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perigrin (3495)

perigrin
  chrisNO@SPAMprather.org
http://chris.prather.org/
AOL IM: marceusx (Add Buddy, Send Message)

After Middle School Chris bounced through various high schools around the state of Florida for a bit. He ended up getting a BA (in English) from the University of Central Florida at about the time others his age were getting their MAs. His (now) wife, their child, and he went to Europe for a bit (there was a programming job in Scotland) and came back unemployed where upon he got offered a job in St. Paul. He moved on from that job after a few years to one where he was paid to do the things he previously did as a hobby. That sounds much more exciting than it really was. Really his life is based on two kids, two cats, and a bunny.

Journal of perigrin (3495)

Tuesday March 18, 2008
01:01 AM

Mixed Messages

So today was full of mixed messages. First O’Reilly sent out acceptance letters to speakers for OSCON. I did not get one. My two talks are still “under review”. My boss’ talk was accepted, and it’s on roughly the same topic (though a very different talk). Since OSCON was the only conference I could attend this year due to schedules and whatnot, I may be conference free this year. Which is sad cause I am really looking forward to traveling some and talking some.

Second, The Perl Foundation made it into the Google Summer of Code as a mentoring organization. And I am a (potential) mentor! I also am backing up my boss on being in charge of the Moose projects (if there are any), and will generally help pitch in where neccessary. This is good news cause I would really like to help new people discover Perl and Moose and the fun that I’m having. I’d also like to see fresh blood start building new and exciting toys that we can all play with!

If I get picked up to mentor I’m expected to be more visible and public with my praise and commentary. I will probably cross post to both my own blog and to use.perl journal. Something I shoudl really start doing more of (like this post! You’re soaking in it!).

Tuesday March 11, 2008
06:53 PM

(Minimal Perl)++

Several months ago now I made work buy me a copy of Minimal Perl because it looked like it would be useful for formalizing the writing of small one off scripts.

It is.

At work we have some database imports that we do from Excel Spreadsheets supplied by the client. This process is mostly a manual process (for now), and it requires converting to CSV, making sure everything is Latin-1 and creating some SQL and YAML for our application. When I started taking over this process I took the opportunity to use the tools I learned. I now have three or four 40 line scripts that start with such gems as

#!/usr/bin/env perl -nasF/\t|,/

and have 30- lines of END block. I cannot reccoment Minimal Perl enough if like me you started with Perl as an Application Language (mod_perl) and want to pick up a good style for doing the quick-and-dirty hacks in a not-so-quick-and-dirty way.

Wednesday February 13, 2008
07:40 PM

JSON::Any 1.16 or Why I Should Be in #london.pm

So first I saw this when I woke up this morning and checked my feeds. I muttered to myself that I’d need to patch JSON::Any soon and then a coworker pointed out this. All of which is to say:

JSON::Any 1.16 is heading to the CPAN mirrors as we speak. It includes Simon Wistow’s patch for supporting both versions of JSON::Any, as well as some minor documentation clean up and a tweak to the Makefile.PL logic so that you really have to work at it to install JSON::Any without a JSON package.

Hopefully this will make everything better.

(*) Apparently there was a rant/discussion about this on #london.pm this morning which lead to Simon Wistow’s patch and Acme’s Release … all of which I sadly missed until after the fact.

Sunday January 27, 2008
04:39 PM

Cleaning house hoping visitors come

So the Frozen Perl Workshop is coming up in a little less than three weeks. Since I’ve been responsible for The Open Guide to the Twin Cities for the last two years I thought I’d go about trying to clean it up and get it running nicely for people commig to the workshop. First was making sure everything was running after the recent change in hosting. We’re now running on a modern exciting setup of nginx and lighttpd (I’ll go into details on that later and possibly elsewhere).

Currently the Guide is low on content around the McNamara Alumni Center but I hope that in the next three weeks I can expand the coverage there. If anybody has the time, energy, and desire to help out please feel free.

If you have no idea what OpenGuides is. “OpenGuides™ is a network of free, community-maintained wiki guidebooks to places around the world. Anyone is free to contribute, whether it’s by writing new articles or editing the articles that we already have.” — OpenGuides Website

Thursday December 20, 2007
12:40 PM

JSON::Any 1.14 (Coping with JSON/JSON::XS 2.0)

So as Ovid recently mentioned JSON (and JSON::XS) recently update themselves to support a common API. While admirable that JSON.pm will now use JSON::XS behind the scenes when possible … they both broke backwards compatability without warning or notice*.

This post however is not to bitch about spilt milk, it is to annouce that JSON::Any 1.14 is winging its way to CPAN and has 100% backwards compat with the old JSON::Any interfaces and so should “just work”. Note that currently 1.14 only supports 2.0+ of JSON/JSON::XS … if this turns out to be not enough I’ll add in the logic to detect which version of JSON is installed and do the right thing but I wanted to get something out there now.

