ajt's Journal http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/ ajt's use Perl Journal en-us use Perl; is Copyright 1998-2006, Chris Nandor. Stories, comments, journals, and other submissions posted on use Perl; are Copyright their respective owners. 2012-01-25T02:08:16+00:00 pudge pudge@perl.org Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 ajt's Journal http://use.perl.org/images/topics/useperl.gif http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/ Moving Home? http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/39019?from=rss <p>I've been blogging here for several years. I've tried to keep my Perl stuff here and my non-Perl stuff else where. Recently I've found the interface very unstable, at first I thought it was just a manky Firefox set-up but I see lots of other people are reporting the same.</p><p>I don't think this site is particularly pretty but at the same time I don't dislike it or have some active hatred of it. I'm not paying anything for the site so I can't complain anyway about the visuals.</p><p>Quite a few people I do follow seem to be moving to pastures new, so I think for the moment this will be my last blog on this site. My other blogs are listed below.</p><ul> <li> <a href="http://www.iredale.net/b/">personal blog</a> - a bit of everything. Includes RSS feeds to other blogs.</li><li> <a href="http://perlisalive.com/users/ajt/weblog">Perl blog</a> - possibly the replacement for this blog.</li><li> <a href="http://www.debian-administration.org/users/ajt/weblog">Debian blog</a> - if it's technical but not Perl related it goes here.</li></ul> ajt 2009-05-22T10:16:55+00:00 journal Pump Log Data into SAP http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/38944?from=rss <p>The past few weeks have been busy at work. We were asked to interface one our pumps with SAP so we could download it's event log into the SAP Quality System at the end of the assembly and testing of the pump.</p><p>After a certain amount of fiddling about, I got the OBEX interface to work and parsed out of the XML log the data we wanted. It then turned out that we had two other interfaces in the same physical pump to deal with at the same time that we didn't initially know about - one device and three software systems. Both the new ones are HTTP rather than OBEX transfers, one uses the same XML log files as the OBEX interface the other uses a less structured free text solution.</p><p>It's all been done in a single semi-modular Perl CGI application on a Windows PC, and then the SAP system interrogates the PC via a HTTP call. It's a bit of a string and sticky tape solution but it does work. For good measure I also merged in an existing and different interface to a different medical pump so that the SAP side could be streamlined down to just one set of configuration values.</p><p>It's been really challenging and fun to do, and when we tried it for the first time on a test PC everything worked first time - even the deployment documentation is pretty good. Another good win for Perl.</p> ajt 2009-05-09T12:29:53+00:00 journal PerlIO::gzip intermittent failure... http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/38815?from=rss <p>Yesterday I spent a few hours banging my head against a brick wall. I'm using <code>PerlIO::gzip</code> on ActiveState Perl 5.8.8 to decompress a large XML file. The XML file decompresses perfectly with Cygwin's gzip or xmllint, but <code>PerlIO::gzip</code> sometimes mangles the file and it starts as XML then degenerates into soup and sometimes it decompresses the file perfectly.</p><p>I wasted quite a few hours thinking it was something else, but it's clearly a random problem with <code>PerlIO::gzip</code>, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I can't make any sense of it, how can it work some of the time and the rest of the time it generates gibberish?</p><p>I'm going to give <code>IO::Uncompress::Gnuzip</code> a go now to see if it's consistent and reliable. It's a shame as the <code>PerlIO::gzip</code> interface was very handy.</p> ajt 2009-04-16T08:02:56+00:00 journal Perl Again http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/38784?from=rss <p>This week I've been doing too many things at once and surprise, surprise, things didn't quite go the way one would hope. I've been working on SAP PI middleware maps - a bit like poking your eyes out with an overly long hot poker, starting to work on an OBEX interface between one of our pumps and SAP, and trying to get a working backup scenario for the R&amp;D server.</p><p>It took us more than two days to clean up and get working our first PI inbound interface. It has not been helped by the fact that the BOMI warehouse software lies - it doesn't send fixed length files in reality... or that we needed one IDoc in SAP per line in the BOMI file - something that SAP's PI middleware doesn't do without "magic". In the end we got it all working but it's been a real palaver and we're not happy with the solution.