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jdavidb (1361)

jdavidb
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http://voiceofjohn.blogspot.com/

J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Thursday September 19, 2002
03:43 PM

Expect

[ #7844 ]

My brain hurts. I have to move one of our largest Expect applications to another server. It was written before I knew how to make something easy to install on multiple hosts, and long before I knew about Expect.pm. The new host can't rsh to all the systems this program needs to get to, so I have to rework several places in the code to telnet instead. Which means reading passwords from files. Which means parsing files in TCL. Shoot me.

Oh, and TCL/Expect syntax seems to have left me over the last 12 months or so. I spent an hour and a half or so yesterday trying to debug my telnet subroutine code, which worked fine on its own but failed when I put it in a subroutine. Turns out spawn sets the spawn_id variable, which is not global.

Don't just shoot me, throw a brick at my head.

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  • I like expect. It's a moderately simple language that performs extremely well in it's niche. But like any tool, you have to stay practiced to use it. Having to come back to TCL and it's constructs (I won't call them odd, because as perl people, that would be the pot calling the kettle black) every year is just long enough to forget how things work.

    I still really appreciate how much easier expect made my life in a previous job. I think I'd probably take more than a second look at Expect.pm now though..

    • Yes, Expect truly is wonderful; it's just that TCL is not the best of worlds, and I can't remember how it works. :)

      The Exploring Expect book is still the best O'Reilly book I've ever had, though. And it still comes in handy with Expect.pm work.

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers