The Twelve Days of Dancer

It's hard to believe that the decade of 2020 is almost behind us. This has been a challenging year for so many people in so many ways, and while many software projects have been relatively productive during this time, we Dancers have been pretty quiet. While we have been working to keep our families, jobs, and companies going, we've had to say goodbye to friends, families, and loved ones, and we had to survive the messes that were COVID-19 and the mess that was Hacktoberfest. So let me be the first to apologize for a really quiet year here.

When we last ran a calendar in 2018, we made the decision to value quality over quantity, and ran an abbreviated calendar (The Twelve Days of Dancer) rather than a full advent calendar. This was received really well, and 2020 seemed like the perfect time to bring it back.

This year, we revisit some old topics, introduce some exciting new web applications that have been built with Dancer2, and cover some of the most recent changes in the framework. In 2018, we featured some crossover articles with the Mojolicious team, and I'm pleased to say that Joel is back with yet another installment for us. We're really excited by this year's content, and we hope you will be, too.

As David Bowie once said, "Let's Dance!"

State of the Dancer

This year brought a few new features, a lot of documentation patches, and a number of bug fixes and routine maintenance to Dancer2. If there were such a thing as the Golden Dancer award, it would certainly go to veryrusty this year - not only did he have the honor of closing one of the oldest open issues in Dancer2, but he also closed 4 issues with a single pull request.

And that is not to say anyone else's work was any less important - the documentation continues to improve with the help of our awesome community. Bug reports are one of the most important contributions anyone can make - your reports help us make the framework better for everyone!

There are a couple of specific items worth discussing in more detail:

Typed Parameters

Thanks to SysPete, we now have typed route parameters in the core of Dancer2. This feature can help make your code more succinct and readable and less prone to bugs and other issues. This is one of the most exciting new features in Dancer2 - make sure to check out SysPete's article about it this year.


David Precious (bigpresh) is still doing a great job maintaining Dancer, but has also switched employers, and is no longer developing and maintaining Dancer(1) as part of his day job.

So, what does this mean for Dancer(1)? In the immediate future, probably nothing. Longer term, it means having some discussion among the core team and the community over how long to continue supporting the original version, and what that support might look like.

As there are changes in the long-term status of Dancer(1), we will make every effort to keep the community informed.

Questions for the Community

While there's not enough here for a formal survey, there are a couple of questions that I'd like to pose to our community:

  • GitHub Discussions

    GitHub has a new discussions system, and it appears to be a modern replacement for what was Google Groups. The Dancer Core Team has yet to discuss how or if we might use these going forward. As a community, do you see value in us using this? Would you use it more or less than IRC or the mailing list when looking for help and information?

  • Hacktoberfest

    Dear Reader, if only I could express the level of stress and frustration I encountered the first days of Hacktoberfest this year - the number of spam PRs we received was pretty ridiculous, and we are a much smaller project than some on GitHub, and I cannot imagine how they coped with the onslaught of spammy PRs, all for a lousy t-shirt (ok, the shirt was pretty cool...).

    To Digital Ocean's credit, I think they did an admirable job of trying to stop the bleeding. But for me, the spirit of Hacktoberfest has been ruined, and it makes me hesitant to set foot in those waters in the future.

    Dancer Community, what say you? Would you participate in a future Hacktoberfest given the chance?

Please, engage us on the mailing list, Twitter, IRC, or wherever you run into one of your friendly neighborhood Dancer Core Team members.

Dance, Dance, Dance!

And with that, let our mini advent calendar continue! Thanks for supporting us as much (or more) than we support you. Looking forward to 2021!


This article has been written by Jason Crome (CromeDome) for the Twelve Days of Dancer.


No copyright retained. Enjoy.

Jason A. Crome / CromeDome