xenchu's Journal http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/ xenchu'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. 2012-01-25T02:25:50+00:00 pudge pudge@perl.org Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 xenchu's Journal http://use.perl.org/images/topics/useperl.gif http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/ Audio-Visual Delights http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/18509?from=rss <p>Perl class had to be held in an alternate classroom yesterday. This required checking out a laptop and projector for showing the PowerPoint slides. Usually my co-teacher handles that but he is off this week.</p><p> So I check out the laptop and the projector and go down to the classroom an hour early to make sure I have time to set everything up. Ah, Optimism! What a high flight and what a hard fall.</p><p> First I couldn't sign on to the laptop with any id/password I tried. Then I found out that, no stupid, it is <b>not</b> a wireless setup. So I connect it to the wall outlet. Still didn't work. Finally after some consultation I signed in as a workstation.</p><p> That meant I had to return to my desk and download the presentation to a floppy and carry it back to the classroom. That took trying two different disks before I got a copy. Then I go back to the classroom and try it. It works. Rah!</p><p> On to the projector which, of course, did not work as expected either. The font size on screen kept changing. I finally had to get help on that. Then, at last, all was ready.</p><p> This was the smallest attendance at a class yet. Everyone, it seemed, was on vacation or in another class or "just couldn't make it". The teaching part went well enough, except that my voice kept trying to give out. I had been too busy to go and get a glass of water. You would have thought the class was being given by a rusty gate from the sound. At least now we have finished Regular Expressions.</p> xenchu 2004-04-27T12:46:41+00:00 journal Sitting, Waiting http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/18432?from=rss <p> Sitting, waiting for my wife to bring lunch. I was supposed to go work out in the gym today with the guy in the next cube. But he came around and told me he was going to run outside which I am not in shape enough to do yet. So I got a bit miffed and decided that I would stay inside and do nothing. That'll show <b>him</b>.</p><p> I have to teach another class tomorrow. I am calling this one Guerilla Regex, because I am not really sure about what I will be telling the class. Most of what is in the slides came straight from one book or another but sometimes it might as well be in a foreign language for all the understanding I have. The only thing I am sure of is that I know more than the people in the class and that will have to do. The only thing I can do is not lie and tell them when I don't know something.</p><p> Anyone been to Yafro yet? If you are into nude women it is a good place to look. Supposedly all the pictures people post there are of themselves. Anyway it is worth checking out if you like that kind of thing. The Url is www.yafro.com. Oh and you have to register, but it is free.</p> xenchu 2004-04-22T16:43:52+00:00 journal Another Day of Perl http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/18299?from=rss <p>Except that I didn't have to teach this time. My co-teacher wanted to go over a template program so the class would know what all this Perl was about. So I sat and watched while he did that. Easiest class yet.. </p><p> No class next week because so many people will be gone for various reasons. I will be holding a 'Q&amp;A' class on Friday for those that want specific questions answered.</p><p> Due to my masterful ability to copy text from books to PowerPoint slides and put them on a screen I am gaining an entirely spurious reputation as being knowledgeable in Perl. But even simple copy takes a <i>lot</i> of time. And even more time to make sure the result looks reasonably coherent and understandable</p><p> This is why I never wanted to be a teacher. It is a lot of work and you have to stay after school. Plus I knew that one dark day I would get a version of <b>me</b> in one of my classes. Brrrrrr.</p> xenchu 2004-04-12T18:51:17+00:00 journal Day Off Perl Class http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/18107?from=rss <p>My co-teacher is out-of-town and I had planned to teach the class alone today. But the people in class last Friday (I was out) requested that we skip today because so many people were going to be gone this week and they didn't want to miss two classes in a row.