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thickas (5805)

thickas
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  Comment: Thanks pudge - I've enjoyed use.perl and will miss (Score 1) on 2010.09.09 1:48

by thickas on 2010.09.09 1:48 (#72374)
Attached to: use Perl; Shutting Down Indefinitely
Thank you !!
Read More 3 comments
Comments: 3
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  Comment: hear hear ! (Score 1) on 2010.08.12 1:41

by thickas on 2010.08.12 1:41 (#72303)
Attached to: use Perl;
Yes, this site has a good tone and good content.

May it, and Perl, go on forever.

Thank you!

Read More 15 comments
Comments: 15
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  Comment: Re:Fan-damn-tastic (Score 1) on 2010.07.21 4:54

by thickas on 2010.07.21 4:54 (#72192)
Attached to: Happy 10th anniversary, Perl 6
God bless you Audrey.

Pugs made this non contributor (except in a limited financial sense) v happy. Living for me in 05 was reading the Pugs blog and watching things happen.

Audrey++

Read More 9 comments
Comments: 9
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  Comment: Fan-damn-tastic (Score 1) on 2010.07.20 3:42

by thickas on 2010.07.20 3:42 (#72188)
Attached to: Happy 10th anniversary, Perl 6
Thanks !

I am really grateful for the link to Audreys note about the fate of Pugs.

It is good to remember that severe damage can come from words.

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Comments: 9
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  Comment: Re:Damn shame. Other sites less compelling to me. (Score 1) on 2010.07.20 3:35

by thickas on 2010.07.20 3:35 (#72187)
Attached to: Last Post
Thanks ! This is good,although for my diet of Perl 6 and select blogs (the usual culprits), it's still hard to beat use.perl.org
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Comments: 3
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  Comment: Damn shame. Other sites less compelling to me. (Score 1) on 2010.07.19 0:28

by thickas on 2010.07.19 0:28 (#72178)
Attached to: Last Post
You will be missed, sorely.

I can't say I care much for sites other than this one.

The only thing that would change that would be if all good content creators did do.

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Comments: 3
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  Comment: Re:PowerShell date fanboy + where's your Amazon .. (Score 1) on 2010.05.07 23:20

by thickas on 2010.05.07 23:20 (#71968)
Attached to: It's about time
'pay it forward', this modern song !

I think you mean, paraphrasing ala P6,

Ya got to do unto others Like you'd have them, like you'd have them, do unto you.

(quite a nice chorus to an old Dylan tune [the music not the language] http://www.mp3lyrics.org/b/bob-dylan/do-right-to-me-baby-do-unto-others/ )

Read More 6 comments
Comments: 6
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  Comment: Hear, hear ! (Score 1) on 2010.04.26 4:22

by thickas on 2010.04.26 4:22 (#71923)
Attached to: A wholly inadequate reply to an Anonymous Monk
Read your Journal post on "Current State of P6" and wanted to express my
support for you/your work and to says "thanks" for taking on a very hard
job. I'm only an occasional Perl user - but have a friend who actively
contributes and maintains a useful segment of code in Nagios, so I get
pointed to interesting stuff like your post.
[I'm writing because I don't need to create another login out there in
the Web-verse. If there's anything useful in this, you have my
permission to edit and post as you see fit.]

There's a very impolite, but relevant response to critics in the
Computing World:
-"put up or shut up",
which translates to a nicer "Really? Show me how yours does it."

This was the stance within Bell Labs Computing Research (dept 1127).
And I'm guessing, something like this could've gone on at Xerox PARC.
It's not accidental that both these (small) groups profoundly changed
the world of computing.
Exactly as Perl, in all its manifestations, has done.

In 1995 as the Web was exploding, what were the alternatives to Perl for
CGI's and system admin?
Tcl? C? and some proprietary products.

Languages like  Java, Python, Ruby have all arrived, I'd argue, as a
direct response to perceived inadequacies of Perl 5.
I'm not sure where to put PHP :-)

But while they've garnered support/usage, do they have the same range of
use as the "Swiss Army Chainsaw"?
And how do they compare on software metrics that matter in production:
memory footprint, execution speed, robustness.

Is C++ a better, more useful C? Does it help with
Programming-in-the-large or Object Oriented programming?
I don't think so... Nor do Apple. OS/X, from the iPhone to Mac to
Servers, is written in Objective-C.
Nor do the bulk of FOSS projects: 'C' is still the lingua franca of the
Open Source world.

Perl (5) is like 'C'.
Many people think it 'could be better' and many have tried to create
replacements, but its use keeps expanding.
'C' is *really* hard to beat, it is (quoting PJ Plauger) "wallpaper -
you expect it everywhere" and has base of trained, competent/experienced
programmers.
'C' is not only 'sufficient' for the range of procedural language tasks,
it is excellent on many levels.
Like all professional tools, it is 'sharp'. You can hurt yourself badly
with high-power tools... Or handled well, produce incredible works. It's
all about the workman, not the tools.

