davorg's Journal http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/ davorg'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. 2012-01-25T02:01:13+00:00 pudge pudge@perl.org Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 davorg's Journal http://use.perl.org/images/topics/useperl.gif http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/ I'm Off http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/38996?from=rss <p>For pretty much the same reasons that you've heard from many other people, I've decided to take my Perl blogging elsewhere.</p><p>You'll find me over at <a href="http://perlhacks.com/">Perl Hacks</a>.</p> davorg 2009-05-18T20:07:54+00:00 journal YAPC::Europe Talk Proposals http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/38903?from=rss <p>The CFP for this year's <a href="http://yapceurope2009.org/">YAPC::Europe</a> closed yesterday. Usually this means I have a frantic couple of hours rushing around proposing (semi-)random talks. This year I've been a bit more organised and have been proposing talks as they have occured to me. The upside of this is that I have confidence that they will all be interesting talks. The downside is that I've proposed more talks than ever before. I hope the organisers don't select all of them (I'd like to see <i>some</i> of the conference) but I've given them lots of choice<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)</p><p>There are a couple of talks based on the conference's theme of "Corporate Perl".</p><ul> <li> <b>Why Corporates Hate Perl</b> <br>This will be loosely based on my <a href="http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2008/08/why_corporates_hate_perl.html">blog post</a> from lst year - but I've got lots of other things to add based on the feedback I received. This is, at least partly, a sequel to <a href="http://mag-sol.com/talks/yapc/2006/lang/">Programming Languages and Perl</a> and <a href="http://mag-sol.com/talks/yapc/2008/proud/">Proud to Use Perl</a>.</li><li> <b>Why do so many companies re-invent well-known CPAN modules badly and end up writing far too much code?</b> <br>I was going to give this talk at a recent London.pm technical meeting, but was ill and was unable to present it. The title pretty much describes what I'll cover.</li></ul><p>There's a talk following up on something I spoke about last year in Copenhagen.</p><ul> <li> <b>Perl in RPM-Land (The Return)</b> <br>Last year I talked about <a href="http://mag-sol.com/talks/yapc/2008/rpm/">building RPMs</a> of CPAN modules and suggested that we could do this automatically for a large percentage of modules. This is conference-driven development. If this talk is chosen then I'll have to make a start on the project.</li></ul><p>And there's a talk about a project that I'm currently pretty enthused about.</p><ul> <li> <b>The Planetarium</b> <br>This is about using Perl to aggregate web feeds. In particular I'm trying to build sites that are useful tools for building local communities. It's not really on-topic for the conference, but I think it's interesting.</li></ul><p>So now it's just a case of seeing which ones the conference organisers choose. Does anyone know when that will be announced?</p><p> <b>Update:</b> They chose <a href="http://yapceurope2009.org/ye2009/talk/1939">Why do so many companies re-invent well-known CPAN modules badly and end up writing far too much code?</a> and <a href="http://yapceurope2009.org/ye2009/talk/2069">The Planetarium</a>.</p><p>I'll see you in Lisbon.</p> davorg 2009-05-01T10:58:39+00:00 journal Task::Kensho RPMs http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/38730?from=rss <p>One of the first concrete outputs from the <a href="http://www.enlightenedperl.org/">Enlightened Perl Organisation</a> has been <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/Task-Kensho/">Task::Kensho</a> - a CPAN module which exists to list a number of other CPAN modules that modern Perl programmers should consider using. if you install Task::Kensho then all of the included modules will automatically be pulled down from CPAN and installed.</p><p>I don't install my modules from CPAN. As I live in the Red Hat world, I like to install RPMs of modules. And I build RPMs for modules that aren't already available in that format (and then I <a href="http://rpm.mag-sol.com/">make them available to everyone</a>).</p><p>So last night I created an RPM for Task::Kensho. This also involved building RPMs for about half of the modules it include which didn't already exist as RPMs in the standard repostories. Those RPMs are now available from <a href="http://rpm.mag-sol.com/">my repository</a> so installing them all could be as simple as <tt>sudo yum install perl-Task-Kensho</tt>. Of course, you can also install individual packages using the appropriate <tt>yum</tt> command.</p><p>Currently the RPMs are only available for Fedora 10. I'll build versions for Centos 5 over the next couple of days.</p> davorg 2009-03-31T08:02:06+00:00 journal MySQL Stupidity http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/38549?from=rss <p>Been a while since I reported on MySQL's stupidity, but I came across a fine new example yesterday.</p><p>Create a table with a varchar column.</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>create table foo (foo varchar(10));</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>Insert a data value which is two numbers separated by a pipe character (don't ask, just accept that this was the data format I found in my table).