</p><p> I guess that means that we have made the class frightening enough that the class feels they can't afford to miss much. Either that or they are expressing their horror of the idea of me teaching the class by myself. Either is possible.</p> xenchu 2004-03-29T15:54:17+00:00 journal The Blind Lead the Blind http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/18045?from=rss <p>This week a colleague and I will begin teaching Perl to our department. This is on the basis of a 3-day course by a knowledgeable but non-expert teacher. I will not be required to teach <i>programming</i>, as all of them are very good programmers, just Perl.</p><p> The aforementioned course is not (quite) all I know about Perl. I have read the <i>Llama Book</i>, a fair amount of the <i>Camel Book</i> and several other tomes of Perl wisdom. Not formal training, but a certain familiarity with the language.</p><p> Of course, I will get a lot more out of these classes than the attendees. I will have to know what I am talking about (a daunting concept) and anticipate their questions and be able to answer the more reasonable ones. I am being forced to study, which is always good for me and get what knowledge I have organized to put in lesson plans.</p><p> I estimate that by the time we have taught the last class I will know at least three to five times as much Perl as I do now. I will still not be anywhere near an expert but I hope to have a solid foundation of Perl knowledge. I should be able to measure my progress by what my 'students' learn. If they learn a little, I should have learned a lot.</p><p> So I will certainly get the most out of the classes and I can only hope that my departmental colleagues might learn a little as well.</p> xenchu 2004-03-24T16:07:36+00:00 journal Trying to Curse Again http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/18010?from=rss <p>In my last entry I hit the save key by mistake so the format is incorrect. Here it is again with better formatting and, hopefully, more readability:</p><p>As a nation, this probably affects us more than it does any other nation or people on the planet. Not that any first world country is immune, but I am sure the curse hits us the hardest.</p><p>What am I talking about? Succintly put, moving our junk to a new place. Americans have to have more junk than any people on earth. I am no exception, I am a pack rat <i>extraordinaire</i>, expecially concerning books.</p><p>I just got through moving to a new, bigger house with a new, bigger basement. I threw away literally a ton of stuff. Pickup truck-loads and trailer-loads of worthless crap. I stored boxes and boxes of books. And finally we are all moved in.</p><p>So why do I have <b>more</b> than I started with? The new, bigger basement is an obstacle course, mostly of boxes, but also unpacked gear. My wife complains about not having cabinet space in the kitchen (<i>but, Honey, you said this kitchen was bigger!</i>).</p><p>Heracles' labors in the Augean Stables were a quick sweep-up compared to this move. And it is nothing special. I am sure that most or all of you have done the same. Stood looking at the packed boxes to be muled to the truck or car and thought to yourself, '<i>Where did all this crap come from?</i>'</p><p>It came from years of saving stuff you couldn't use but just knew would come in handy someday. It came from the things your realtives left you or gave you. It came from stuff friends dumped on you that maybe you could use but they didn't need. It came from all those things you bought and now think '<i>Why the hell did I buy <b>that</b>?</i>'</p><p>My universal remedy is...<b>don't do that</b>. Don't buy it, don't keep it, don't let others lay it on you. Be hard, be stern, be cold, and most of all, don't be like me because I haven't done any of it.</p> xenchu 2004-03-22T16:43:50+00:00 journal The American Curse http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/18007?from=rss As a nation, this probably affects us more than any other. Not that any first world country is immune, but I am sure the curse hits us the hardest. What am I talking about? Succintly put, moving our junk to a new place. Americans have to have more junk than any people on earth. I am no exception, I am a pack rat <i>extraordinaire</i>, expecially concerning books. I just got through moving to a new, bigger house with a new, bigger basement. I threw away literally a ton of stuff. Pickup truck-loads and trailer-loads of worthless crap. I stored boxes and boxes of books. And finally we are all moved in. So why do I have [b]more[/b] than I started with. The new, bigger basement is an obstacle course, mostly of boxes, but also unpacked gear. My wife complains about not having cabinet space in the kitchen ([i]but, Honey, you said this kitchen was bigger![/i]). Heracles' labors in the Augean Stables were a quick sweep-up compared to this move. And it is nothing special. I am sure that most or all of you have done the same. Stood looking at the packed boxes to be muled to the truck or car and thought to yourself, '[i]Where did all this crap come from?