For me, the overwhelming reason to use P5 is CPAN. This is the
definitive example of Software ReUse - which should be a cornerstone of
Software Engineering (and training in it). Somehow people end up wanting
to Invent the Wheel again themselves... Which doesn't take the
profession forward in any way. I love the small irony that CPAN is
actually a reused idea itself - based on CTAN for TeX.

The very success of CPAN, far eclipsing its progenitor, and that Tcl,
Python, Ruby etc *don't* have an equivalent illustrates two things about
the Perl Community:
- they are collaborative and 'give back' as a matter of course, and
- they are Software professionals who's interest is producing products
for others, and just amusing themselves or in the thrall of N.I.H.

It's what you do that counts, not say... "Ideas are Cheap", as was the
mantra at Xerox PARC.

Whichever of the Anonymous Monk posted the criticism of "it can't be all
that hard to write a parser" obviously hasn't tried to write a full
language. It isn't nearly as simple as a 3-4th year compiler project.
And all those "University Experts" - if they were really good at new
languages and compilers, then P5 and 'C' would be a thing of the past.
Proof by Existence :-)

Experience counts in programming:
Computing is a *performance* discipline.

Like Architecture, Surgery, Music, Art and Flying...
You need "Heads and Hands" - both knowledge/theory and experience/practice.

Professional Programming is different again:
- it is always done by a team: collaboration & co-operation is fundamental
- it's not a hobby, but paid work, where feeding your Ego isn't the
prime motivation
- it's about programming "for the next guy", who may well be yourself
in 6 months time
- it's about Programming-in-the-Large
- it's about delivering "Good Enough", which sometimes is It-just-runs,
and sometimes absolutely robust.
- and finally, its about *delivery*. Getting Things Done, not ideation
or criticism.
  Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda doesn't cut it in the Professional world.
- there's another thing to do with Professionals and Engineering:
  - Is there ever any excuse for a Professional to repeat, or allow
repetition of a know Error, Fault or Failure?
  - Engineering is about Safe, Reliable, Effective and Economical
solutions for others.

There's a very simple example to show the level of Professional Software
Engineering embodied in Perl:
cpan install.

Firstly, the source code, in 'C', is available if needed. and its
Version controlled, not lost like 40% of pre-Y2K source.
There's a well known, robust and simple process to get & install new
modules in an absolutely repeatable and predictable manner - with
over-rides when needed, not a constrained straight-jacket.
The stuff you're downloading has been testing on multiple platforms. It
comes quite trustworthy.
Everything that installs comes with its own set of *tests*.

And if it doesn't work for you, there are debuggers and more for your
programming pleasure :-)

Perl doesn't pay lip-service to good Software Engineering practices - it
just does them...
That's part of its success. It builds on strong professional
disciplines, and embeds them in its process.

The other part is that it leverages itself and work that's gone before.
It's more than CPAN and software re-use...

Finally, "Computing/I.T. is a Cognitive Amplifier".
It does for cognitive functions what machines do for muscles.

Alan Kay, inventor of Objects (in Smalltalk), is well know for saying
"Point of View is worth 80 IQ points".
Or, give ordinary people the right tools, and they can beat geniuses.

Perl has always performed this "cognitive amplifier" task.
That's worth more than Kay's 80 IQ points.
It turns a single Perl coder into a large team with best-in-the-world
solutions for many problems.

How would I have reacted to the Anonymous Monk?
- Show me what you've done that you think you have the knowledge, skill
and experience to criticise.
- If you have a point, do some work and commit some changes. Don't
waste my time and yours with hot air.

And what might Perl 6 achieve?
Coming from the 'pens' of highly competent & experienced folk, who've
already done this before, it's gotta be close to definitive solution to
the problem field it chooses to answer.

If P6 arrives with an IDE and good, integrated tool-chain, it should
scale to Programming-in-the-Large and 'real' programming projects. It
won't displace C or Objective-C, but will be a 'slam-dunk' solution to
general software practice.

But in typical Perl style, I expect the Revolution and Conquering the
World to be very low-key, even 'stealth mode'.
It'll probably pass with a whisper and people may ask, "isn't it obvious
to do this?".
Or not :-)

Many thanks for your years of hard work and contribution at a level I
could only wish for.

(From a former colleague of mine)
Read More 8 comments
Comments: 8
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  Comment: ta ... (Score 1) on 2010.04.21 2:36

by thickas on 2010.04.21 2:36 (#71907)
Attached to: Perl 6 Design Minutes for 14 April 2010
I am grateful for any news about P6.

Do you have an Amazon wish list or similar ?

