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Shlomi Fish (918)

Shlomi Fish
  shlomif@iglu.org.il
http://www.shlomifish.org/
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I'm a hacker of Perl, C, Shell, and occasionally other languages. Perl is my favourite language by far. I'm a member of the Israeli Perl Mongers, and contribute to and advocate open-source technologies. Technorati Profile [technorati.com]

Journal of Shlomi Fish (918)

Thursday August 21, 2008
03:12 PM

Recent Hacktivity Summary

[ #37244 ]

Well, I added more tests to Module-Starter, and while I was writing the tests, I discovered some bugs in it. So now there's a patch with the tests and the bug fixes and another one with only the bug fixes. Both of them are unapplied.

Having been trying to learn Ruby recently, I decided to write a Conway's Game of Life implementation for it. It took me most of one evening to get it working and then part of the other day to make it more idiomatic with the help of the people on Freenode. It felt good in a way.

Then I decided to finally see why my Test-Run failed many tests recently. As it turns out, this was due to broken TAP-Parser compatibility: the skip message in skip_all field now accepts only "SKIP " and not something like "skipping: ". Fixing the Test-Run tests fixed it and I released new versions.

I also noticed that many of the Test-Run-CmdLine plugin had the following pattern:

sub _init
{
    my $self = shift;
    $self->NEXT::_init(@_);
    $self->add_to_backend_plugins("AlternateInterpreters");
}

So I overloaded the construction function, only to add a plugin. I decided to fix this by doing an accumulation of such plugin specifiers in every plugin, and so got only:

sub private_backend_plugins
{
    my $self = shift;

    return [qw(AlternateInterpreters)];
}

Which is much cleaner and less intrusive.

Next on my plate was Freecell Solver. I decided to work on make_pysol_freecell_board.py which is a Python script that generates the initial boards of PySol. The script was crudely written to begin with and it became even cruder as time went by. I decided to give it a serious face-lift. So what I did was:

  • Convert the columns (of the card games) from strings to arrays. Each card was stored there individually.

  • Convert the cards to a class, instead of integers and strings. Create similar classes for managing columsn and boards.

  • Extract many functions and methods.

  • Create a class to manipulate the various game types, and forward the different logic based on it.

  • Pythonised the script by employing some Python paradigms.

You can find what I have so far in the repository. It's much better than what I started with two days ago. Writing such Python code now seems more fun than I recall it, and I actually enjoyed it.

In regards to SMOP, they convinced me to install Ruby-1.9.x under a prefix, which I did, but then it yelled at me for not having a Haskell cabal thingy. Turns out that the Pugs Makefile.PL installs it somewhere under the home-directory, which I didn't want to happen, because I want to keep it tidy. Again, this reminded me of Drivl.com recipe on how to make square corners, and I decided to give up on SMOP again.

And I should note that I was able resolve a long-standing problem I had with XML-LibXML/XML-LibXSLT on my Mandriva system, and now I simplified the XML-Grammar-Fortune build-system.

I also spent some time writing a backup system for some of the Israeli MediaWikis that I manage. This involved a bunch of Perl scripts.

So - Perl, Ruby and Python - all in a few days work. Cheers everybody.

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