[/i]' It came from years of saving stuff you couldn't use but just knew would come in handy someday. It came from the things your realtives left you or gave you. It came from stuff friends dumped on you that maybe you could use but they didn't need. It came from all those things you bought and now think '[i]Why the hell did I buy [b]that[/b]?[/i]' My universal remedy is...[b]don't do that[/b]. Don't buy it, don't keep it, don't let others lay it on you. Be hard, be stern, be coldand most of all, don't be like me because I haven't done any of it. xenchu 2004-03-22T16:08:32+00:00 journal 2 in the Morning http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17452?from=rss <p> Another night without enough sleep. Tomorrow I'll struggle all day to stay awake and get something done. Then tomorrow night I'll have a tough time getting to sleep again. </p><p> At least staying up I got to see the first episode of <b>Witch Hunter Robin</b> on Adult Swim. More action would have been good but I suppose they have to introduce the characters, set the scene, etc.</p><p> I think I'll get something to eat and try sleeping again. Either that or watch more cartoons on television.</p> xenchu 2004-02-17T07:07:47+00:00 journal merlyn's yatch http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17390?from=rss <p> I mean he must have one right? He is an author with a <i>hot</i> book, so it follows he makes lots of money, right? So I am helping him fuel his yatch.</p><p> That is, I just bought a copy of <b> <i>Learning Perl(3rd ed.)</i> </b>. I am on chapter 6 now and enjoying the experience so far. What I am reading is helping to solidify things I picked up elsewhere and didn't quite understand.</p><p> As little as I remember of the 2nd edition, this version seems clearer. Granted I have been studying since then and granted my memory is a bit hazy, this version seems better laid out and talks about things I need to know.</p><p>Anyway, if, like me, you are floundering in Perl waters, this ia good...uh, yatch.</p> xenchu 2004-02-13T04:29:11+00:00 journal The Karma Fairy http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17341?from=rss <p> The Karma Fairy sneaked up and whapped me with her wand again. And, as before, I have no idea why. Could it be the (ahem) quality of the writing? Spelling? Punctuation? Good Grammar? The position of the stars? Sweet Fanny Adams?</p><p> I feel like a blindfold man in a darkened house at midnight, stumbling from place to place. Suddenly someone hands me a cookie. A paper cookie but a cookie. Better than nothing but what's it <i>for</i>? Did I do something or did I refrain from doing something?</p><p> Most <i>Mysterious</i>.</p> xenchu 2004-02-10T21:04:20+00:00 journal Home Today http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17327?from=rss <p> My asthma is rearing it's ugly head again. Consequently I am staying home away cold air and (hopefully) the falling barometer. No an especially bad attack but it always leaves me tired.</p><p> Last Friday at work I spent a good bit of time entering alias in my Solaris system logon. I wanted convenient shortcuts for the perldoc commands. The format I used was: </p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>alias perlobj='/usr/perl5/5.6.1/bin/perldoc perlobj'</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>And the shortcuts all seemed to work. I entered a shortcut for each perldoc. All nice and convenient. Monday when I tried them thay had all disappeared, vanished, gone. You may imagine my dismay. I don't know whether to try again or just type in the entire path each time I want to read a document.</p><p> My wife's new boss might be in today. She will certainly give him the benefit of the doubt (she gives everyone that benefit) but it should be interesting to hear what she thinks about him or her.</p><p> Oh, wow! I just noticed! I got another karma point! Whatever that means, whatever it is for. How many do I need before I get my secret decoder ring?</p> xenchu 2004-02-10T14:31:01+00:00 journal Conversion Table Question http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17284?from=rss <p> I was trying to compile a small perl program and got the following error message(partial):</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>Unrecognized character \xE2</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p> My question is where do I find a conversion table that will tell me what I am looking at and/or looking for? </p> xenchu 2004-02-08T23:19:50+00:00 journal Up All Night http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17276?from=rss <p> Here I am again, up at two in the morning, typing away. All is quiet except for the television. Popeye and sleazy advertisers keep me company.