</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>insert into foo values ('111|1');</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>Now let's try to select some data.</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>mysql&gt; select * from foo where foo = '111|1';<br>+-------+<br>| foo&nbsp; &nbsp;|<br>+-------+<br>| 111|1 |<br>+-------+<br>1 row in set (0.00 sec)</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>Ok. That makes sense. That's expected behaviour.</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>mysql&gt; select * from foo where foo = '111';<br>Empty set (0.00 sec)</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>That also makes sense, of course. The string isn't '111', so it doesn't match.</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>mysql&gt; select * from foo where foo = 111;<br>+-------+<br>| foo&nbsp; &nbsp;|<br>+-------+<br>| 111|1 |<br>+-------+<br>1 row in set (0.00 sec)</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>Huh! I mean "What!?!".</p><p>There are at least two fundamentally stupid things going on here.</p><p>Firstly, MySQL is allowing me to match a string column against a number. When a user tries to match a value of one type against a column of another type, the only sensible action is to throw an error. The user is trying to do something completely wrong. Tell them that. Don't try and work something out.</p><p>Secondly, if you insist on trying to convert datatypes in order to force a match, then convert the user's data into the database column's datatype, not the other way round. The database column is a string. Convert the number to a string and try to match that string against the database (that would have returned no data). Instead MySQL is trying to convert the database value into a number to match the user's input. It looks like it's using something like Perl's string to number conversion so the string "111|1" is converted to the number 111 and therefore matches the user's input.</p><p>So you can actually get MySQL to match data which doesn't match at all. I wasted two hours on this yesterday.</p><p>I found this yesterday on a MySQL 4.x server. I've just tried it on a 5.0.67 server and the same bug is still there.</p><p>Oh, and setting the SQL mode to "traditional" doesn't seem to fix it either.</p> davorg 2009-02-25T21:56:38+00:00 journal Yak Shaving http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/38505?from=rss <p>For a few months I've been playing with <a href="http://conky.sourceforge.net/">conky</a> - which is a nice system for writing stuff onto a Linux desktop. I was introduced to it by a series of <a href="http://lifehacker.com/search/conky/">LifeHacker posts</a> last year.</p><p>Just last week, they featured <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5152819/to+dos-weather-and-twitter-on-a-linux-desktop">a really nice set-up</a> which I wanted to go some way to recreated. The post included a link to the programs that were used to create the desktop, so it was easy to work out what was going on.</p><p>Most of the data was pulled from web feeds and converted to flat text. That's a nice approach as once you've got that working, there's no limit to the data you can use.</p><p>I was slightly disappointed, however, to see that the code included in the article had three separate scripts (one for each source used) and that they were all bash scripts which used curl to grab the feeds and load of sed and grep to extract the relevant parts. What this really needed was a generic approach.</p><p>So I reached for the <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/Template-Toolkit/">Template Toolkit</a>. And I reached for <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/Template-XML/">Template::Plugin::XML::RSS</a>. And then I stopped myself. Not all web feeds are RSS these days (that's why we've largely stopped calling them RSS feeds) so <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/XML-RSS/">XML::RSS</a> wouldn't always be the right tool. What I really needed was <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/XML-Feed/">XML::Feed</a> - which handles both RSS and Atom and treats them both in the same way.</p><p>But there wasn't a Template::Plugin::XML::Feed. I say "wasn't" rather than "isn't" as <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/Template-Plugin-XML-Feed">there is one now</a> - I uploaded it last night.</p><p>I didn't get much time to play with conky. But I've now got all of the tools I need. In particular, I can create simple programs like this to access web feeds.</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>#!/usr/bin/perl<br> <br>use strict;<br>use warnings;<br> <br>use Template;<br>use URI;<br> <br>my $t = Template-&gt;new;<br>my $uri = URI-&gt;new('http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=@davorg');<br>$t-&gt;process(\*DAT<nobr>A<wbr></nobr> , { uri =&gt; $uri })<br>&nbsp; or die $t-&gt;error;<br> <br>__END__<br>[% USE tweets = XML.Feed(uri);<br>&nbsp; &nbsp;USE autoformat(right =&gt; 80);<br>&nbsp; &nbsp;FOREACH tweet IN tweets.entries -%]<br>[% tweet.author %]:<br>[% tweet.title | autoformat -%]<br>[% LAST IF loop.count == 5 -%]<br>[% END -%]</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>Of course, I need to remove the hard-coded URI and put the template into a separate file. That's tonight's first little project.