</p><p>OBEX was more challenging and didn't go well until I got the PumpConnector tool from R&amp;D which turns our pumps into an OBEX server that can be reached over a selected IP address and port. It's not ideal but I can now get a gzipped stream on the log file onto the client PC. The next challenge will be to decompress it and find the entries in the vast XML file that I want, and then send them back over the original CGI request to SAP.</p><p>Finally just before the holiday I got HP DataProtector installed and working on the R&amp;D server. Previous backup solution had been more Heath Robinson...</p> ajt 2009-04-09T12:06:26+00:00 journal SAP's Java http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/38663?from=rss <p>For the past few days I've started to really use <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAP_PI">SAP's NetWeaver PI</a> middleware system. The GUIs are Java applications, they are quite sluggish and get noticeably slower during the day, plus they don't look native to the OS and so look ugly and feel odd.</p><p>The server component is all written in Java, which thankfully I don't have to work with, but as with the GUI it's resource hungry and quite sluggish. At least they don't seem very buggy - I gather the the earlier versions were very wobbly!</p><p>On the whole I don't have to work with much Java code myself - just the results of it. However in the XML mapping core it's often not possible to use the point and drool interface to achieve what you need, so you have to resort to a Java functions to get the job done. I don't like Java - probably because it's not something I've used often - though I do keep trying to learn it, but I constantly feel that it's the wrong language for this job - Perl would be so much a better solution...</p><p>This week a consultant showed off a new super modern feature of Java that he's not really use to, looping over a list of strings without using a counter to access the items by index - he thought it so merit worthy he had to talk about it! I know Java and Perl are designed for to do different things, it's just a shame that people in SAP don't know it!</p> ajt 2009-03-18T19:51:45+00:00 journal Perl Success Story http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/38451?from=rss <p>At the end of last year after a lot of effort we went live with a new quality initiative at work. Most of it was done in SAP but the custom interfaces to test equipment and instruments was done with Perl - it was used as the glue to hold it all together.</p><p>I sent an email to <a href="http://proudtouseperl.org/">Proud To Use Perl</a>. After an initially positive reply, in the new year I received a more depressed email so instead I posted a brief summary of the story on <a href="http://perlisalive.com/">Perl Is Alive</a> here: <a href="http://perlisalive.com/articles/8">Perl Helps Medical Company</a>. It's not great but it's a start.</p><p> &lt;rant&gt; </p><p>While I understand the mantra, I'm constantly fighting a mantra of use "SAP Standard", or more recently use "SAP XI/PI and Java". If you have bought SAP and are using it's PI mapping tool then it's best to use it, but it's just not an appropriate tool to do everything and it's nice to have a success story that isn't some monstrous Java framework that takes an eight core AIX box just to run and a team of developers to write and maintain - even if it is "standard".</p><p>Companies are scared of bespoke solutions because they fear that they may be trapped with a unique solution that they cannot maintain. They run to Microsoft or in our case SAP/Java without any real understanding of the shoddy quality of the solution they are getting. In the end it's more important to have a "standard" solution no matter how inferior it is. Perl isn't considered standard, so it always comes out worst.</p><p>On Monday an Axon consultant was horrified that I'd consider writing a Perl daemon to receive instructions by SOAP, SAP RFC or HTTP in Perl in a few hours. Creating a process like that requires weeks of development in Java, you can't possibly say writing something like that is trivial... Okay I may have overplayed the advantage that CPAN gives to Perl, but some things - in my case, most things - are a lot easier in Perl than Java!</p><p> &lt;/rant&gt;</p> ajt 2009-02-10T21:17:27+00:00 journal Perl Is Alive http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/38377?from=rss <p>I came across this site today: <a href="http://perlisalive.com/">Perl Is Alive</a>, not from a Perl link but from a Debian site. It seems the web site shares the same Yawns engine as the <a href="http://www.debian-administration.org/">Debian Administration</a> web site that I frequent. I'm not sure what niche this new Perl web site will fill, but it's better that there is one more Perl Web site than one less.</p> ajt 2009-01-31T14:36:11+00:00 journal Proud to Use Perl http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/38333?from=rss <p>Just before the end of last year we went live with a new quality initiative at our Hampshire based manufacturing site. It's mostly SAP standard and barcoding but my bit was some custom ABAP code and some funky Perl stuff to glue some of the hard bits together.</p><p>I'm proud of the solution is brings lots of quality and regulatory benefits to the factory which is good as we make medical devices. We also got a 15% increase in productivity for free which the bean counters will like. I mentioned this to the <a href="http://proudtouseperl.org/">Proud To Use Perl</a> and Dave said it was a good story.