duff's Journal http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/ duff'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. 2012-01-25T02:33:08+00:00 pudge pudge@perl.org Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 duff's Journal http://use.perl.org/images/topics/useperl.gif http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/ Rakudo Perl 6 development release #22 ("Thousand Oaks") http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/39788?from=rss <p>Announce: Rakudo Perl 6 development release #22 ("Thousand Oaks")</p><p>On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I'm pleased to announce the<br>October 2009 development release of Rakudo Perl #22 "Thousand Oaks".<br>Rakudo is an implementation of Perl 6 on the Parrot Virtual Machine<br>(see <a href="http://www.parrot.org/">http://www.parrot.org</a>). The tarball for the October 2009 release<br>is available from <a href="http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/downloads">http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/downloads</a></p><p>Due to the continued rapid pace of Rakudo development and the frequent<br>addition of new Perl 6 features and bugfixes, we recommend building Rakudo<br>from the latest source, available from the main repository at github.<br>More details are available at <a href="http://rakudo.org/how-to-get-rakudo">http://rakudo.org/how-to-get-rakudo</a>.</p><p>Rakudo Perl follows a monthly release cycle, with each release code<br>named after a Perl Mongers group. The October 2009 is code named<br>"Thousand Oaks" for their amazing Perl 6 hackathon, their report at<br><a href="http://www.lowlevelmanager.com/2009/09/perl-6-hackathon.html">http://www.lowlevelmanager.com/2009/09/perl-6-hackathon.html</a>, and<br>just because I like the name<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)</p><p>Since the 2009-08 release, Rakudo Perl builds from an installed Parrot<br>instead of using Parrot's build tree. This means that, unlike previous<br>versions of Rakudo Perl, the "perl6" (or "perl6.exe") executables only<br>work when invoked from the Rakudo root directory until a "make install"<br>is performed. Running "make install" will install Rakudo and its<br>libraries into the Parrot installation that was used to build it, and<br>then the executables will work when invoked from any directory.</p><p>This release of Rakudo requires Parrot 1.7.0.</p><p>For the latest information on building and using Rakudo Perl, see the<br>readme file section titled "Building and invoking Rakudo". (Quick note:<br>the "--gen-parrot" option still automatically downloads and builds<br>Parrot as before, if you prefer that approach.)</p><p>Some of the specific changes and improvements occuring with this<br>release include:</p><p>* Rakudo is now passing 32,582 spectests, an increase of 17,085 passing<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; tests since the September 2009 release. With this release Rakudo is<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; now passing 85.0% of the available spectest suite.</p><p>* We have a huge increase in the number of spectests relating to the<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; Complex and Rat numeric types.</p><p>* Complex numbers are now implemented as a Perl 6 class, and supports all<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; trigonometric functions from the specification.</p><p>* Rakudo has a new signature binder which makes calling routines<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; and operators much faster, and allows binding of positional<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; arguments by name.</p><p>* Rakudo has improved signature introspection, better errors relating to<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; signatures and signature literals are now supported.</p><p>* Rakudo now supports accessing outer lexical variables from classes and<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; packages.</p><p>* Some new variants of the series operator are now implemented.</p><p>* When configuring Rakudo with --gen-parrot, the --optimize flag is now<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; passed to Parrot's Configure.pl</p><p>The development team thanks all of our contributors and sponsors for<br>making Rakudo Perl possible. If you would like to contribute,<br>see <a href="http://rakudo.org/how-to-help">http://rakudo.org/how-to-help</a> , ask on the perl6-compiler@perl.org<br>mailing list, or ask on IRC #perl6 on freenode.</p><p>The next release of Rakudo (#23) is scheduled for November 19, 2009.<br>A list of the other planned release dates and codenames for 2009 is<br>available in the "docs/release_guide.pod" file. In general, Rakudo<br>development releases are scheduled to occur two days after each<br>Parrot monthly release. Parrot releases the third Tuesday of each month.</p><p>Have fun!</p> duff 2009-10-22T15:58:09+00:00 perl6 Intro to Perl 6 regex article http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/35010?from=rss <p>So, I've given my article a twice-over and I'm happier with it. There may still be a few places that need touch up though.</p><p>Now<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... the only problems are where to publish it and when. perl.com would probably be a good place, but I'd <em>really</em> like to publish it when there is a working perl6 that people can try this stuff out on if at all possible.