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rodi (7124)

rodi
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Journal of rodi (7124)

Wednesday September 13, 2006
01:53 PM

A Citizen of Perl (or, In Praise of Audrey T)

[ #30985 ]

I confess that I am, and have long been, a Perl resident alien. I have used Perl 3, 4 and 5 professionally for over a decade, beginning in tech support in Seattle, ending in application development in DC. But I have done so without ever becoming a citizen of Perl. I have never released anything on CPAN or participated in mailing lists and IRC. I have not written in a use.perl.org journal, and I have not attended a YAPC. I have just hacked away Perl in solitude, even when part of a development team.

But back in July, that all changed.

"I wonder," I thought, "how the various Perl 6 projects are coming along?"

So I svn'ed myself a copy of parrot and pugs (this was before #perl6 people converted me to SVK), and proceeded to build.

I built parrot first- though I ended up falling back to the tarball, never getting my bleeding edge checkout to compile all the way through.

Then I built Pugs. Ah, beautiful Pugs.

I think it was about ten seconds later that I was pasting some code from one of the Synopses into Pugs.

Lo and behold! It didn't work.

Not easily discouraged, I logged on to #perl6, and asked if I was doing something wrong.

Within ten minutes, I had a commit bit. If you have one, you know how easy this is to get, but if you don't you probably think it's a pretty big honor, like I did at the time.

Within a week, I had written several tests and updated several more test files.

Within a month, I had written my first Perl 6 script (ext/ca_wolfram.pl, if you have a Pugs repository handy).

Within two months, I had made small contributions to Pugs itself (added sprintf("%b",... to Prelude.pm, changed meta to META in Pugs.Prim, etc.).

I even asked a question on perl6-language.

And Larry-Frikkin-Wall-Himself actually responded. Larry Wall! To me!

Just this week, I have added Automata::Cellular version 0.1 to the Pugs repository.

And today... today I am writing a use.perl.org journal.

How did this all happen? Why the sudden change?

Well, I logged on to #perl6, and asked my question. In retrospect, it was kind of a dumb question, and I probably didn't ask it as nicely as I might have. But instead of being met with ridicule, silence, or any other unwelcoming derision, I was summarily informed that I had found an unimplemented feature.

Audrey then asked me for my email address, which I gave her.

She sent me a commit bit, told me to add myself to AUTHORS (what?!), and to then submit a test.

And now, on this day, I find myself a citizen of Perl. May there always, and forever be, more than one way to do it.

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  • Wow, you actually made me blush. :-)

    I've been coding Perl since 1994, but didn't participate in any English-speaking communities until 1999, mostly due to the heavy language barrier.

    Then I submitted a lightning talk to TPC, talking about an obscure topic (telnet-BBS systems in Taiwan); much to my surprise, MJD accepted it, and I made the trip.

    I was extremely socially awkward, but MJD was extremely kind and patient over several encounters; instead of ridiculing my total ignorance on the subject of my q

  • So this is what it comes down to? I take a job cooking and now I communicate with my own flesh and blood via a use.perl journal?

    And, on top of that, I've been asking to see your CA code for CA code (or A::C code, rather) for months, to no avail?

    Not to prod you publicly, but to prod you publicly it would be interesting to see some differences between the p5 prototypes and the p6 code you committed.

    Nice entry, and nice work on pugs and p6. I have Saturday and Sunday off again this week *shock*, and will buz
  • One should always be careful what one wishes for. :) But getting Larry to respond...that's something even some pumpkins are rarely deemed worthy of so give yourself a hand. :)