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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • When I was in the QA department at Sequent, I was having trouble getting consistent trouble tickets from the developers and the few end users we had. So I wrote a little "mailbug" tool that collected relevant data and mailed it to a fixed address on the central server, then extracted that information into a database.

    When they shipped the product to the first alpha customers, they included that tool for feedback. And it stayed in through production. As far as I can tell, my little quick few-dozen line shell script continued life through the end of the Sequent product (and company).

    And then there was the time that I noticed that there was no "pretty printer" for Emacs Lisp data forms. So I hacked one out, and posted it to the mailling list equivalent of the CPAN for little Emacs hacks. A year later, I got email from RMS asking for permission to include pp.el into the core distro. A year after that, when I invoked "M-x gnus" for the first time, I saw "Loading pp.el...", and gasped. My little hack had come full circle.

    Be careful what little hack you write... it may persist to the end of time. {grin}

    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge