional SEO, but it’s also a good idea to keep your sentences relatively short and not go out of control with your vocabulary. People use voice search like they talk in everyday life, so go for “reliable” over “steadfast.” You get the idea.

My final point on voice search-optimized content is, again, to use SEMrush’s topic research tool and the Answer the Public tool to find out what queries people are asking to find their way to websites like yours, and what those queries say about people’s plans at the moment. A query beginning with “what” shows someone who is looking for information, while a person with a “where” query is probably closer to acting on their intent. Use this information to your advantage when generating content for voice searches.

3. Perfect your mobile-friendliness

Most voice searches, particularly those involving some variation of “near me,” are performed on mobile devices by people on the go, people who perhaps find themselves in unfamiliar places and rely on voice searches to guide them to points of interest. It is therefore vital that you make your site as mobile-friendly as humanly possible.

If you’re lacking in the mobile-friendliness aspect, take action now. Your first job is to ensure your website has a responsive rather than an adaptive design. Responsive web pages will fit themselves to any screen, be it on a Galaxy phone or an iPad.

Then you need to work on site speed by compressing your files, using a web cache, optimizing your images, and minifying your code. It should take your mobile site no longer than five seconds to load, but aim for three to four seconds. That’s the Goldilocks zone for ensuring mobile users stay with you when they select a voice search result.

4. Focus on local SEO

Finally, you absolutely must optimize your pages for local SEO if you are, in fact, a local entity. This is because 22 percent of voice searches are related to local businesses such as restaurants.

To make sure potential customers in your area can find you, you just need to follow all the normal protocols for local SEO optimization. These include using geotargeted and “near me” search terms in your meta tags and on your landing pages. You should also create separate location pages for all your brick-and-mortar spots. Finally, be sure to claim your Google My Business page and keep your business hours, phone number and address updated and accurate. Do all this, and when users voice-search for “Show me bookstores near me,” they will find themselves face-to-face with your business.

The frequency of voice searches around the world is only going to increase in 2020 and as the decade continues. Voice search most certainly affects SEO, but there’s no need to fear. By taking the time to follow these steps, you can stay ahead of the curve and rank as well in voice results as you do in a typical typed queries. The future is coming, and it is in every SEO’s best interests to pay attention.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Kristopher Jones is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and best-selling author of “SEO Visual Blueprint” by Wiley (2008, 2010, 2013). Kris was the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate agency Pepperjam (sold to eBay) and has since founded multiple successful businesses, including, APPEK Mobile Apps, French Girls App, and, where he serves as CEO. Most recently, Kris appeared on Apple’s first TV Show, “Planet of the Apps,” where he and his business partner, comedian / actor Damon Wayans, Jr., secured $1.5 million for an on-demand LIVE entertainment booking app called Special Guest.