</p> davorg 2009-02-18T13:23:06+00:00 journal Releasing Press Releases to the Press http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/38149?from=rss <p> <a href="http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/12/prweb1783874.htm">The Perl Foundation Migrates the Perl 5 Development Repository to the Git Version Control System</a> </p><p>That's not news, of course. You all read that <a href="http://use.perl.org/article.pl?sid=08/12/22/0830205">story on the front page of use.perl</a> a couple of days ago.</p><p>What's new (I think) is where you can find the press release. It's on <a href="http://www.prweb.com/">PRWeb</a>. For those who don't know, PRWeb is the best-known press release distribution service. The TPF Git press release will now be arriving in the inbox of hundreds of editors and other interested parties who have subscribed to technology news. And that, of course, increases the chance that the story will be published in the tech press and that people outside of the echo chamber will read it.</p><p>When the Git news broke a couple of days ago, we were discussing it the london.pm IRC channel. <a href="http://use.perl.org/~acme">acme</a> had published the press release in the usual Perl news channels, but someone suggested that as we had a press release, it would be nice to get it out through the standard press release channels.</p><p>It turned out that <a href="http://davehodg.blogspot.com/2008/12/perl-foundation-migrates-perl-5.html">Dave Hodgkinson</a> had a) a PRWeb login, b) half an hour to spare to register the press release and c) the $80 it costs to use the service.</p><p>I have no idea how successful this will be, but it seems to me that if the Perl community has interesting news like this, then it's worth spending the occasional $80 to get that news out on the wires.</p><p>It's got to be worth a try. Thanks to Dave for his efforts.</p><p> <b>Update:</b> <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/community/?p=147">Over on ZDNet</a>, Joe Brockmeier adds his thoughts to the discussion.</p> davorg 2008-12-24T09:57:02+00:00 journal Perl Training in London http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/38111?from=rss <p>In conjunction with the UKUUG and O'Reilly, I'm running two days of Perl training in London in February.</p><p>The first day (the 25th) is a beginners' course and the second day (the 26th) is a lot more advanced.</p><p>Full details (including a sign-up form) are <a href="http://www.ukuug.org/events/perl09/">on the UKUUG web site</a>.</p><p>Hope to see some of you there.</p> davorg 2008-12-17T16:40:41+00:00 journal perlhacks.com http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37764?from=rss <p>A few years ago I tried to register the domain perlhacks.com. It wasn't available at the time so I registered the domain perlhacks.org instead. As so often happens, I didn't have time for the project I planned to use it for so it did nothing useful until I made it a redirection to the O'Reilly catalogue page for <a href="http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596526740/">Perl Hacks</a>. At that point I largely forgot about the domain.</p><p>A couple of weeks ago I got an email from someone telling me that perlhacks.com was for sale. This was a domain reseller and they were targeting me because I already owned the<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.org. They were asking for $997 (but the web page also said 'make us an offer'). They must have been pretty desperate as over the next week or so I got three or four more emails from the same people. They never dropped their price though.</p><p>Today I got another mail from them. And this time when I visited the site the price had dropped to $99. I mentioned this in passing on the #london.pm IRC channel and someone else pointed out that actually the domain had lapsed and was available for anyone to buy. In which case, $99 was far more than you'd expect to pay.</p><p>I checked with my usual domain register and found that the domain was, indeed, available. So I ordered it. Actually three of us ordered it at about the same time and my registry obviously had the fastest systems in place as I got the registration. For less than &#163;10. I then took great pleasure in replying to the people who were trying to sell me the domain telling them what I'd done. I didn't get a reply.</p><p>But now I have both perlhacks.org <i>and</i> perlhacks.com. And I still don't really have a plan for what I'm going to do with them.</p><p>Does anyone have any ideas?</p> davorg 2008-10-29T17:41:50+00:00 journal Perl Blogs http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37674?from=rss <p>At YAPC::Europe this year I gave a talk called <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg/proud-to-use-perl-presentation">Proud to Use Perl</a> where I talked about some of the achievements of the Perl community and suggested that we should shout about these achievements a little more than we do.</p><p>And as an example of this shouting, I set up a new <a href="http://proudtouseperl.org/">Proud to Use Perl</a> web site where I was going to write about all of the amazing things that Perl has to be proud of.</p><p>Which I did for about a week.