The technical side of TORn is built on mod_perl. This ranges from mod_perl subs being invoked from SSI templates to fullblown Apache::Registry applications and mod_perl handlers. Whilst parts of the site are also implemented in PHP (Reviews, Line Parties), we believe that well-written mod_perl should be just as maintainable and accessible as PHP – and certainly more powerful and consistent with the overall architecture of the site.

Unfortunately, we are running low on manpower. We have many exciting new site sections which we want to get running before RoTK arrives. Unfortunately, the current team simply doesn’t have enough free time to do them all. So, if you’re a perl hacker who’s been hooked on TORn and you have time this summer to take on some of these projects and contribute back, we’d love to hear from you. In return, your work would be seen and appreciated by the hundreds of thousands of viewers that come to TORn every day – showcased on one of the largest and most exciting fan-run websites ever at the climax of its success.

The ideal skills we are looking for are:

  • Strong mod_perl/apache/unix knowledge and experience – a belief that mod_perl has not been obsoleted by PHP and newer technologies. The main project will make use of a templating system for mod_perl which combines the power of pure mod_perl with the convenience of PHP templating.
  • Expert knowledge of classic HTML. You don’t have to know how to make a Holy Grail 3-column CSS layout – but you do have to know that adding a <br> after a solitary <img> tag in a <td></td> table cell is needed to stop the table row height being distorted – and that <form> tags have a nasty habit of introducing spurious whitespace and have to be positioned carefully. And how to minimise obsolete <font> tags with CSS without wrecking the appearance on older browsers. And why it’s bad karma not to close <p> tags.
  • Strong understanding and knowledge of SQL – we are nearing the end of a transition for all of the site’s data being stored in MySQL databases.
  • Ability to work well with a team of dedicated (if perhaps slightly rabid 🙂 volunteers over IRC (and IM & e-mail)
  • Familiarity with PHP.
  • Passionate enthusiasm for TORn – being prepared to invest time and effort purely to ensure the continuing quality and unique position of the site, in return only for the enjoyment and unique experience of doing so. (c.f. here.)

If you’re still reading and interested, then we’d love to hear from you as soon as possible. Please mail an introduction, CV/Resumé + anything else you think might be relevant to me at