</p><p> I spent the day playing with vim. I am starting to like it after years of writing on Word and Notepad. The funny thing is I can only use it at home. I just started signing on to a *nix machine at work(Solaris in fact), but all it has is vi although we might get emacs and pico. None of them are vim though.</p><p> <a href="http://use.perl.org/~chaoticset">chaoticset</a>, I tried to sign on to <b>Orkut</b> Friday, but the server kept throwing me off. I'll try again Monday when I have the url.</p><p>I am starting to see advertising for Valentine's Day. Why can't they leave us alone? Soon they will be selling gopher-shaped junk for Ground Dog's Day. Valentine's Day is my daughter's birthday.</p> xenchu 2004-02-08T07:45:06+00:00 journal Loyalty http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17226?from=rss <p> My wife's reaction to an event seems strange to me. Her boss just got fired. She told me that she has decided not to work at the place any more because of that.</p><p> Now here is what I find strange. Last year both she and her boss worked at the same place for a different organization. Her boss was an assistant manager. Their boss at that time got my wife fired. He accused her of being slack, inefficient, etc. It was not true. To get her fired he had to have the backing of his assistant managers. They lied to back him up. They told her they lied to keep their jobs.</p><p> When the business changed hands she went back to work there. They hired her immediately because they knew her and knew what kind of work she did. I don't really understand it. I would never have gone back to work for them and I surely wouldn't be quitting because someone who helped get me fired by lying got fired. As far as I am concerned, loyalty runs both ways and her boss showed her none at all. My wife is a sweet woman who likes everybody but her reasoning is beyond me.</p> xenchu 2004-02-05T14:21:46+00:00 journal Why do I have to dig for this? http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17221?from=rss <p> I find use Perl a tough site to get information on. The FAQ seems skimpy to me. For instance, I know there is a node that lists the day's journal entries but I don't see a direct link to it. Maybe I am too used to sites that dump an overload of information on me.</p> xenchu 2004-02-05T01:01:28+00:00 journal Perl Grep Question http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17195?from=rss <p> This is a line I pulled out of a program on PerlMonks to find the largest 10 files in a directory. The program is clear enough, I suppose, but I don't understand the following line:</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;@sizes = grep {length $_ -&gt; [1]} @sizes;</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p> Specifically, what is </p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>{length $_ -&gt; [1]}</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p> doing? It seems to be sorting files by length but I don't understand the mechanism. Anyone care to elucidate?</p><p> I saw <i>Windtalkers</i> on DVD tonight. Lots of action, lots of explosions; I think Joe Bob Briggs would give it a thumbs up. I liked it and believe it is worth your time.</p><p> Thanks to <b>merlyn</b> and <b>ybiC</b> for their replies to my last entry. As a matter of fact I have a copy of <i>Learning Perl</i>. Unfortunately it is packed in one of dozens of boxes as part of our coming move. I am loathe to buy another copy of a book I already have. However, since I don't yet have a copy of <i>Elements of Programming with Perl</i> I plan to buy that. Scrooge McDuck ain't in it with me when it comes to pinching pennies.</p><p> I am going to learn Perl. As long it takes, whatever it takes, but learn it I will. A short attention span, dog-laziness, carelessness past comprehension and a thick head will not stop me.</p> xenchu 2004-02-04T04:03:25+00:00 journal Sleep and stuff http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17179?from=rss <p> I sprang from bed this morning with a song in my heart...not really. I drug out after a lousy night of no sleep. It might be insomnia, it might be nerves but basically it means I don't sleep.</p><p> As usual when that happens I got on and read PerlMonks and Use Perl and one or two other sites. Just to keep my mind from jumping around too much, trying to get sleepy enough to go back to sleep. Didn't work. Even taking a shower didn't work this time. My day at work yesterday was less than stellar. It will be incentive to have a better day so I can get some sleep tonight.