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Journal of Aragorn (2708)

Thursday March 09, 2006
03:06 PM

Giving talks

Last Tuesday I gave my first talk at the Amsterdam Perl Mongers' meeting. I did an introduction to PPI, Adam Kennedy's Perl parser module. It was my first real talk, but once I got started, it went reasonably well, I think. People were interested in the topic, and some nice discussion was had.

The organizer of the Dutch Perl Workshop asked me to do the talk at the workshop. Apparently an uncertain "Uhhh" is equivalent to "Yes, of course!" as the next day, I saw name added to the listof speakers. I'm flattered :-)

Wednesday January 25, 2006
05:42 AM

Pro Perl Debugging

This morning I finished reading the book "Pro Perl Debugging", by Richard Foley. It's a missed chance. The topic of using the Perl debugger is an interesting one, and the basic information on using it is sound. Unfortunately, the book is absolutely riddled with presentational errors. From wrong fonts to mismatches in the initial code listings, and the code which is seen in the debugging walkthrough.

Some examples:

In listing 4-1, a program is presented which contains a bug. Unfortunately, the buggy program contains a bug:

Line 9 in the listing says: my $regex = $ENV{REGEX} || '[\$\@\%\*]]+'; But in the walkthrough, line 9 suddenly is my $regex = $ENV{REGEX} || '[\$\@\%\*]&+';. See the difference?

In chapter 11, debugging regular expressions is discussed. A common abbreviation of "regular expression" is "regex". But why is "regex" printed in a monospaced font? Totally unnecessary.

When showing a transcript of something you do on the command-line, be sure that the command-line shown is actually what produces the subsequent output:

perldb -Dr -e '"spott" =~ /spot/'
[line snipped]
Guessing start of match, REx 'spot' against 'sxpott'...

I think the extra costs of have the book have a hardcover could have been spent better on technical review and editing.

Sunday January 01, 2006
04:21 PM

New Year's resolutions

This being my first journal entry on use.perl, it's a good place to put some of my (Perl related) resolutions for 2006:

I do have some other things I want to get done in 2006, like losing 25kg of weight, read more books, watch less TV, but the above are at least on-topic here :-) Right now, I'll have to get rid of this damn cold.

Have a good 2006!