</p><p>It's always the same. I go to a Perl conference, get too enthused about stuff and end up volunteering to get involved in too many projects and having to spread myself too thin.</p><p>So the Proud to Use Perl site effectively died.</p><p>But even though I don't have the time to put into it, I still think it's a good idea. And I wondered if anyone else would be interested in getting involved.</p><p>So I'm looking for a few people who would like to write for the site. It would be great if we could get new an interesting things published on the site every couple of days. Surely there's no shortage of things for the Perl community to be proud of. It might be a good place, for example, to share success stories.</p><p>Anyone interested in getting involved? Leave a comment here or drop me an email.</p><p>And that's not the only Perl web site project I've been neglecting. Earlier this year, I registered the domain <a href="http://culturedperl.org/">culturedperl.org</a>. The idea with that was that I'd set up a blog talking about Perl culture (in some vague, undefined way). But that site was abandoned even sooner. I didn't even get as far as installing Movable Type.</p><p>So I'm interested in getting a few authors to help me out there too. Maybe a few Perl Monger group leaders could write things there? Or people involved in organising YAPCs. Or people involved in other parts of the culture - Perl Monks, perhaps, or Perl Golf.</p><p>I'll get MT installed on the server this evening. Same thing applies, if you're interested then leave a comment or drop me an email.</p><p>More Perl blogs has got to be good, right?</p> davorg 2008-10-16T08:58:05+00:00 journal Perl on Upcoming http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37627?from=rss <p>I've banged on before about how Perl is seen as less popular than it really is because the Perl community can be a bit insular. I believe that we need to get out there and tell people that a) we're still here and b) we're still wonderful.</p><p>As an example of that, we've started to ensure that all of London.pm's events are listed on <a href="http://upcoming.yahoo.com/">Upcoming</a> and we encourage people to register their attendance so that we can demonstrate how popular our meetings are. Recently, I also created a <a href="http://upcoming.yahoo.com/group/12343/">London.pm group</a> to make it easier to track down our events. When adding events to our group, I also add them to a couple of other local geeky groups - which gives us a bit of free publicity. Maybe other local groups could consider doing the same (I see that <a href="http://upcoming.yahoo.com/group/?scope=all&amp;q=perl&amp;Search=Search+Groups">some already do</a>).</p><p>Today I also created a global <a href="http://upcoming.yahoo.com/group/12635">Perl group</a> with the intention of collecting all worldwide Perl events. If you create any kind of Perl-related event on Upcoming then please add it to the group.</p> davorg 2008-10-09T08:52:47+00:00 journal Perlanet Mailing List http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37487?from=rss <p>Whilst I was asking for help with Perlanet yesterday, I completely forgot that I had set up a mailing list to discuss the project.</p><p>If you're interested in helping out, then please <a href="http://lists.mag-sol.com/mailman/listinfo/perlanet">sign up to the list</a> and join in the discussion.</p> davorg 2008-09-18T21:33:15+00:00 journal Please Help Me Fix perlanet http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37473?from=rss <p>You might remember me mentioning <a href="http://trac.mag-sol.com/perlanet/">perlanet</a> a few months ago. It's a simple <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_(software)">Planet</a> clone written in Perl which I've been using to run <a href="http://theplanetarium.org/">a few planet sites</a>.</p><p>But if you look at any of my planets (e.g. <a href="http://mps.theplanetarium.org/">Planet Westminster</a>), you'll see that all is not well. My software isn't handling encoding very well and currently it's not acting as a very good advert for Perl.</p><p>I know that I really need to get stuck in and work out exactly where I'm going wrong, but currently I don't have enough spare time. So I was hoping that someone who knows more about this stuff than I do would be interested in having a look and suggesting some fixes.</p><p>If you're interested, you can look at <a href="http://trac.mag-sol.com/Perlanet/">the code in Trac</a> or <a href="http://svn.mag-sol.com/Perlanet/">check it out from svn</a>. I'm happy to hand out commit bits if people want to dig in and make fixes.</p><p>Or if you just want to post a comment here pointing out the obvious mistakes that I'm making, then that's alright too.</p> davorg 2008-09-17T16:03:47+00:00 journal CPAN-RPM Mailing List http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37223?from=rss <p>At the end of my "<a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg/perl-in-rpmland-presentation">Perl in RPM-Land</a>" talk at YAPC::Europe, I sketched out an idea about automatically generating RPMs from CPAN modules. I fully expected people so tell me that I was talking nonsense, but it seems that a number of other people had been thinking along similar lines.</p><p>In order to carry on the discussion, I've set up <a href="http://lists.dave.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/cpanrpm">a mailing list</a>. Please subscribe if you're interested in this subject.