</p> duff 2007-11-30T06:33:55+00:00 journal odd gitism http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/34504?from=rss <p>I'm a relatively new git user and it is constantly surprising me (usually in a good way), but tonight it just did something I thought quite odd: it complained about trailing whitespace when I tried to commit. Why does git even care about trailing whitespace on any of my lines? Isn't that just text like anything else?</p> duff 2007-09-21T04:18:53+00:00 journal Perl 6 Regex Intro - Assertions http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/34503?from=rss <p>I've been writing this intro to perl 6 regex article off and on now for a couple of months and feeling like I'm not making much progress. Writing is hard. It took me 4 or so tries to actually write the section that explains alternations and conjunctions. And this is just the draft!</p><p>Now, I've decided to start in on the section that explains assertions. I've been putting it off because the right words haven't come to me, but I'm in the mood tonight, so I write. The things I want to cover are:</p><ul> <li>What are assertions?</li><li>How do I create them?</li><li>How do I use them?</li><li>What's the difference between rule, regex, token, and rx?</li><li>Grammars</li></ul><p>Previously I had estimated that I was about 50% done with the initial draft of the article. Looking at it now, I'm probably further along than that. In fact, I think once I finish this section on assertions, the article will be ready for limited public consumption (feedback from #perl6). But given that I rarely find time to write, who knows when that will be. Maybe several weeks or so.</p> duff 2007-09-21T03:56:45+00:00 journal Perl 6 Regex http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/34483?from=rss <p>Inspired by ferreira's recent grant proposal to take my own advice, I've applied for a Perl 6 microgrant to write an introductory article on Perl 6 Regex. I've actually already started on such an article, but I've only gotten about 50% into it and only my eyes have seen it. Regardless of whether or not TPF awards me the grant, I'll continue working on the article until I'm reasonably happy with it and then I'll vet it on #perl6 a little. Once some of the secret Perl 6 cabal have looked it over and given it their okay, I'll seek to publish it on perl.com or in The Perl Review.</p><p><b>update:</b> Looks like they've had enough documentation grants and want to focus more on implementation grants. Oh well.</p> duff 2007-09-19T04:19:57+00:00 journal out of context http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/29858?from=rss <p>It occurred to me this morning on the drive to work that I've lived much of my life out of context. I've always felt "uncomfortable" with myself, usually manifested as "I'm tired of doing the same thing" or "I never have enough time for myself" or "I can't relate to these people" or somesuch. But I've always felt not-quite-right in my skin. The only "right" things have been family and friends.</p><p>I think it's like a tiger born in the zoo; he feels out of place but doesn't know why because the zoo is all he's ever known. He wants to hunt, but there are these people who bring him his food. He wants to run, but there really isn't any place to run to. I may be anthropomorphising just a little bit (how would I know what a tiger wants?), but this is really about me anyway<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p><p>So, now that I've decided I'm out of context, I just need to find the right context for me. I have no clue where to begin.</p> duff 2006-06-09T14:10:47+00:00 journal Stealing is easy! http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/27514?from=rss <p><i>This is a little something I wrote a few weeks ago and just never put out for public consumption.</i></p><p>No, I'm not referring to the occasional pilfering of office supplies<br>from work. What I am referring to is ultimately identity theft. And I<br>recently found out just how easy this particular crime can be.</p><p>I had not used my debit card for a while and had forgotten my PIN.<br>Well, I hadn't forgotten the numbers I don't think, just their order.<br>This was most bothersome when I went to the grocery store as I was used<br>to using my debit card there *as* a debit card. I'd enter what I<br>thought my PIN should be a couple of times and then finally give up<br>and hit "cancel" which would convienently switch the transaction from<br>debit to credit. After a couple of trips to the grocery store though, I<br>got bothered that I couldn't remember my PIN. After all, it was only<br>4 digits and I'd typed them many many times before. Why couldn't I<br>get the digits correct now?</p><p>Next I tried using an ATM to help me figure out my PIN. I'd go to<br>the ATM, insert my debit card and then attempt a balance inquiry. When the<br>ATM decided I'd entered the wrong PIN, it would helpfully ask me to<br>enter it again. And again. And again. And then the machine would<br>stop working. I tried this method at the same ATM twice and both<br>times, after what was ultimately the fourth time entering a PIN, the<br>machine would spit out my debit card and then the screen would show<br>a message that the ATM was "temporarily out of service".