</p><p>After we went live the factory manager wanted a nice big plasma screen in the office showing live figures from the SAP system as they are entered into it by the factory staff. The easiest way to do that was to reuse a Perl/SAP web application framework I wrote for another project (zero code changes required) and create to new SAP functions to do the new SAP side of the work. All told it too two days to have up on the "big screen" for a site visit by top brass. Yet another win for Perl.</p><p>All I have to do is finish off my Proud to Use Perl statement - something I'm not so good at.</p> ajt 2009-01-23T17:59:40+00:00 journal Perl Versions http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/38277?from=rss <p>I don't do <em>that</em> much Perl these days. Though I've done more Perl development work in the last 3 months than the last 2 years probably. At the moment I'm doing some more fun Perl/SAP work at work and SAP is more mentally stimulating with Perl than without it!</p><p>Yesterday I was thinking, "Is now the time to start taking advantage of things in Perl 5.8?". For a long time I tried to avoid using anything from Perl 5.8 that couldn't be used on older Perls, I'm now thinking it's time to move on and start actually using stuff from 5.8 that can't be used in 5.6 - and dropping anything that is on it's way out in 5.10 and beyond.</p><p>I know that stuff was introduced into the 5.8 core but I didn't really bother with it as we still use 5.6 at work and initially a lot of people were still running 5.6. Time moves on and I think it's time to re-read my PerlDelta docs and starting doing new things. I know that there are lots of cool things in 5.10 but I think they are a bit new yet to use given the number of 5.8 and older systems.</p> ajt 2009-01-13T20:07:41+00:00 journal My Blogs http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/37983?from=rss <p> Yesterday someone commented that I hadn't blogged for a while. I realised that if you don't have my combined "planet me" feed you may not know that I blog in three different places and you may believe I've dropped off the net because I've not written in one of the blogs for a while. </p><p> You could say it's sad that I even thought about this but when you are crammed in a train in conditions worse than a sardine you think weird thoughts... </p><ul> <li> <a href="http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/">use perl</a>: mostly perl and programming</li><li> <a href="http://www.debian-administration.org/users/ajt/weblog">Debian Administration</a>: mostly Debian and GNU</li><li> <a href="http://www.iredale.net/b/">iredale.net</a>: my personal everything else blog.</li><li> <a href="http://www.iredale.net/b/planetajt.rss">planet ajt</a>: my combined RSS feed</li></ul> ajt 2008-11-30T11:29:33+00:00 journal LWP 2008 http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/37977?from=rss <p> It Was LWP::2008 today. A good meeting, some nice talks, a few new modules to try and a few "hello"s to friends old and new. </p><p> Alas I had to dash back to the sticks rather than stay for the free beer - I hope those who did stay enjoyed/are enjoying themselves. </p><p> Maybe I'll give a Perl talk one of these days, the short lived <a href="http://thamesvalley.pm.org/">ThamesValley.pm</a> doesn't count as a serious venue (yet...). </p> ajt 2008-11-29T22:46:06+00:00 journal Blogging Engine http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/37937?from=rss <p>I run my personal <a href="http://www.iredale.net/b/">blog</a> using <a href="http://blosxom.sourceforge.net/">blosxom</a>. It works and I'm mostly happy with it. After a long period of stagnation there is some work on the tool, which is good.</p><p>I recently tried the new revised version and it didn't like my blog's "flavour" data. I had a look at the code and I didn't like it - well not enough to try and fix it.</p><p>I can keep my old Blosxom install which does work perfectly well. I could try something else (e.g. Bryar) - but there are not that many light-weight non database blogs about, or I could write my own.</p><p>I'm really tempted to write my own, not as a fork of Blosxom, rather a fresh application that can use the same filesystem data, similar templates and possibly a few extra features. My plan would be to create a OO module with a very simple wrapper app that could be a mod_Perl module or CGI script.</p> ajt 2008-11-25T12:33:15+00:00 journal QM2... http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/37769?from=rss <p>It's been a while since I've written anything here. I've been awfully busy on a project at work and things at home haven't been much easier either. Overall it's mostly "good" busy but it doesn't half take it out of you.</p><p>The Quality project has been very interesting, I've managed to squeeze in some "paid" Perl/Apache work rather than my usual non-work and therefore non-paid Perl development. I've done lots and lots of ABAP, in a very cool an interesting way, it's been the best development project I've done for work in a long time.