</p><p>I've also submitted a talk to the <a href="http://conferences.yapceurope.org/lpw2008/">London Perl Workshop</a> to report on the project's progress. This is known as Conference Driven Development - I now need to ensure that we've made some kind of progress to prevent this presentation from being very embarrassing.</p> davorg 2008-08-18T11:27:30+00:00 journal YAPC::Europe Event on Slideshare http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37202?from=rss <p>I didn't know this until just now, but Slideshare allows you to create events as a way of grouping presentations.</p><p>So I've created <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/event/yapceurope-2008">an event for YAPC::Europe</a>. If you're adding YAPC::Europe presentations to Slideshare, then please add them to the group too.</p> davorg 2008-08-15T21:31:21+00:00 journal YAPC::Europe Copenhagen 2008 http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37198?from=rss <p>I've just got back to my hotel room following the conclusion of this year's YAPC::Europe conference. As always, the conference was just the right mix of usefulness and fun. The organisers can be very proud of themselves.</p><p>I gave three talks at the conference. They were all on the last day, and I have put all of the slides on <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg">Slideshare</a>. The three talks were:</p><ul> <li> <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg/proud-to-use-perl-presentation">Proud To Use Perl</a> </li><li> <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg/perl-in-rpmland-presentation">Perl In RPM-Land</a> </li><li> <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg/ye-complete-history-of-ye-perle-mongers-of-london-towne-parte-one-presentation">The Complete History of the Perle Mongers of Olde London Towne (Parte 1)</a> </li></ul><p>I seem to have come away having committed myself to three projects. The first is completely my own fault - the Proud To Use Perl talk has an <a href="http://proundtouseperl.org/">associated web site</a> which I am planning to keep up to date. The second is partly my fault. My RPM talk ended with a rough outline of a madcap scheme to automatically turn all of CPAN into RPMs. Jos Bauman was in the talk and this idea seems to have piqued his interest. So I suspect I'll be heavily involved with that. The third project wasn't my idea at all (I'm just helping out because it's an area that I'm interested in). I'll leave the announcement of more details of that to the other people involved.</p><p>Now, I think I'll take a quick turn around the <a href="http://www.tivoli.dk/composite-3351.htm">Tivoli Gardens</a>.</p> davorg 2008-08-15T17:19:35+00:00 journal We Are Ten http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/37066?from=rss <p> <a href="http://london.pm.org/">London.pm</a> is ten years old this year. It's hard to pin down when exactly we're ten as there are a number of dates to consider.</p><ul> <li>28th Mar - <a href="http://groups.google.co.uk/group/comp.lang.perl.misc/msg/dedbe25e7728bc52">first speculative posting to comp.lang.perl.misc</a> </li><li>30th Mar - <a href="http://groups.google.co.uk/group/comp.lang.perl.misc/msg/aa968ed61ee166fd">announcement that the group had been created</a> (whatever that means)</li><li>16th Jul - First mailing list set up</li><li>6th Aug - First meeting</li></ul><p>So we have plenty of reasons to celebrate this year. Next Thursday (7th August) will be our tenth anniversary meeting (at the <a href="http://london.randomness.org.uk/wiki.cgi?Bridge_House%2C_SE1_2UP">Bridge House</a>) and anyone who can get to London would be made most welcome.</p><p>At YAPC::Europe, I'll be presenting <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/talk/1176">Ye Compleat History of Ye Perle Mongers of Olde London Towne (Part 1)</a>. And if you're at tonight's technical meeting you'll see a rehearsal of that talk.</p><p>It's been an... er... interesting ten years. The group's success has far exceeded my wildest dreams. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to make london.pm the weird and wonderful group that it is.</p><p>And here's to the next ten years.</p> davorg 2008-07-31T14:26:53+00:00 journal Perl Teach-In Copenhagen http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36927?from=rss <p>If you've been poking around on the <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/">YAPC::Europe web site</a>, you might have seen that they have announced <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/tutorials.html">two days of paid tutorials</a>, one before and one after the main conference.</p><p>These tutorials include me running the <a href="http://mag-sol.com/train/teachin/">Perl Teach-In</a> that I originally ran at the BBC last summer. It'll be (lightly) updated of course. This will be running on Tuesday 12th August - the day before the conference.</p><p>Also on Tuesday, Gabor Szabo will be running "QA Test Automation using Perl" and on the Saturday following the conference you can choose between brian d foy's "Mastering Perl" and Josh McAdam's "Practical Test-driven Development".</p><p>Each of the tutorials is 900 DKK (which is about &#163;95). You can book your places on the tutorials when you <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/purchase">book your conference ticket</a>.