</p><p>So, after a couple of failed attempts at the ATM trying to guess my PIN,<br>I decided to actually go inside my bank and have them change it to<br>something I could remember. So, one day after work, I went to my bank<br>and asked if they could help me. Unfortunately for me the lobby was<br>closed at the time and the drive-thru teller said I'd need to come<br>inside in order to have my PIN changed. Since my bank stays open later<br>on fridays, I decided to just wait until that friday and again stop by<br>after work.</p><p>Here's where I have the initial realization just how easy it is to<br>steal. I walk into the bank and tell them I don't remember my PIN and<br>could they please help me. One of the tellers and I walk into the<br>office that has the machine that can rewrite the little magnetic strip<br>on the back of debit card. I give the bank teller my account number and<br>my debit card, she places the card in the machine, I enter my new PIN, I<br>sign a paper and I'm done.</p><p>An astute reader will notice that nowhere did I say "then the bank<br>teller asked for some form of identification" and that's because it<br>didn't happen! *Anyone* could have walked in off the street with my<br>debit card and account number and gained direct access to my account.</p><p>But wait! There's more. About a week later, I went to a credit union to<br>close the accounts that my wife had opened in our kids names as part of<br>some promotional deal. We'd both decided that the credit union didn't<br>seem to be advantageous over our other accounts and it didn't make much<br>sense to have accounts spread across several banks. So, armed with<br>nothing but the monthly statements for these 2 accounts, I went to the<br>credit union. I walked in, gave the statements to the teller and said<br>"I'd like to close these accounts", she asked why I wanted to close the<br>accounts, I said "just because", so she started typing on her computer, and<br>when she finished typing, I signed a paper and she handed me cash.</p><p>Again, there was no attempt to verify who I was. *Anyone* could have<br>come in and closed these accounts. What's worse is that on the paper<br>I'd signed was a little section entitled "ID Source" with places to<br>check if they'd used a driver's license, signature card, or some other<br>identifying method.</p><p>Moreover, only my children and my wife were listed on each account. My<br>name was no where to be found. The teller didn't even notice until after<br>she'd already handed me money from the first account and started on the<br>second. But, she did notice eventually and so I couldn't close the<br>accounts without my wife. Which my wife and I did later that day at<br>another branch of the same credit union. Guess what? That other<br>branch didn't ask for any form of ID either.</p><p>So, how easy is it to obtain an account numbers, bank statements or<br>debit cards? I don't know exactly as I'm no thief, but I'm sure I can<br>think of a couple of ways. Hmm. The account number/bank statement is<br>easiest to get I bet. Your bank statement sits unprotected in a<br>mailbox waiting for it's proper owner to read and the account number<br>is on the bank statement. A really dedicated thief might actually get<br>a job at the post office to as to maximize the number of accounts he<br>can pilfer. Also, I believe your account number is on every receipt<br>you get from a bank, so you'd better be careful with those.</p><p>As far as debit cards go, I'm not even sure *my* debit card was needed.<br>Once I gave the bank teller the account number, she just programmed that<br>information into the machine that was about to rewrite my debit card. I<br>certainly didn't see her do any checks to make sure that the card and<br>the account matched. But, debit cards can also be gotten via the<br>mail or even in the trash. People sometimes forget to cut up their old<br>cards before throwing them away.</p><p>Anyway, I feel my money isn't as safe as I once thought it was. I'm not<br>sure if that's just my naivete or what, but there it is.</p> duff 2005-11-08T20:47:36+00:00 journal 10 years and counting http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/26533?from=rss <p>Today is my 10th wedding anniversary. (Yay me!) Seems like just yesterday that I was young and had more hair and all that. Now I've been married for 10 years and I've got 2 kids and twins due in Feb (probably sooner though). Time flies <b>fast</b>!</p><p>Today is also my parent's 37th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately they are stuck in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with no electricity or anything and no way to get back to their home in La Place (which is just a few miles outside of New Orleans along I-10). Though I doubt they would want to get back to survey the damage just yet. Traveling is difficult not only because of the debris everywhere but also because of the disaster recovery mobilization and just the sheer number of people wandering around with no place to go.</p> duff 2005-08-31T15:10:40+00:00 journal Cloning all too well http://use.perl.org/~duff/journal/25179?from=rss <p>Well, my cloning experiments have finally gone awry. After 2 lovely children, my wife and I have found out that we've got a third on the way. Only it's not a third, but a third <em>and</em> a fourth!</p> duff 2005-06-13T18:08:25+00:00 journal