</p><p> I was reading Programming Perl(3rd.ed.) last night (<i>that</i> almost put me to sleep) and realized that I would have to reread the whole damn book to pick up what I missed the first time. Either that or pick another book to read first. Maybe try <b>merlyn</b>'s Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules. Or Learning Perl? Still, if I don't understand the subject in Programming Perl then I don't fancy my chances with a different book. I don't consider Learning Perl a simpler or easier book. There is, of course, the possibility that I am too thick to understand it from any book. I'll have to think on that one.</p><p> Oh well, time to go to work. We were supposed to have freezing rain last night but that missed us. Maybe everyone can stay on the road this morning.</p> xenchu 2004-02-03T12:12:08+00:00 journal Back from Class http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17162?from=rss <p> Back from class, hippety-hop. I always expect too much when I go to this type of class. I mean they were going to teach me for <b>three whole days</b>. </p><p> Well, after all, they had three days to turn me into a Perl Guru and it didn't happen. We had a good teacher, good teaching materials and the right environment. It was a fine class, it just wasn't a miracle. I didn't return home knowing everything. Maybe we should have asked <b>merlyn</b> to teach it.</p> xenchu 2004-02-02T23:35:25+00:00 journal The Things I do for Perl... http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17047?from=rss <p> I have written about a Perl class I was supposed to start taking today. Because of the weather the class was put off a day but not cancelled. Now I will have to drive to the site of the class through lousy conditions on (perhaps) icy roads. To top it all, my classmate and I can't leave on the aproximately 200 mile trip until 3 in the afternoon. To say I am not looking forward to the trip is to say...I am not looking forward to the trip.</p><p> Time to get ready for the trip. I hope to write more about what happens when I get back.</p><p> Good luck to <a href="http://use.perl.org/~chaoticset">chaoticset</a> with his game matrix thingy.</p> xenchu 2004-01-27T19:08:53+00:00 journal Snow Day http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/17029?from=rss <p> We got about 2 inches of snow here over an inch of ice so we didn't go out today. This is the Sunny South where snow you can actually see on the ground constitutes a state of emergency. Besides, going out on the roads is dangerous. People down here cause wrecks when it rains hard, much less when it snows. And by the way, this isn't some yankee talking. I was born and raised here and lived here almost all of my life.</p><p> Anyway I spent most of the day reading <i>Programming Perl</i>. After all this time on Perl Monks and reading other books I think I might be getting some good out of it. Not that I am in danger of turning into a <b>PERL GURU</b>, but I think I made a little progress. I can only hope. I bought a copy after the one I bought through Amazon turned out to be the 2nd. edition(independent seller, not directly from Amazon). <i>Caveat suckor</i>.</p><p> Thankfully there was nothing on TV to distract me. Even CSI:Miami was a repeat. Does anyone think Caruso becomes a pompous windbag at times. I don't know if it is him or the writers speaking through him. Oh well, it's only TV.</p><p> I think I mentioned in my last entry that I am getting ready to move in a month or so. Things are being sorted and thrown away and packed in boxes already. But nothing will move until the loan is approved. One of those many sheets I signed for the loan was certainly a contract with the Devil. If not him somebody must own my soul now. There was no way I read all of them. I have signed so much paper that a Giant Sequoia must have died to provide it all. If I don't get the loan I'll sue'm for Repetitive Stress Injury.</p><p> Of course I can't afford a moving company to come in and whisk this junk all magically away. We may be able to afford to rent a large truck for one day to pack the big items in and take them to the new house. That will be the extent of it though. Only furniture and appliances will go then. The rest will go by carload and pickup truck over time. Maybe I should get a dumptruck for easy unloading of the big stuff.</p> xenchu 2004-01-27T06:17:05+00:00 journal Problem Learning Perl (part deux) http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16995?from=rss <p> A couple of days ago I wrote an entry titled <b>Problem Learning Perl</b>. It was a bit embarrassing and probably whiny but I got solid results from it. A number of people were kind enough to reply explaining the things I was having trouble with. I thank them all again.