</p><p> <b>Update:</b> Thanks to Lars Thegler for pointing out the errors in the above. There are actually <i>three</i> tutorial days. Gabor and I are both running courses on Tuesday, brian's course is on Saturday and Josh's is on Sunday.</p><p>Sorry about that.</p> davorg 2008-07-16T11:09:46+00:00 journal CPANTS Success http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36831?from=rss <p>It's taken a bit longer than I hoped, but I have finally beaten the CPANTS game. From about an hour ago all of my CPAN modules score 100% and I'm therefore (along with a number of other people) <a href="http://cpants.perl.org/highscores/many">top of the CPANTS league</a>.</p><p>Of course, they'll probably introduce some new measures soon and I'll have to start all over again.</p><p>Now, given my awesome CPANTS score, who wants to come on one of my <a href="http://mag-sol.com/train/public/">Perl courses</a>?</p> davorg 2008-07-01T10:21:51+00:00 journal Perl Training Update http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36750?from=rss <p>The Perl training courses that I <a href="http://use.perl.org/article.pl?sid=08/06/12/1745241">mentioned ten days ago</a> are now confirmed. They will be running in the week starting 28th July at <a href="http://venda.com/">Venda's</a> London offices.</p><p>Some information about the courses is <a href="http://mag-sol.com/train/public/">available online</a> and if you want to get the latest news about any training I'm running then please sign up to my <a href="http://lists.mag-sol.com/mailman/listinfo/training-news">Training News mailings list</a>.</p> davorg 2008-06-23T12:07:34+00:00 journal Speaking in Copenhagen http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36697?from=rss <p>When the YAPC::Europe organisers sent out their initial talk confirmations a couple of weeks ago, they accepted two of my talks but asked if they could hold the third in reserve. I, of course, agreed.</p><p>If just received an acceptance mail for that third talk. So it looks like I'll be speaking three times in Copenhagen. My talks are:</p><ul> <li> <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/talk/1175">Proud to Use Perl</a> </li><li> <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/talk/1176">Ye Compleat History of Ye Perle Mongers of Olde London Towne (Part 1)</a> </li><li> <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/talk/1314">Perl in RPM-Land</a> </li></ul><p>I'm looking forward to Copenhagen very much. I've never been to Scandinavia.</p><p> <b>Update:</b> The preliminary <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/schedule">schedule</a> has been published. All of my talks are on the final day. Which gives me longer to write them<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)</p> davorg 2008-06-16T13:24:06+00:00 journal Perl Training in London http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36670?from=rss <p>I was told last week that my current contract won't be extended when it finishes at the end of this month.</p><p>I'm obviously looking for a new contract, but I'm also investigating another option.</p><p>I'm thinking of running some commercial, public Perl courses in London at the end of July. The plan is basically that I'll book a room for a week and run a couple of two-day courses (Learning Perl and Intermediate Perl) and a one-day Advanced Perl course.</p><p>It's still far from confirmed, but if you're at all interested in this (or other training courses that I may run in the future) then please sign up to <a href="http://lists.mag-sol.com/mailman/listinfo/training-news">the mailing list</a> in order to be kept up to date with the latest news.</p> davorg 2008-06-12T14:06:25+00:00 journal CPANTS Metrics http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36651?from=rss <p>Gabor <a href="http://szabgab.com/blog/2008/06/1212827982.html">asked for feedback</a> on his proposed CPANTS metrics. Here is mine.</p><p>I don't like them.</p><p>Well, I don't like most of them. I'm ambivalent on the Test::NoWarnings one.</p><p>It's the Debian ones I really object to. I don't like the Fedora ones that were added recently for the same reason. I don't think they measure Kwalitee (or quality) in any meaningful way.</p><p>Don't get me wrong. I think it's important to up package CPAN modules for commonly used packaging tools like rpm. I've done <a href="http://www.yapceurope2008.org/ye2008/talk/1314">some work in this area</a> myself. I'd really like a system where I can get statistics on which of my modules are being built for popular systems like Fedora and Debian. And getting information about why a particular module isn't being packed (license issues perhaps, or bugs) would also be very useful.</p><p>But I don't think this stuff belongs in CPANTS. I don't think it says anything useful about the quality of the module. I don't think that CPAN authors should be forced to care about platforms that they might have no interest in. It would be nice if they did, but I don't think you can penalise them if they don't.</p><p>So, for what it's worth, I vote "no" on the new CPANTS metrics. And I'd further like to see the removal of the other Linux distribution based metrics. But I'd really like to see that information made available elsewhere.