</p><p>I'm not out of the woods yet, it's all got to go in and I've got lots of stuff to do at home and in parallel at work but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel!</p> ajt 2008-10-30T22:36:27+00:00 journal Windows Hate http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/37228?from=rss <p>I'm in the middle of a "Quality Management" project at work for the factory. I've done some Perl code already and it's clean and good. I've done some SAP ABAP code and it's as clean as ABAP gets and it's as good as it gets. I'm actually happy with the evil shell script I had to hack to make the Perl and SAP bits talk.</p><p>The final big problem is getting our pumps to download their test data directly into the SAP QM system. The pumps speak a proprietary line orientated language over RS232 (print and read). Alas I have to make this all work on Windows client systems which I try to avoid these days and I'm short on time...</p><p>Life would be so much easier on Linux or Unix...</p> ajt 2008-08-19T14:49:56+00:00 journal Indirect Dependencies in META.yml? http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/36881?from=rss <p>Recently tests for XML::RSS::Tools failed because one of the test modules did not play well with another module it required for the test, neither are part of my module.</p><p>During the debugging phase one the kind testers suggested adding indirect dependencies as well as direct dependencies to my META.yml/Build.PM/Makefile.PL files. Now that <a href="/~drhyde/journal/">DrHyde</a> has the <a href="http://cpandeps.cantrell.org.uk/">CPAN dependencies</a> service up and running it's actually easy to do this. It creates more work for the module maintainer but in theory it helps the testers to figure out what is going wrong at times, because of the apparently better statistics the test tools generate as a result of the extended dependencies.</p> ajt 2008-07-09T21:16:48+00:00 journal Test Failures http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/36859?from=rss <p>I'm getting some interesting test failures in my most recent revision of XML::RSS::Tools. Version 0.30 had some stupid errors in that I quickly fixed with version 0.31, I'm still getting some test failures but I can't replicate the problem.</p><p>I don't know if it's a bug in my code, my test or Test::Warn. Having more systems to help won't help <em>per se</em> (thanks for the previous offers) I need to figure out what is different about Perl 5.10.0 that works and Perl 5.10.0 that doesn't - the modules used in the tests even look the same...</p><ul> <li> <a href="http://cpantesters.perl.org/show/XML-RSS-Tools.html#XML-RSS-Tools-0.31">CPAN Testers: Reports for XML-RSS-Tools</a> </li><li> <a href="http://rt.cpan.org/Public/Bug/Display.html?id=25427">#25427: Multi line warnings are not handled properly</a>?</li></ul> ajt 2008-07-06T13:45:44+00:00 journal Perl 5.6.x http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/36785?from=rss <p>I maintain a few modules. Most of them are simple but one relies on quite a complex stack of other modules, being essentially a wrapper module.</p><p>My home systems are running Perl 5.10.0 as that's what comes with Debian Lenny. Yesterday I thought it best to try and create environments with Perl 5.8.8 and 5.6.2 on them so I could test the code on older Perls. I can not get the same level of coverage that CPANTester provide but I can weed out the worst bugs in advance.</p><p>Using VirtualBox I installed some older system inside a VM container and tried stuff out. Perl 5.6.1 era systems are a nightmare, not only is Perl old, but all the supporting libraries are old and the Perl modules my module is dependent on will not install because the overall antiquity of the system.</p><p>If you had an older system (RedHat 7 era) box that has been patched over the years it's possible to get partially there as some elements of the dependency stack are present, though at older levels. On a new system it's almost impossible to install anything as the more recent versions demand newer libraries that just aren't there...</p><p>Is it worth trying to support Perl 5.6.x...?</p> ajt 2008-06-26T08:29:42+00:00 journal Perl on Windows (again)... http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/36722?from=rss <p>A very long time ago I use to be a Happy Windows user. Then I found Unix and for a very long time I was an unhappy Windows user. Except at work were I'm forced to use Windows as my desktop system, I don't really use Windows any more - it's simply a window manager for PuTTY or the SAP GUI.</p><p>I've just spent the past 3 hours trying to get a version of Perl onto Windows from which I can then install SAP::Rfc so I can talk to the SAP systems at work. I've tried Cygwin Perl, Stwarbery Perl and two versions of ActiveState Perl. Eventually I found a combination of AS Perl 5.8.8 and a pre-compiled binary of SAP::Rfc that worked and after some messing I got a test to work.</p><p>I know it's not Perl's fault that Windows is so rubbish, but developing/testing Perl code on Windows is a miserable experience when compared with pretty much anywhere else...