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potyl (8582)

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Journal of potyl (8582)

Sunday January 04, 2009
04:36 AM

Productive holiday season for Xacobeo

[ #38215 ]

This holiday season was some how particular as I had no choice but to take a two week vacation. It was a mandatory top management decision for all company employees. This was a great opportunity for me to continue the development of Xacobeo, all of course, founded at my own expenses ;)

So what's Xacobeo? It's a simple XPath visualizer (see CPAN Xacobeo). It started as a Perl script that allowed me to execute an arbitrary XPath query and to see the results in plain Gtk2 GUI. Of course the script was quite simple and had a lot of shortcomings, nevertheless it was quite useful for parsing XML or writing XSLT.

I once showed it to Jozef who introduced it to Pepl. They both convinced me to release the script to the public. At first I was reluctant because the script was far from being ready to be used widely. On the other hand I figured out that if two to users found it useful maybe it deserved a chance.

Since it's first public apparition in CPAN, Xacobeo had 4 major releases and a few development releases with each version adding new features or fixing some existing bugs. I have now merged the XS development branch and made it available through CPAN as a development release (version 0.05_XX). In my opinion this version makes the software more usable as the two slowest parts of the application are now written in XS and have been heavily profiled. This allows the Xacobeo to handle quite large documents in a reasonable time, thus making it ready for prime time. So if you want to give it a try, now is the right time!

In retrospective, releasing Xacobeo was a good thing as it has taught me a lot:

  • Configuring Perl's build scripts (Makefile.PL, Build.PL) for applications instead of modules
  • XS
  • The internals of Gtk2, XML::LibXML, gtk2 and libxml2
  • Pango markup (see Gtk2::Ex::Entry::Pango)
  • How helpful the perl-XML and perl-Gtk2 mailing list are
  • Contributing a patches and bug reports to Gtk2, XML::LibXML and libxml2

Of course the project is still young and more development will be needed. I hope that I will be able to publish new versions of the tool and to learn new things.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

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