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colink (481)

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Journal of colink (481)

Sunday June 29, 2008
11:57 PM

FC9 and site_lib, a bad combo

Last week, Fedora publised an update to perl, perl-5.10.0-27.fc9.i386. This update drops /usr/lib/perl5.10/site_lib from @INC. Since this is where earlier versions of perl preferred to install modules, you are either left with reinstalling all the modules again, or setting the PERL5LIB environment variable to add it back in.

Aside from that, and not installing CPAN by default, it was great for the whole two weeks that I got to use it.

WebGUI 7.5 seems to run fine on it.

Friday October 26, 2007
11:19 PM

Devel::Cover spewing MD5 warnings

When running the WebGUI tests under prove, every test would spew this warning:

Devel::Cover: Can't open -e for MD5 digest: No such file or directory

They were just warnings, but they really cluttered up the prove output. Google didn't reveal anything except that the parrot tests showed the same problem. Nothing in or

I tried pulling out FindBin (something that parrot also uses) but it didn't help. Finally, by chance, while reading the Devel::Cover POD I noticed that the preferred way of using it is to set HARNESS_PERL_SWITCHES instead of PERL5OPT. Sure enough, that made the warnings go away.

Wednesday October 24, 2007
10:43 PM

WebGUI Users Conference, day 3

By Friday, my cold was pretty much over. Martin Kamerbeek gave an awesome presentation about ACME assets and macros for WebGUI:

  • A memory game Asset with pictures of WebGUI developer heads
  • An Xeyes macro, with selectable eyes and an easter egg
  • 8-ball macro
  • A graphics format translator from an archaic Apple ][ format to GIF

My talk went very well. It was titled Getting Your Ideas Into WebGUI, and covered the mechanics of working with the community (paid options, volunteer options, free coding options) as well as how to make each one work well (writing good specs, working with developers, handling difficult people, etc.) My wife Kathy made my slides, and I was only about 60% nervous during the talk.

It was good to see everyone again. Face time is so important when most of the team interaction is over email/IRC/forums. Plus, it's hard to buy someone a beer that way. Which reminds me, at the Ruby Marie hotel in Madison, Wisconsin, they had several biers starting with the word, "Hacker". I'll have to try to hunt one down here in PDX, or wait 'til next year.

Sunday October 21, 2007
02:25 PM

WebGUI Users Conference, day 2

Wednesday evening, I came down with a bad cold. It felt like someone was cooking my sinuses from the inside out. I took a 3 hour nap, then couldn't fall asleep again until 2:00am, then slept through Chris Dolan's Perl Critic talk, as well as the talks about using YUI and cool javascript UI tricks.

I felt well enough to make the hackathon Thursday night, though. The automated test runs are back up and going, we improved test coverage on WebGUI User a few points, and I learned a lot about Apache::Test. It would be a lot simpler to have a real request object, rather than all the Test::MockObject hackery and request emulation that we do.

Doug has a branch where he's working on the new Photo Gallery Asset that has some new way of accessing the Asset's output directly, rather than running it through mod_perl. This is cool, of course, but it still isn't testing the whole flow.

The WRE has its own test suite. It would be good to have it added to the automatic nightly test run.

It has been a long time since I ran the full test suite through Devel::Cover. It's time to do it again.

Wednesday October 17, 2007
09:39 AM

WebGUI 2007 Keynote

Well, the keynote had JT's trademark cool graphics and hard rock music. It covered the evolution of WebGUI from 1.0 to today, which is just after the 7.5 branch. Notable points from this point are:

  • 6.x was required because the 5.x codebase wouldn't scale
  • 6.x pretty much killed the community due to its rapid pace. To keep up with the API changes, you pretty much had to be involved on a weekly basis.
  • The 7.4 API freeze was extended one year, from 2009 to 2010.

New features in 7.5

  • Flickr style photo gallery.
  • YouTube style video sharing.
  • A new service, WebGUI Video, which will contain all WUC videos. Comes with support subscription.
  • AJAXified Admin/Editing interface.
  • WebGUI Lite, which is a mini-version of WebGUI suitable for common users versus enterprise versions. Plain Black will be offering a low cost hosted version of this.

I won the Contributor of the Year award this year! Guess I'd better stay busy hacking WebGUI

Sunday October 09, 2005
10:54 PM

WUC 2005

I just got back from the 2005 WebGUI Users's Conference in Las Vegas. It was a great time. Kathy went to the tracks on business development and content management training, which freed me up for API and Asset/Wobject classes.

My favorite part was the State of WebGUI address, where JT talked about where WebGUI is now, and where it's going. The 6.8 release is going to be huge, and the last step on the way to the mythical 7.0 release, where the APIs will be stablized and we can take full advantage of version control and workflow.

Okay, actually my favorite part was hacking with Matthew Wilson on Wednesday night. It amazes me how much more work can happen when you're finally face to face with other people. Next year I think I'll do more hacking.

I got some good ideas from the audience during my talk on Documenting WebGUI, and learned a lot. I solemnly swear not to rewrite my slides the night and morning before my presentation.

And to talk more slowly.