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Beatnik (493)

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A 29 year old belgian who likes Mountain Dew, Girl Scout Cookies, Tim Hortons French Vanilla Flavoured Cappucinno, Belgian beer, Belgian chocolate, Belgian women, Magners Cider, chocolate chipped cookies and Perl. Likes snowboarding, snorkling, sailing and silence. Bach can really cheer him up! He still misses his dog.

Project Daddy of Spine [], a mod_perl based CMS.

In his superhero time (8.30 AM to 5.30 PM), he works on world peace.

Journal of Beatnik (493)

Saturday December 28, 2002
06:12 PM


[ #9655 ]
Well, at the near-end of 2002, I browsed my older diaries and found these entries in a crappy blog I wrote once. For history's sake...

From Mathcad to COBOL and Linguistics
What started as an attempt to write an image filter months ago, took a strange turn.

In school, we're using Mathcad in math class and we covered matrices and image manipulation with it. The professor stated he was going to give extra credit if we could send him the same algorithm written in a programming language of our choice. Needless to say it didn't take long for me to write one in Perl. This was a few months ago. While browsing thru my code the other day, I bumped into the code and remembered I wanted to speed it up (since looping thru a matrix can be quite slow). I looked into using XS (C backend) to still do it in Perl. XS turned out to be quite difficult and with no extensive documentation, I got stranded. What I did try was to write the algorithm in C, which went rather smoothly. At that moment I remembered Perl has Inline, a way to use any kind of code (supported by Inline) inside your perl code. I remember a talk Brian 'Ingy' Ingerson gave at YAPC::Eu 2.00.1 in Amsterdam (but I skipped it and I'm sorry about that now :) ). Anyway, I checked the slides and tried a first example. From then on, I tried to link gd into Inline::C and got several errors, eventually fixed them and I released a draft of Image::Filter::Blur on Perlmonks, noticed to the people on inline@perl dot org and mailed a copy to my math teacher.

It ain't over til the fat lady sings...

Now, started with Inline and I was hooked. My sick and twisted mind thought of Inline::COBOL and I looked at the options (which werent good). I had to find a way to pass params to a COBOL sub program and return em. I was about to give up on the whole idea until I read the RTFM and noticed it mentioned Parse::RecDescent. I attented a talk on it at YAPC::Eu 2.00.1 but it was WAY over my head (at that time). I like to grab every opportunity I get to learn about Damian Conway's code and Parse::RecDescent wasn't an exception. So I set out to create a COBOL grammer file for Parse::RecDescent.

So this is how I got from Mathcad to COBOL and linguistics :)

UML.. Aargh
For todays exam schedule, I'm studying OO Methodogies (mainly UML). It's kinda boring since I already saw this stuff about 4 times but I need to pass this course too.

Stats suck
During the past 2 days I've been looking into COBOL again and I kinda finished it. I got back together with Statistics, which kinda sucks, and try to get a grip on it.

On the Perl side, I've given up on Parse::RecDescent (for now) and use a module based solution. Everything in the Divisions is sent off to their corresponding modules (for instance, there is an Identification module). Olly also got me into sending a mail to the people at Perlfect altho I'm not looking for a job nor am I living anywhere near London. Their site contains some articles and scripts and I must say I've seen better :)

Greece, here I come...
It's official, I'm enlisted to go to Greece during the second half of July. I already toured around the Peloponessos 3 years ago and I had a lot of fun then. I originally planned going with my ex but I managed to change group. I'm now going in the same group as two other, nice girls I know. It should be fun :)

First week is over...
First batch of Exams is over, now comes the real challenge. The past week I had COBOL theoretically (which went VERY smooth), French (not as smooth as COBOL but still really smooth) and Data Communication (soso, I think I passed it). Monday I have SQL, followed by Java on tuesday, English on wednesday and COBOL practical on friday. I'm currently looking into math again, since it's a genuine Pain In The Ass (tm). On the brighter side, I made an appointment for my internship interview (which I expect to go just fine).

Java Exam
Here I am... waiting in school until I can present my Java project, a Sokoban clone. SQL exam went well yesterday, both the theoritical as the practical part went smooth. Next week will be hell since I have math and stats in the same week I have economics and UML.

The last one...
The past week has been hell-ish. I have one exam left, OSs, on monday... shouldn't be TOO hard but some tricky bits. While mildly intoxicated friday evening, I managed to still write a very basic module for blurring, based on gd (thus being XS linked). I now have to write some general module to stuff the I/O in, the file format handling, etc. This SWIG Paper should help me a bit with that :)

uhm oki, it's official... I passed my exams, which means I finally get to start my final year in CS. Altho I'll miss it someday, I'm glad to finally pass!

Image::Filter growing...
Well, Image::Filter is growing nicely. I'm currently adding some new filters, cleaning up the interface and will extend the main module a bit (probably add WBMP and GDx support again).

Couch potato
Yes, I confess. These days, I'm nothing more than a regular couch potato. I sit on the couch all day, with my laptop, a can of ice tea, some belgian chocolate, the TV on MTV. But I am working! I'm rewriting the SPINE core partially, using and CGI::Carp, using cleaner OO interfaces, fixing loads of bugs and adding small-ish features. See the result on a webserver near you !

Back from Greece
I'm back from Greece and I loved it... and not just the country! I love my girlfriend too! VERY MUCH!! hear that, Ann? I LOVE YOU! I'm sorry I cant spend those 3 weeks with you but I'll be thinking about you all the time! Oh, in case someone else reads this, welcome to Corny Rants Motel.

That's about it for today's flashback...
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