</p> davorg 2008-06-11T10:20:41+00:00 journal Perl Mongers Contact Details http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36392?from=rss <p>Yesterday I sent out 353 mail messages to the PM group leaders using the contact details in the PM master XML document.</p><p>Almost instantly, I got 58 bounce messages back. That's an error rate approaching 1 in 6. A sixth of the contact addresses that we are publishing on pm.org are invalid. What kind of an impression does that give to people trying to contact a PM group? And that's after I posted messages a fortnight ago (on use.perl and on Perl Monks) asking leaders to check their contact details.</p><p>Oh and I got one reply from a challenge-response system. There's a special circle of hell reserved for people who use challenge-response systems. Especially on email addresses that are published as contact addresses.</p><p>If there's anyone reading this who should have received a mail but didn't, can you please contact me at census[at]pm.org so we can fix the problem. You might also check your contact details at <a href="http://pm.org/groups/">http://pm.org/groups/</a> and email any corrections to support[at]pm.org.</p><p>Now I remember why it's been three years since the last census. It takes that long for me to forget what a massive headache it all is<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)</p><p>p.s. Oh, but before I forget. A big thank you to the over one hundred group leaders who have already responded.</p> davorg 2008-05-12T14:02:47+00:00 journal Perl Mongers Census 2008 is GO! http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36385?from=rss <p>As promised <a href="http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36252">a couple of weeks ago</a>, I've sent a census email to all registered leaders of Perl Mongers groups. If you are the leader of a group and you haven't received the mail, then please contact me at census[at]pm.org.</p><p>Results should follow in a few weeks (dependent on how soon the group leaders respond).</p> davorg 2008-05-11T21:31:37+00:00 journal Perl Mongers Census 2008 http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36252?from=rss <p>We're organising another Perl Mongers census this year. The last one was in <a href="http://www.pm.org/census/2005/">2005</a> so it's about time. In the next few weeks all Perl Mongers group leaders will receive an email asking them to fill in a census return for their group.</p><p>The email will be sent to the group leaders using the email address we have in the <a href="http://www.pm.org/groups/">PM group directory</a>. And that's why I'm giving this advance notice. If you're in a Perl Monger group then please check that the contact details we have for your group are correct. If anything needs to be amended then please ask your group leader to get in touch with us to fix it.</p> davorg 2008-04-27T11:11:53+00:00 journal Oops. Fail! http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36163?from=rss <p>It appears that the <a href="http://search.cpan.org/~davecross/WWW-Shorten-1.98/">new version of WWW::Shorten</a> that I uploaded a couple of days ago is <a href="http://cpantesters.perl.org/show/WWW-Shorten.html#WWW-Shorten-1.98">one big bag of fail</a>.</p><p>Oh, it succeeded in fixing most of the the <a href="http://cpants.perl.org/dist/kwalitee/WWW-Shorten">CPANTS issues</a> that I was addressing. But doing that whilst producing a distribution that doesn't even build for most testers is probably a sub-optimal solution.</p><p>I'll get a fixed version uploaded tonight, but in the meantime, please ignore version 1.98.</p><p>And repeat after me: "Kwalitee is no guarantee of quality".</p> davorg 2008-04-16T08:37:45+00:00 journal Teach-In Take 2 http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36023?from=rss <p>Yesterday I was in Birmingham at the UKUUG Spring Conference. This year the emphasis is on dynamic languages and they asked me to give a day-long Perl tutorial. I presented a (lightly) updated version of the Teach-In that I previously presented at the BBC last summer.</p><p>As I re-did all of the slides, I thought I'd take the opportunity to upload them to <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg/slideshows">my Slideshare account</a>. The presentation is in two parts - <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg/perl-teachin-part-1">part 1</a> and <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/davorg/perl-teachin-part-2">part 2</a>.</p><p>My plan is to (eventually) upload all of my talk slides to Slidehare. This is, however, being slightly hampered by the fact that many of my slides were created using various (generally home-grown) HTML generators. And Slideshare doesn't (yet) handle HTML presentations.</p> davorg 2008-04-01T15:40:21+00:00 journal YAPC::Europe Proposals http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/36020?from=rss <p>This morning I've submitted two talk proposals for YAPC::Europe 2008. The titles are:</p><ul> <li>Proud to Use Perl</li><li>Ye Compleat History of Ye Perle Mongers of Olde London Towne (Part 1)</li></ul><p>Don't want to go into any more detail yet, but I hope they'll both be a lot of fun.</p> davorg 2008-04-01T11:02:17+00:00 journal Introducing Perlanet http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/35876?from=rss <p>A couple of years ago I started building feed aggregation sites (aka "planets"[1]) using <a href="http://plagger.org/">Plagger</a>. Once you've installed Plagger, it's pretty simple to configure new planets.