</p><p> I found out several informative facts about Perl and how to use it. I also found out something about myself. I am visually-impaired Perlwise. What I see and what is written are not actually the same in some cases(maybe in many cases, I haven't asked about everything that puzzles me).</p><p> The reason for the impairment is partly the languages I have used in the past. In all of them spacing is <b>important</b>. In Cobol, nothing <i>runs together</i>. This is a new concept that is still foggy for me. I am slowly learning what 'free-form' actually means.</p><p> The rest of my problem is me. Like a lot of people, I see what I want to see and I can be pretty stubborn about it. I can change my view of Perl by study and hard work. I am not so sure changing me will be that easy.</p><p> I want to thank <b>htoug</b> and <b>jbisbee</b> for becoming Fans. The concept of Fans is very strange to me, but I do appreciate the fact.</p> xenchu 2004-01-25T18:12:31+00:00 journal Moving http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16983?from=rss <p> We are starting the process of moving from one house to another. A lot of hassle, many things to take care of.</p><p> Here's something I didn't know that might be useful to others when in the same situation. When you need boxes, try the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) store. Where I am they sell for $0.10 each. Not large boxes, but they do hold a fair amount and are easy to carry. If you live where there are no ABC stores then this information is worthless to you, but I thought it would be useful to pass along. Cheap boxes are <i>good to have</i> when one is moving.</p> xenchu 2004-01-24T18:57:43+00:00 journal Problem Learning Perl http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16976?from=rss <p>One of <b>my</b> problems with learning Perl is -- I don't know enough Perl. A common but frustrating problem. Let me explain my learning situation.</p><p> Here is an example from one of my Perl books (not Camel or Llama, by the way):</p><p> <i>@numerics = map {/^\d +<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/?$_:()}<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;</i> </p><p> Now, since the book tells me what this construct is doing (it calculates lines starting with numbers, and then builds a list of the lines input), most of operation is clear enough. Map reads a line from input, checks to find out if the line starts with a digit and then does -- what? I see $_ which is the line input but what does the ? mean? Is it part of the regex or does it operate on $_? What is the purpose of<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:()? Is<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:() one operation or two? And why '+ ' instead of \b?</p><p> I checked the index and found nothing I thought applied. I doubt that means the answer is not in the book, just that if I saw the answer I didn't recognize it. And if I have come across what I want to know in earlier reading I have either forgotten it or I wasn't paying sufficient attention. Either option has a 50% chance of being true.</p><p> Nothing as concise as map is present in any other language I program in. The ease with which it can be used is fascinating. I know I will find out what I want to know eventually. I am sure all of you who read this see my problem <i>(he's an idiot)</i> and understand what I am trying to say. The more you have of a thing the easier it is to get more. It works for Perl as with everything else.</p><p> The solution is obvious; keep studying Perl. Most things that frustrate me seem easy when I look back on them knowing the answer. This will probably not be an exception. And as they say, 'a good learning experience'. As I gain knowledge of Perl the pieces will start to come together.</p><p> Hello to <b>chaoticset</b> who has signed on as a Fan. Astounding, just astounding. And hello to <b>merlyn</b> and <b>Louis_Wu</b> as well. I am certain that all three know exactly what the example above means. Inspires me to keep trying to catch up with them to know others have learned before me.</p><p> And a public thanks to <b>Corion</b> who answered a Perl Monk question I asked in an earlier journal entry.</p> xenchu 2004-01-23T16:07:54+00:00 journal Karma Karma! http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16953?from=rss <p> I got a karma point! I believe I saw a vague mention somewhere that the editors give out karma but I don't remember the criteria for doing so. Is it the (kaff kaff) quality of the writing, the information in the entry or does the karma fairy randomly whap users with her wand. Anyway thanks to whoever for the point, it is appreciated.