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jmerelo (3498)

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Just another Perl hacker who happens to work at the University of Granada

Journal of jmerelo (3498)

Wednesday August 05, 2009
03:46 AM

Feijoadic computation at the YAPC::EU 2009 conference

I stopped writing in this journal some 7 years ago, after a spell that lasted a couple of months around my attendance to the YAPC::EU 2002 conference, so I guess it's only fair to resume this after attending (briefly too) the YAPC::EU 2009 conference in Lisbon. I tried to explain evolutionary computation by using the metaphor of cooking, in this case, since we were in Portugal, feijoadas. You can download the presentation with embedded videos (most of the interesting stuff is in the notes, including the attribution of the CC pictures I have used), or check out the corrected version of the paper. You can also download the recipe for Camel Jerky Feijoada in the Chef language I used in the presentation. If you have trouble with the videos, or want to jump to them directly, here is a link to the multiobjective feijoadic computing demo that uses Perl/Tk and here's the maximally rectangled spot demo. All done with the latest version of Algorithm::Evolutionary. Also pictures taken during the talk. And that's it. Enjoy!
Tuesday November 19, 2002
05:18 PM

Outing of the Perl community in Spain

During the spanish meeting of Linux users and user groups, Congreso Hispalinux, there was a meeting of the perl users, perl-es. We decided to take a few actions to become more visible in the country and outside; the visibility of the comunity has nothing to do with the enthusiasm and level of skills we have. One of the things we have started to do is to create a perl-es weblog (you probably don't understand it, but you can see the camels), hosted at Barrapunto, the spanish free software collaborative log.Very soon, common software projects (Es::* modules) will follow, wiki for common work on documentation, translations of books (camel book, llama book, cookbook, which for obscure reasons are not translated into spanish), and also CVS server. In some time, we expect to have a For the time being, we'll piggyback on existing free software meetings to have our own stuff. The python-es community is already getting a bit envious of us...
Thursday October 24, 2002
02:51 PM

Open source (and linux) presentation programs?

I have been checking out several open source packages for presentation. I have been using Star Office so far, and am mostly happy with it (although it's kind of slow): it's got everything but the kitchen sink, and I can develop presentations in my Linux box and show them in a WinXX laptop. However, I'm about to give a presentation in a HispaLinux conference, and have prepared a RH 8.0 laptop. I can still use OpenOffice, which comes with it, but I would like to try something new. So far, I have tested:
  • PerlPoint: does not seem to be very powerful. Generates HTML. Similar in syntax to POD.
  • AxPoint: generates PDF, used PDF transitions, portable (can be seen with Acrobat reader, xpdf is discouraged), but not very powerful: placing graphics seems hard to do, no support for slide templates... for a small, straighforward presentation, that might be it.
  • MagicPoint: a bit more powerful, peculiar syntax, can embed graphics and stuff, uses its own presentation program, and can generate HTML or (I think) PDF.

Out There (tm) there seem to be XML based programs, SliTex, and other stuff.

What do you think? Which package is the best? Which one do you use?

Saturday October 19, 2002
02:35 AM

Counting potatoes and measuring woodies

Yesterday, during a regional conference on free software, I attended a talk by Jesús González-Barahona on "Measuring Woody". This talk hasn't been published yet (AFAIK), so I'll have to point to previous versions of his project on counting the number of lines of code in the Debian distros. The previous version showed that Perl is 5th among Debian languages by number of lines, amounting to 2.41% of the lines. The same, more or less, goes for Debian 3.0, AFAIR. It's more than those other languages, but less than LISP (xemacs libraries rule) and shell (lots of installation scripts).

Jesús is looking for collaborators, but I was thinking about something else: applying his methods and scripts to CPAN, and measure results by namespaces, languages (well, only Perl and C here (and maybe XML) here), maybe even authors. The good thing is that lotsa more information is available on CPAN than in debian packages: authors, dates... anybody up to the task?

It would complement nicely the Perl at a glance site, at least

Monday October 14, 2002
01:06 PM

RSS feed?

RSS feed does not seem to work. I have tried to download using wget "" but it returns a normal HTML page, not the RSS feed. Is anybody using it?
10:03 AM

Parables and viability

This comes from blogdex, so you might have seen it already. A handful of programming languages sit down by a pond to chitchat about their troubles and fates: it's the parable of the languages. Perl talks, how could it be otherways, about regexps.

On the other hand, somebody has done an study on the viability of programming languages, defining it as the ratio of freshmeat entries to sourceforge projects, and the winner is... you guessed it, Modula. Perl is second, ratio 1.75, that is, 1.75 projects started for each one finished and published in Freshmeat. But, waitaminute, those Modula crooks are cheating! They were advised about this study, and chose not to publish their projects in SourceForge (4 projects in fm for each one in sf)... ah, the rascals!

Wednesday October 09, 2002
10:37 AM

Quantum::Superpositions come alive!

After repeating several times the mantra of "in parallel universes, in constant time" during Damian Conway's lecture on Quantum::Superpositions, you end up believing it. That must have happened to an australian mathematician called Tien Kieu, who has managed to prove that non-computable problems might be solved using quantum mechanics properties. Literally, the news release says:

Kieu believes he has solved both problems. With quantum mechanics, he says he can use a "quantum algorithm" to search through an infinite number of potential solutions to Hilbert's proposed equation and perform the search in a finite period of time. In other words, he can look at every possible solution and be done before dinner!

In parallel universes, in constant time! Who can ask for more?

Once again, Perl is a harbinger of worlds to come!

Wednesday September 25, 2002
11:06 AM

YAPC::Europe 2002 evolutionary computation tutorial online

After spell-checking and fixing problems with the transformation from docbook to anything else, I have posted the text my YAPC::Europe 2002 tutorial online at sourceforge and my own server (PDF and docbook source included). Feedback is welcome.
Monday September 23, 2002
04:04 AM

YAPC slides online

I just posted my YAPC::Europe slides online, from my "Evolutionary Computation in Perl" presentation. Since the conversion to HTML is kind of lossy, you can also download the original StarOffice file.
01:12 AM out! and A::E 0.51

After a small and fast campaign, and making Dave Cross aware of the thing, he agreed to remove that group from the list.

Other than that, error reports for Algorithm::Evolutionary are starting to come by. I already uploaded a new version, hope this new one fix them