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Phred (5358)


Fred is a Perl and PostgreSQL geek. He has made some very small contributions to a few cpan modules and mod_perl.

Journal of Phred (5358)

Monday November 10, 2008
02:55 PM

Module::Install paranoia

==> Auto-install the 3 mandatory module(s) form CPAN? [y] n

==> The module(s) are mandatory! Really skip? [n] y

If I type 'n', do I really need to be reminded again??

Thursday October 09, 2008
04:43 AM

Anticlimactic Releases

I've been working on a system that requires exceptionally high uptime. As such, making major releases takes a couple weeks of testing and preparation. I usually end up doing these releases at 2 am; they are fully automated and things almost always go off without a hitch.

It is somewhat anticlimactic though - there is a 30 second service interruption while perlbal and mod_perl shut down, the postgresql database is upgraded in place, and then perlbal and mod_perl start up again. So all of my work is done upfront; reminds me of the scene from the movie "Lost in Space" where the Jupiter One is ready to launch, and the pilot says "And the monkey pushes the button."

Sunday October 05, 2008
07:38 PM

Perl fails to build on latest linux kernel headers

I'm still tracking down the details, but it appears that recent versions of the linux kernel headers fail to include /usr/include/asm/page.h. The lack of that file cause my perl 5.8.8 build to fail, SysV.xs (or something similar) was including that header file. For now I'm going with the 2.6.17 headers and the 2.6.22 kernel (installed via Gentoo).

Thursday August 21, 2008
04:18 AM

Where can I find a Ruby hacker? The Beast is winning.

Dear LazyPerl,

I had responsibility for a ROR (Ruby on Rails) forum called Beast land squarely in my lap today. Mission critical resource, of course. The box it was being hosted on was upgraded to ruby 1.87, which has some non-backwards compatible upgrades.

Needless to say, the Beast application was not happy, and users cannot post to the forum. Beast 1, Phred 0. The Beast website is also offline. Beast 2, Phred 0.

Do you know a Ruby contractor hacker that can help me even the score? Email fred at redhotpenguin dot com.

Tuesday July 08, 2008
02:28 PM

mod_perl Users Survey

Reposted from the mod_perl user list, original posting by Adam Prime

At the impromptu mod_perl BOF at YAPC::NA, Fred Moyer and myself hacked together a short mod_perl survey to help identify the current needs of mod_perl users. It was inspired by the Perl survey done last year by Kirrily Robert. ( If you read dev@ and already filled this out, please don't do it again.

The link is here:

The survey seeks to attain these goals:

1) Determine the current breakdown of mod_perl users in terms of what versions, modules, and platforms mod_perl users are using.

2) Give mod_perl users a chance to provide feedback to the development team on where they think mod_perl development should be headed.

Please take a few minutes and fill it out. Neither of us are statisticians, and there are plenty of questions that haven't been asked, but we only get 10 questions for free with survey monkey, so we've done what we could with our non-existant resources.



Friday June 27, 2008
04:17 PM

Code for yourself, or for your users?

Allow me to make a generalization and ask a question at the same time. When you write your code, do you write it for yourself, or for someone who might use the code? Do you try to make your code as clever as possible, or as simple as possible?

At YAPC::NA 2008, Schwern had a great talk on skimmable code. Simple code frees up the programmer's cognitive resources to concentrate on the business logic, not on reading the code. One could argue "well, you're just not smart enough to understand my code". That's a valid answer, but it is more likely that I don't have the time to spend deciphering your code. I believe that I'm a reasonably intelligent person. But also a busy person, and it's rare enough that I get the time to write my own code and focus.

I'm starting to believe more and more that writing simple code is hard, and writing complex code is easy. Simple code is easy for your users to read, and it is easy for you to read as well. Most often, we are the biggest users of our own code. Damian had a nice anecdote in PBP about watching out for the person who has to look at your code six months after it has been touched. Most often, that user is you, so be kind to yourself and code for the inner user in you!

Monday June 16, 2008
04:28 PM

Gave my YAPC::NA 2008 talk today

I gave my YAPC::NA 2008 talk today, Handling the Ball of Mud. The auditorium was big, and the screen was definitely the biggest I have ever given a talk on. I was a bit nervous and went over a couple minutes, but I think it went fairly well

Saw a couple of other great talks. Schwern's Skimmable Code: Fast to Read, Fast to Change had some good insights on "Get in, do your thing, and get out" and "Narrow Focus", and how to use those mantras in writing easy to maintain code.

Ricardo Signes' haunted house themed talk Email Hates the Living! was a very entertaining look at the oddities of the various email RFCs.

tags: yapcna2008

Friday May 30, 2008
02:24 PM

Fedora Core 9 installs Perl 5.10.0 but forgets...

CPAN :) Fortunately 'yum install perl-CPAN' takes care of that little detail.

Tuesday May 27, 2008
10:35 AM

Simple design, simple code

It is somewhat serendipitous how when the right design falls into place, the code gets really simple and refactoring becomes a matter of removing the noise and leaving the signal.

Wednesday May 21, 2008
01:25 PM

Virtualization for open source development?

I've been doing more mod_perl hacking of late, and have been running into the issue of diagnosing problems on different operating systems.

Parallels has basically failed me at this point. I paid $99 for it initially, then they released 3.0 a few months later and wanted to charge me another $99 to upgrade. Shortly after, my 2.x version started acting wonky, taking upwards of 10 minutes to start virtual machines, eating up all cpu in the process.

I called up VMWare a week ago and asked them if they had any discounts for open source developers using VMWare to do open source development. The person I talked to didn't really understand what I was asking for, so it didn't pan out. I've download a trial version of Fusion, and it has been working great.

So does anyone know of deals with virtualization environments for open source developers? I can't promise that I would use the virtual machine code _only_ for open source development, but that is really what is driving my needs right now.