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geoff (2013)

  {geoff} {at} {}

see [] for personal information, links to presentations, GPG key, and so on.

Journal of geoff (2013)

Tuesday March 28, 2006
01:00 PM

just another typical day

it's been a while since I've used POE, but lately I've been reminded of this bit from it's documentation, which I think about constantly for some reason

POE is event driven. Wait. What does that mean? To draw a somewhat relevant analogy... For most geeks, life is event driven. Most of the day is spent waiting for something interesting to happen.

Ponder a friday evening. We're talking about a geek here so not much is going on. Just bad american tv. (is there any other kind of american tv?) Delivery Pizza arrives. This causes the geek to scramble for cash, pay the delivery man, and then hungrily devour pizza. When the pizza is gone, the geek resumes watching tv.

The arrival of the pizza is an event. This causes a Pizza Arrival state, the collection of actions including paying for the pizza and eating it. When the Pizza Arrival state ends, the geek goes back to a passive wait state, waiting for the next event in his/her life.

while I'm a fairly proactive coder, choosing to fill my idle times with yet more constructive coding, the past few weeks have felt remarkably event driven... in a bad way.

Monday February 27, 2006
08:52 AM

on mac worms

so, I'm reading the wall street journal this morning and the main story in the marketplace section begins like this

"Users of Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh computers have long enjoyed the technology equivalent of a safe neighborhood, where the viruses and security nuisances that bedevil far more common Windows PCs are practically nonexistent."

not being a current mac (or windows) user, I found this statement kinda funny - does nobody but me remember the early days of mac proliferation in academia where viruses were everywhere? for me, it was late high school and all through college, and disk after disk was hit with one virus or another, and one paper after another lost and needed to be rewritten, so eventually you needed to make space for one anti-virus program after another to combat it all (and remember, you needed to carry around your own boot and software disks, since only one mac in the lab had a hard drive, but the little ambulance icons were cute), and disks were $5.00 and that was a lot of money to a college student...

anyway, for the sake of mac users everywhere, I'm glad to hear that recent mac users haven't been plagued with these problems. or maybe college was a lot longer ago than it feels...

Thursday February 02, 2006
11:53 AM


just taking a moment to (re)state something the savvy folks in the perl world already know - Devel::Cover rocks.

thanks paul, for all you do to make our coding lives that much better.
Tuesday September 27, 2005
06:49 PM

like mark

speaking of open source being a friendly and helpful place, I can't help pointing this out and stating for the record how much we all still stand to learn from mark.
09:34 AM

on users

so, I just went a few rounds with a user getting WebService-CaptchasDotNet working while running in taint mode. not the world's most important module, but something that is apparently being used and needing fixing.

as it turns out, the user didn't know much about perl - didn't know about PREFIX or use lib to manage local installs on a hosted machine, for example - so I gave him a few pointers along the way, in addition to fixing my module so it worked for him. in truth, I really didn't do much, and I was kinda embarrassed that it took two iterations to fix the problem. but it's all in a day's work for most of us here in the open source world, right?

>>0.05 just uploaded to CPAN, and should appear around the world tomorrow.
>>sorry it took so much effort to get this working for you...
> Please, no apologies. Thank you so much, you've been more responsive and
> helpful that I ever imagined.

I think I'm a little sad that the default user state is that they think they'll be alone when using code from CPAN or other open source projects.

Tuesday August 23, 2005
09:34 AM

method call clarity

ok, so every shop has style guidelines, and some of those style preferences differ from my own, and I'm perfectly fine with that - if the team wants 4 spaces but I'm a two-spacer, or if they don't care that they have some lines that are 172 characters, fine. but this one just doesn't make any sense to me:

all method/function calls end in () for 'clarity'

now, for function calls like this

  my $foo = bar();

I think it makes sense, since the definition of bar() might get shuffled in larger codebases so just using the bareword might fail to compile someday.

for method calls, however, I'm completely unconvinced. I don't see how

  my $foo = $obj->bar;

is any less clear than

  my $foo = $obj->bar();

but perl has lots of little easter eggs that even the best of us don't know, so I ask: in this case can


ever mean anything different than


? and I don't mean for cases where you need to pass in arguments :) and I don't mean cases where () is required and tricky, like

  my $foo = $cv->();

I mean, in all seriousness, exactly how does () add clarity to a method call? what else could you possibly expect ->bar to represent?

maybe it's the difference between




? if so, I don't buy it :)

Thursday August 04, 2005
12:10 PM

extending rss

so I end up talking to don macaskill last night about an idea that chris and I bounced around a few months ago...

rss ought to include some official tag for related links, both on a global level and a per-item level. the idea stemmed from standard blogs that have "people I'm reading" links in their page that need to be scraped by hand by feed aggregators - everyone would be far better off if those kind of links were official elements in the feed itself... or so our theory goes.
Tuesday August 02, 2005
07:08 PM

for the record

overheard at oscon...

php is the country music of the programming world

it was said among a group of significant php figures and they didn't take offense, so you shouldn't either :)
Tuesday July 12, 2005
02:03 PM

Apache-Test support expands again

well, it's just baby steps at this point, but I added Apache::TestConfigParrot and Apache::TestRunParrot to Apache-Test yesterday. what this means is that if you add


to your tests you're now good to go. well, so long as bar.pir spits out TAP.

for the moment this is only really useful for testing mod_parrot itself, but who knows...

Wednesday June 15, 2005
07:22 AM

register early, register often

early bird registration for this year's OSCon ends soon, so you only have a few days left to register for my tutorial, Test-Driven Apache Module Development, on the cheap.

I know it sounds dry, but it's really a good tutorial, and probably essential if you do any kind of Apache development. do you write libraries based on the mod_perl API? Apache C modules? even CGI scripts or (gasp) PHP? you'll learn how to test all of these with Apache-Test using the same Test::More that you already love.

did I mention there's chocolate involved?