</p><p> Hello to my Fans, <b>merlyn</b> and <b>Louis_Wu</b> (a truly mind-boggling concept; me - Fans. Tres weird.).</p> xenchu 2004-01-22T14:33:53+00:00 journal Will Perl help me? http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16938?from=rss <p> Next week I'm off to take a Perl course, my first formal course after buying all these books. It is a beginning course but the instructor is supposed to be sharp and I have hopes for it.</p><p> Well, some hopes anyway. There is still my almost insurmountable obstacle to doing anything -- me. I am not going to whine, I promise, in fact the purpose of this entry is as an <i>aide memoire</i>. To remind myself what I have to be vigilant about and who my worst enemy is.</p> xenchu 2004-01-21T19:15:51+00:00 journal Down, down, down... http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16930?from=rss <p> On Perl Monks once in a while I get a message that states "Ack! You just lost 1 experience point." That means someone disliked what I wrote somewhere enough to downvote me.</p><p> That's OK. If I were the cheeriest optomist in the world I wouldn't expect everyone to like or agree with what I write. The thing that nags me is the 'somewhere'. I haven't written a tremendous amount on Perl Monks, but I have written enough so that it is not worth the time to go looking for the node that someone downvoted.</p><p> The reason I would like to know what the anonymous monk disliked is to give me a chance to improve my writing, either technique or content. To know that that was the second (or thirty-second) time a node I wrote was downvoted would be a help toward improving.</p><p> But no one will write to tell you why they disliked what you wrote, whether you were an idiot, or wrong or just a bad writer. Sort of like wandering blindfolded through a dark house where people run up and hit you with sticks. Its not the pain, its the not knowing.</p><p> I have never downvoted any node myself. It is not nobility or a forgiving nature, heaven knows. It is more the fact that my knowledge of Perl is not great enough for me to be sure that any particular node is wrong enough to earn a downvote. And stupidity is not the monopoly of anyone, as well vote against the rising tide. As for trolls, I leave them to the editors and the gods. Why waste a vote?</p> xenchu 2004-01-21T09:52:52+00:00 journal Fans? http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16923?from=rss <p> I am a stone newbie here. I am not sure where to find anything or how to ask where to look for anything.</p><p> Despite my newbieness I find that I have two 'Fans'. Wow! And what fans! They are <b>merlyn</b> and <b>Louis Wu</b>. If anyone in the Perl universe doesn't know who <b>merlyn</b> is...open your programming text, he probably wrote it. He is also a prominent inhabitant of Perl Monks and masterful answerer of questions there. As for <b>Louis Wu</b>, he is another prominent denizen of Perl Monks and a question answerer of note but he hasn't written any books yet (as <b>Louis Wu</b> anyway.)</p><p> I am honored to have these distinguished gentlemen as Fans (whatever a Fan is). Perhaps knowing they are there will keep me from writing anything too stupid in this journal. I can only hope so.</p> xenchu 2004-01-20T19:31:29+00:00 journal Perl Training http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16865?from=rss <p> I am excited this evening. Work is sending me to a 3-day Perl Training session. I had to damn near beg to get the chance to go. </p><p> It will be my first professional training in Perl. All my other 'training' has been me reading books or doing tutorials on the web or me at Perl Monks. Not sources to sneer at certainly, but the live feedback will be appreciated. The class will also go on my record which means I should have more chances to program in Perl and maybe take more classes in the future. </p><p> When I return from the training session I have been told I will be doing a lot of Perl Programming, mostly interfaces to the web (the training I am getting will supposedly be oriented toward CGI programming). </p><p> Anyway, wish me luck, I <strong>really</strong> want this to go well.</p> xenchu 2004-01-17T00:18:24+00:00 journal First Entry http://use.perl.org/~xenchu/journal/16426?from=rss <p>12/19/2003 - I come here from Perl Monks, which is a great place to hang out. I hope Use Perl will be as good. My purpose here is the same as it is there: learn Perl, learn Perl, learn Perl. Other than that, I want to learn Perl.</p><p>Hello to All!</p><p>xenchu</p> xenchu 2003-12-19T15:01:48+00:00 journal