</p> ajt 2008-06-19T14:27:47+00:00 journal Life, or lack thereof http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/36538?from=rss <p>Life is complicated at the moment, moving home, lots of changes at work, which means I'll miss the London.pm Tech meet and my next LUG meeting. Once the dust settles and BT get's of their lazy arse and we have phone and therefore ADSL at home things should be a lot better.</p><p>I know have to think ABAP for another "urgent" fix for the SAP system, before I start the really interesting project which is a nice new bespoke SAP interface with our pumps.</p> ajt 2008-05-29T10:52:06+00:00 journal We are Hiring (again) http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/36292?from=rss <p> We are hiring. We have a number of open positions at work, for both contractors and permanent staff. </p><p> I know SAP R/3 ABAP development is a bit of an arcane skill but the number of quality applicants hasn't been great so far. I don't know where people learnt to write CVs but I don't want 12 pages of waffle or to know you worked at McD's when you were at school. Two to three pages is plenty and please list skills with some idea of how you rank them, copying out the entire contents of a SAP marketing brochure is not helpful... </p><p> I don't like dealing with recruitment, it's slow tedious and quite frustrating. The agents only make things worse, there are times I wonder how we'll ever find anyone... </p><p> On the bright side there does seem to be a larger number of Perl/Linux positions in the area should I decide to jump ships! </p> ajt 2008-04-30T21:25:04+00:00 journal Perl / SAP / Medical Devices / Windows http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/36190?from=rss <p>We have a fun but potentially challenging project at work coming up. It will involve getting our infusion pumps to talk to a PC using a RS232 interface and within the same application speak with SAP via the SAP RFC interface. Getting Perl and SAP talking is easy I've done that before with the SAP::Rfc module, talking to our pump and a Mentron electrical test unit via RS232 on Windows may be more fun...</p><p>My preference would be to use Linux for all this, as it comes with a compiler which will make building SAP::Rfc easier and I understand how Linux works. However as the users will probably need the SAP Windows GUI in case things don't work, I'm being forced to do the development on Windows - which is always painful and unpleasant.</p> ajt 2008-04-18T12:07:21+00:00 journal LinkedIn http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/36078?from=rss <p>This week I bothered to set myself up on LinkedIn. It's yet-another-social-web-site, but apparently this one is for professionals and not teenagers with too much angst. While there are lots of people in big enterprise groupings I was pleasantly surprised to find a Debian, Perl Mongers and CPAN group. I have no idea if it's any real value but time will tell...</p><p> <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/drajt">My LinkedIn profile</a>.</p> ajt 2008-04-06T12:08:05+00:00 journal XML::RSS::Tools or Life http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/35919?from=rss <p>I recently took some time off work to get various things done at home and partially to run down unused holiday. It was good to be away from work and I do feel much better as a result.</p><p>I started working on my module XML::RSS::Tools fixing a build bug that has nagged me for a while. I also added more tests and improved to the way the tests are implemented. I haven't got round to releasing the changes yet...</p><p>I also started on my ambitious plan to rebuild my web sites. Like XML::RSS::Tools it's mostly done but not yet complete.</p><p>My new home server arrived and that is yet another project that's not complete yet...</p><p>Last night we learned that our land lady wants to sell-up, so we now have to find a new place to live, or buy at over inflated prices our current house. I don't really want to spend GBP230k/USD460k on a tiny/cold two-bed Edwardian cottage...</p><p>Could this be the opportune time to move to another county or country? Anyone looking for a Debian using, Perl/Web developer, with a working knowledge of SAP R3?</p> ajt 2008-03-17T14:12:53+00:00 journal Catalog support in LibXML http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/35642?from=rss <p> Yesterday I had another look at getting XML catalogs (sic.) to work in XML::LibXML. I could get my catalog working from xmllint on the command line, but within a small Perl script using XML::LibXML it refused to process the same source XML and catalog files - it constantly refused to recognise an entity in the source file. </p><p> Today I was going to dig deeper, to see if I could produce a nice clean example to submit to the Perl-XML mailing list, only it seems to be working as billed today - and I've not done anything to the box since yesterday and my test script is as I had it last night... </p><p> Strange... I'll now try and test in my original application, not my test script. It could be that things got upgraded in Debian Lenny at some point and I didn't notice when things got fixed - it happens. </p> ajt 2008-02-12T20:07:34+00:00 journal Spam from the British Computer Society http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/35608?from=rss <p> In my usual list of junk email from various spammers - that our company anti-spam system fails abysmally to detect - I got an email advertising the British Computer Society. As the BCS is an allegedly legitimate organisation I sent them and email complaining that they were being used by a spammer. Today they responded and admitted that New Wave were an official partner in some BCS promotion currently being run. </p><p> If you give money to spammer scum then you are as guilty as the spammer. As far as I'm concerned that makes the BCS a scum organisation. I felt really good telling they were scum for dealing with spammers, and even better as I have reported New Wave to the Information Commissioner's Office (not that it will do any good) for sending spam. </p> ajt 2008-02-07T18:50:35+00:00 journal Fixing Analog dns cache file http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/35319?from=rss <p>The text file used as a DNS cache by the Analog web server log analyser gets rather long and out of date if you don't manage it. At the weekend I took my 20MiB file and ran my usual shell scripts to clean up the log, I'm not a shell guru, and after a days wait I had a pristine 2.6MiB cache file with no duplicates in. I then made some changes to how Analog is configured to keep things trim</p><p>All these DNS look-ups in series are very slow, especially as once they fail, the usually fail on every subsequent attempt, which is what most of the log consists off. Using a bit of Perl (hashes) and the parallel DNS look-up from Net::DNS, got a script that is marginally longer the the shell script, but can process a 20MiB file in under 5 minutes...</p><p>I'd be the first to admit that my Perl code is better than my shell, but the Perl version is both MUCH faster, and according to top, lighter on the CPU... very cool.</p> ajt 2008-01-07T14:21:03+00:00 journal Fixing PHP with Perl http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/35284?from=rss <p>At work a colleague is frantically trying to finish a project he is working on in in PHP/MySQL via Dreamweaver. Every now and then he hits a problem at the limit of his PHP skill and asks for help. I don't really know PHP much, so I just use Perl foo and hope it works. So far my guesses from Perl and a bit of Googling have been more than sufficient.</p><p>His boss really should buy him a book or send him on a training course - he'd be much happier and productive then...</p><p>BTW: <strong>HAPPY NEW YEAR!</strong> </p> ajt 2008-01-04T13:58:23+00:00 journal XML on old Perls http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/35225?from=rss <p>I'm working on parsing the XML files output by a UPS WorldShip client application. It looked straight forward, just pass in a bunch of XPATHs and out comes a bunch of values...</p><p>The problem is that the stupid XML file from UPS comes in a non-named namespace and the old version of Perl and LibXML I'm using can't get at the xpath I want. Apparently it is easy to <a href="http://plasmasturm.org/log/259/">fix</a>, but it requires a newer version of XML::LibXML, which won't install on this antique box.</p><p>Argh.....! I could use the older XML::XPath which is slower and less standard compliant so it just blunders on ignoring the namespace, so it works, even though it's the wrong thing to do. Or I could just hack the XML that the stupid UPS WorldShip system outputs...</p> ajt 2007-12-28T12:44:44+00:00 journal Beginner's Guide to Achieving the Impossible http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/35177?from=rss <p>The week after this year's LPW was my last LUG meeting of the year. I decided to give a small talk about using CPAN to get other people to write your code for you. Alas between the two meetings I went down with yet another cold, so it wasn't as well prepared or presented as I would have hoped for.</p><p>Anyhow the talk is available from my LUG and the Internet Archive in several formats, Google Video will follow no doubt.</p><ul> <li> <a href="http://www.hantslug.org.uk/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?TechTalks/8thDecember2007">Hants LUG 2007-12-08: Talks</a>. (presentation and various video files)</li><li> <a href="http://www.archive.org/details/HantsLUG_perl_beginners_cpan">Internet Archive: Talk video</a>. (video only, various formats)</li></ul> ajt 2007-12-21T09:18:24+00:00 journal Hateful GUI http://use.perl.org/~ajt/journal/34842?from=rss <p>I hate people who think software should only have a Graphical User Interface (GUI). I can cope with only a Command Line Interface (CLI), though I accept that many applications benefit from both.</p><p>At work for a Lean 6 sigma project I need to automate a step but alas it requires a Windows GUI application, that does not have a CLI. It's hateful enough that it requires Windows, but not offering a decent CLI means that at the end of the day someone has to remember to push a bunch of buttons to dump a shipping database for import into SAP. As you can expect people forget and the SAP system does not have a proper copy of the database.</p> ajt 2007-11-06T11:05:06+00:00 journal