Slash Boxes
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

use Perl Log In

Log In

[ Create a new account ]

jj (2990)

  (email not shown publicly)

Software development manager for OpusVL [], member of Birmingham Perl Mongers [] and maintainer of [].

Follow me on Twitter at [].

Journal of jj (2990)

Wednesday December 24, 2008
08:48 AM source code released

For anyone interested in how is built, I've today released the source code at

At the moment it's a bit 'rough and ready' - there's no documentation, no installer, etc - but at least it's now open source!

Happy Christmas!

Friday November 14, 2008
09:45 AM

E-commerce with Catalyst

Earlier this year my girlfriend and I decided to start our own business, Penny's Arcade, an online retail website to sell gifts, home accessories, and artwork.

I've spent the last couple of months developing the site,, using Catalyst, Handel, and OpenThought, and this week we went live!

This is the first serious project I've attempted with Catalyst, and I must say it's been quite a revelation. Compared to other tools I've used the speed of development was phenominal, and combined with a very simple method of deployment and configuration I can really appreciate now why it's so popular.

Aside from OpenThought which I've talked about before, the other key module used was Handel. Handel provides facilities to manage shopping carts and orders, and was very easy to extend to allow for our own custom fields and delivery calculations.

I'll be talking in more depth about the technical details at this year's London Perl Workshop, but the short version is that the site came in under budget and ahead of schedule, with Catalyst, Handel, and OpenThought taking much of the credit. Thanks to all the module authors who made it possible!

Sunday August 17, 2008
01:30 PM

YAPC::Europe 2008 photos

Just finished getting my photos online, they're at


Friday August 15, 2008
08:34 AM

Artistic License upheld in court

Just spotted this on the front page of the BBC News:

Friday December 21, 2007
11:06 AM updated for Perl 5.10

Following the Perl 5.10 release, I've now updated with the Perl 5.10.0 documentation.

The Perl 5.8.8 documentation is still available though, at

Thursday December 20, 2007
11:38 AM

I'm in yr Wired, plugging yr PM group!

Nice to see that Larry has great taste in T-shirts! (*)

And, as Barbie pointed out, it's very kind of Wired to even name check the software that ran the conference website and currently runs the website too ... Labyrinth :)

(*) If you don't recognise it, it's the Birmingham Perl Mongers T-shirt we gave out to attendees at YAPC::Europe 2006 :-)

Tuesday September 11, 2007
10:57 AM

pod2pdf 0.41 released

I've finally got pod2pdf (used to create the PDF files on updated for compatibility with the latest version of PDF::API2, and packaged up into a proper CPAN release.

It is available from or

Sunday September 02, 2007
06:29 AM

YAPC::Europe 2007 photos

Just finished uploading my photos from YAPC::Europe 2007 in Vienna, they're online now at
Tuesday April 17, 2007
03:22 PM

Ajax Perl syntax highlighting

I've put together a set of scripts to dynamically apply Perl syntax highlighting to code examples on web pages.

It uses Perl::Tidy to perform the highlighting, and the OpenThought Ajax library to run the requests asynchronously so that initial page load times will not be affected by the extra processing.

Files and examples are available from

Monday April 09, 2007
02:00 PM

XLSperl v0.3 released

As part of the Birmingham Perl Mongers World Tour, I recently gave my "Excel on the Command Line" talk to the Gloucester Linux User Group.

A few days later I received an email from one of the attendees who'd tried out the accompanying software, XLSperl (which lets you use Perl one-liners to process Microsoft Excel files), with a few suggestions.

So, after a few train journeys spent hacking code I've released a new version which has the following improvements:

  • The %F and @F variables (in autosplit mode) are tied, so modifying $F{A} also changes $F[0]
  • You can now create Excel files from XLSperl, using the new "XLSprint" command
  • XLSperl can now process plain text as well as Excel files (for easy conversion of text data into XLS format)

Source code and binaries for Linux x86, Windows, and Mac OS X (Intel) can be downloaded from