(*) Now I did get an email after the fact stating that this was gonna happen. But this was two days after I got the first failure from cpantesters.

Tuesday October 09, 2007
09:17 PM

New JSON::Any 1.09

So I’ve just released JSON::Any 1.09. It is heading down the tubes to your local CPAN mirror now. The big change over 1.08 is better unicode support. Yuval Kogman has added support so that … well here’s the pod explaining it:

The one parameter that is universally supported (to the extent that is supported by the underlying JSON modules) is C<utf8>. When this parameter is enabled all resulting JSON will be marked as unicode, and all unicode strings in the input data structure will be preserved as such.

Since I only speak a language that is ASCII compatible I’m happy someone else took up the gauntlet for UTF8 isims.

Update: This will break compatibility with 5.6.*, let me know if this is a stopper for you and something can be worked out.

Monday August 13, 2007
10:28 PM

Power to the People

We had lights for all of 5 out of the last 66 hours (and yes it is out again).

Storms with 70mph winds blew through here at 4am Saturday night, wreaking havoc and throwing 100K+ people in the cities into darkness. Since our line only holds about 50 people (despite being in teh center of the city!) we were last on the list to get repaired. They fixed it this evening early enough for us to clean out the sodden fridge, and the now-thawed freezer and fix a meager meal of what we had been able to save.

We were just finishing dinner as the news was reporting of a second storm blowing through the area. My wife sent me out to move her car out of Hail range, and I was waling back in from the garage when POP, sizzle ... the transformer blew out (with pretty green sparks).

I sit here again in the dark, wondering if I will have power tomorrow. *sigh*

Also: Vonage doesn't work without electricity.

UPDATE: after 81 hours we have electricity again.

Thursday August 09, 2007
04:50 AM

Summer release causing a Chaotic Schedule

I had made a personal promise that I would attempt to blog more this summer. Which failed miserably but at least this time I have a reasonable excuse. I sit here at 4:45 am local time having just done the last of my "shift" of feedings for Eoin Fionn Prather, who arrived home from the hospital yesterday, only 55 days after he was born (premature).

This is mostly a blatant excuse to share my joy with others, and to explain why I will be on a chaotic and random schedule if you are trying to find me.

Friday July 13, 2007
02:34 PM

Looking for a few good books...

[Note: For context, my mom works in a library in North Georgia. ]

Chris,

Can you send me the names of some good Science Fictions Authors, other than the popular ones such as Robert Jordan? Susie’s looking for authors to add to the collections at the library.

Thanks,

Mom

Actually there was a series of books they published when we first moved to London that was brilliant:

My roomate and I would buy three or four of these when we’d run out of material while we were living there and then share them. Any of the authors of those books would be worthy, the ones I remember being particularly good were Sam Delany, Greg Bear, Brian Aldiss, JG Ballard, Theodore Sturgeon, and James Blish. In the fantasy section Hope Mirrlees and George RR. Martin. Fantasy books I liked not included in that series anything by Neil Gaiman. Ellen Datlow and Terri Wyndling have a series of collections they’ve edited together that have major SF&F writers re-telling fairy tales which is very well done (I have Black Heart, Ivory Bones). I’d point out Terry Prachett if I didn’t think he fell into the obvious ones (like Robert Jordan). If you can swing Graphic Novels into the mix as well Alan Moore would fit into this category and is completely brilliant (Watchmen, League of Extrodinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta …).

Also they’re about to release a new move based off Richard Mathesons: I am Legend. and Rodger Zelany’s Lord of Light is in my pile of books to give to Mark actually since I think he’d love it.

I could probably be a librarian for a SF&F library section in and of itself :)

Who did I miss?

UPDATE: Susie replied directly to me:

Thank you so much for the great list of authors for me to wade through. I know nothing about Sci-Fi/Fantasy other than the well-knowns like Jordan, Tolkien etc. Any time you read a great book that you recommend please feel free to let us know. We’ve officially given you the position (sadly, unpaying) of Sci-Fi/Fantasy Advisor for UCPL.

I have to say I'm happy to have a large list of authors I haven't even heard of (and a few I have) in the comments below. A few that my former roomate in london brought up that I haven't seen mentioned below China Mieville, C.S. Friedman, William Gibson, and Kim Stanley Robertson.

Friday July 06, 2007
02:55 PM

Macports and GD

So I run perl from Macports because except for gentoo my experience with system perls has been ... poor. This tends to lead to fun when installing non-standard external libraries and the perl modules that love^Wwrap them.

Today was GD in which I found http://blog.joel.co.uk/index.php?itemid=299 invaluable.

I leave this as a pointer for others. Also a tip, when trying to install pdflib_lite ... it helps if you have a shared perl (libperl).