</p><p>Notice I say "once you've installed Plagger". Plagger is one of those CPAN modules which installs about half of CPAN. The <a href="http://cpandeps.cantrell.org.uk/?module=Plagger;perl=latest">CPAN dependencies page</a> currently gives you a 26% chance of successfully installing Plagger.</p><p>The reason for that is clear. Plagger is an incredibly powerful tool. It is an all-purpose tool for slicing and dicing web feeds. It also includes special-case plugins for creating web feeds for many sources that don't currently publish them.</p><p>So the net result is that Plagger is large and often hard to install. And most people (or, at least, I) don't use a fraction of its power. I wish I didn't have to install all of Plagger's dependencies in order to just grab a few feeds and combine them into a planet site. Perhaps the Plagger team needs to look at breaking up the distribution into smaller parts that do less.</p><p>[<b>Update:</b> <a href="http://use.perl.org/comments.pl?sid=38907&amp;cid=61588">Miyagawa points out</a> that the vast majority of Plagger's dependencies are optional, so I'm overstating the case here. Sorry about that.]</p><p>Recently I moved a lot of my sites to a new server. And I really didn't want to go through the pain of installing Plagger. Therefore all of my planets have been dead for a couple of months. And that has been bothering me. But a couple of days ago (prompted by <a href="http://husk.org/blog/arch/feeding_the_daemons.html">something that Paul Mison wrote</a>) I decided to do something about it.</p><p>I a few hours of spare time I wrote <a href="http://svn.mag-sol.com/perlanet/">Perlanet</a>[2]. It doesn't do anything at all complex. It reads data from a YAML file, uses <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/XML-Feed/">XML::Feed</a> to parse the feeds and then the <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/Template-Toolkit/">Template Toolkit</a> to generate the web page (oh, and XML::Feed again to generate the combined feed).</p><p>It's very simple. And it's new, so there may well be bugs. But it's there if you find it useful. It's already powering a revived <a href="http://davorg.theplanetarium.org/">planet davorg</a>. My other planets should come back to life over the next few days.</p><p>I'm sure I'll be adding more features over the coming weeks, but the main point is to keep it simple.</p><p>[1] After <a href="http://www.planetplanet.org/">Planet</a> the Python software that (as far as I know) first popularised this method of aggregating data.</p><p>[2] Yes, I know it's a terrible name. But it seemed obvious to me and now I can't shake it.</p> davorg 2008-03-11T09:07:41+00:00 journal Module Updates http://use.perl.org/~davorg/journal/35830?from=rss <p>I've been a rather slack CPAN author for the last couple of years and haven't been updating my modules as much as I should.</p><p>But over the weekend, whilst updating the <a href="http://mag-sol.com/train/teachin/">Teach-In slides</a> for the <a href="http://spring2008.ukuug.org/talks.html">UKUUG conference</a> I discovered the new <a href="http://bbbike.radzeit.de/~slaven/cpantestersmatrix.cgi">CPAN testers matrix</a> and, in particular, the <a href="http://bbbike.radzeit.de/~slaven/cpantestersmatrix.cgi?dist=Symbol-Approx-Sub%202.02">appalling test results</a> for the current version of <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/Symbol-Approx-Sub/">Symbol::Approx::Sub</a>.</p><p>Obviously having major test failures in such a crucial module is a terrible state of affairs so I spent some time looking at the problem last night.</p><p>Luckily it was a relatively easy fix. It was just a test which had been written by someone (me!) whose knowledge of Perl had temporarily left them. Fixing it was simple enough, and I was able to release the first new version of Symbol::Approx::Sub for over two years. I also switched the distribution from ExtUtils::MakeMaker to Module::Build and made a few other tweaks which have improved its <a href="http://cpants.perl.org/dist/overview/Symbol-Approx-Sub">kwalitee</a>.</p><p>And this morning, I saw a <a href="http://bbbike.radzeit.de/~slaven/cpantestersmatrix.cgi?dist=Symbol-Approx-Sub%202.03">much happier set of test results</a>. Which was nice.</p><p>Whilst poking around in my test results, I noticed that <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/WWW-MakeAShorterLink/">WWW::MakeAShorterLink</a> was also <a href="http://bbbike.radzeit.de/~slaven/cpantestersmatrix.cgi?dist=WWW-MakeAShorterLink+1.08">failing far too many tests</a>. It turns out that this is because the MASL web site no longer exists. Or, rather, it redirects to <a href="http://tinyurl.com/">TinyURL</a>. So I've submitted a deletion request for WWW::MakeAShorterLink. It will be removed from CPAN in the next couple of days. All of your URL-shortening needs will be handled by <a href="http://search.cpan.org/dist/WWW-Shorten/">WWW::Shorten</a>. And, yes, next on my list is to fix the problems in <a href="http://bbbike.radzeit.de/~slaven/cpantestersmatrix.cgi?dist=WWW-Shorten+1.97">that distribution's test plan</a>.</p><p>Many thanks must go to the <a href="http://cpantesters.perl.org/">CPAN testers</a> whose is so important in revealing my inadequacies as a programmer.</p> davorg 2008-03-04T10:32:41+00:00 journal