Read More 2 comments
Comments: 2
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  Comment: PowerShell date fanboy + where's your Amazon ... (Score 1) on 2010.04.10 21:29

by thickas on 2010.04.10 21:29 (#71885)
Attached to: It's about time
Please make it look like the PS model eg

PS C:\> [datetime] | gm -Static

   TypeName: System.DateTime

Name            MemberType Definition
----            ---------- ----------
Compare         Method     static System.Int32 Compare(DateTime t1, DateTime t2)
DaysInMonth     Method     static System.Int32 DaysInMonth(Int32 year, Int32 month)
Equals          Method     static System.Boolean Equals(DateTime t1, DateTime t2), static System.Boolean Equals(Obje...
FromBinary      Method     static System.DateTime FromBinary(Int64 dateData)
FromFileTime    Method     static System.DateTime FromFileTime(Int64 fileTime)
FromFileTimeUtc Method     static System.DateTime FromFileTimeUtc(Int64 fileTime)
FromOADate      Method     static System.DateTime FromOADate(Double d)
IsLeapYear      Method     static System.Boolean IsLeapYear(Int32 year)
Parse           Method     static System.DateTime Parse(String s), static System.DateTime Parse(String s, IFormatPro...
ParseExact      Method     static System.DateTime ParseExact(String s, String format, IFormatProvider provider), sta...
ReferenceEquals Method     static System.Boolean ReferenceEquals(Object objA, Object objB)
SpecifyKind     Method     static System.DateTime SpecifyKind(DateTime value, DateTimeKind kind)
TryParse        Method     static System.Boolean TryParse(String s, DateTime& result), static System.Boolean TryPars...
TryParseExact   Method     static System.Boolean TryParseExact(String s, String format, IFormatProvider provider, Da...
MaxValue        Property   static System.DateTime MaxValue {get;}
MinValue        Property   static System.DateTime MinValue {get;}
Now             Property   System.DateTime Now {get;}
Today           Property   System.DateTime Today {get;}
UtcNow          Property   System.DateTime UtcNow {get;}

PS C:\> [datetime]::Today

Sunday, 11 April 2010 12:00:00 AM

PS C:\> ([datetime]::Now - [datetime] '03/20/2010').Days
22
PS C:\>

I really enjoy reading stuff about P6. Who knows, maybe I can even write bad-babytalk P6 one millenium.

Please create & publish an Amazon wish list so those wannabe P6 Medicis out there can thank you.

Thank you !
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Comments: 6
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  Comment: Thank you ! (Score 1) on 2010.04.05 4:44

by thickas on 2010.04.05 4:44 (#71837)
Attached to: Perl 6 Design Minutes for 31 March 2010
.. much appreciated.
Read More 2 comments
Comments: 2
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  Comment: Nagios (Score 1) on 2010.03.29 3:51

by thickas on 2010.03.29 3:51 (#71804)
Attached to: On the bright side...
Yeah, I did it.

At least all the bad bits (in the embedded stuff released with Netsaint 6.x Nag 1 - 3.x.

A local .Au guy solved a problem (of wasting a copy after a fork) for Perl plugins. I think he did a good thing.

Unfortunately, I couldn't (and still can't) see how to preserve the existing REPL semantics (ie schedule a plugin, fork, exec the plugin and return whatever exec() returns to Nagios) and not re-eval the Perl plugin each time its scheduled.

Also, I was too stupid to think that with no adequate knowledge of Perl internals and in the face of well known warnings (eg leaks from embedded interpreters), I could offer something.

As you say, there are many people who should shut the up. I am definitely one, so I don't know why I am bothering with this.

Other than to say that a published author and a thoughtful man like yourself could do a much better job.

Ethan has never declined a patch for embedded Perl. Go right ahead.

Cheering !!

Lastly, on some of the other remarks, here's what Gary Numan is quoted as saying in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_numan#Personal_life "Polite conversation has never been one of my strong points. Just recently I actually found out that I'd got a mild form of Asperger's syndrome which basically means I have trouble interacting with people. For years, I couldn't understand why people thought I was arrogant, but now it all makes more sense."

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Comments: 3
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  Comment: Hear hear ! (Score 1) on 2010.03.22 3:36

by thickas on 2010.03.22 3:36 (#71787)
Attached to: Pushups, repetition, and newbies
Wihout the fun, there is no progress only stasis which is the prelude of decline.

Why am I so sure ?

Well for the last twenty years I have witnessed so called Government IT organisations in .AU doing just that (or so it seems to me).

Read More 1 comments
Comments: 1
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  Comment: Hear hear ! (Score 1) on 2010.03.19 1:48

by thickas on 2010.03.19 1:48 (#71784)
Attached to: Perl6 code
Hard to disagree.

The P6 stuff looks nice. Thanks for pointing it out.

Read More 1 comments
Comments: 1
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  Comment: ... not happy ... (Score 1) on 2010.03.09 0:47

by thickas on 2010.03.09 0:47 (#71760)
Attached to: The ghost of Algol 68
an accusation of being Algol 68 is almost as perjorative as being PL-1 like or Ada like.

It is not in any way complimentary.

Alogol 68 is not in any way remembered fondly by people wishing to write code partly because even if you like the ideas there were so few implementations that it was higly unlikely they would run.

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Comments: 10