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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Saturday November 29, 2008
05:46 PM

LWP 2008

It Was LWP::2008 today. A good meeting, some nice talks, a few new modules to try and a few "hello"s to friends old and new.

Alas I had to dash back to the sticks rather than stay for the free beer - I hope those who did stay enjoyed/are enjoying themselves.

Maybe I'll give a Perl talk one of these days, the short lived doesn't count as a serious venue (yet...).

Tuesday November 25, 2008
07:33 AM

Blogging Engine

I run my personal blog using blosxom. It works and I'm mostly happy with it. After a long period of stagnation there is some work on the tool, which is good.

I recently tried the new revised version and it didn't like my blog's "flavour" data. I had a look at the code and I didn't like it - well not enough to try and fix it.

I can keep my old Blosxom install which does work perfectly well. I could try something else (e.g. Bryar) - but there are not that many light-weight non database blogs about, or I could write my own.

I'm really tempted to write my own, not as a fork of Blosxom, rather a fresh application that can use the same filesystem data, similar templates and possibly a few extra features. My plan would be to create a OO module with a very simple wrapper app that could be a mod_Perl module or CGI script.

Thursday October 30, 2008
05:36 PM


It's been a while since I've written anything here. I've been awfully busy on a project at work and things at home haven't been much easier either. Overall it's mostly "good" busy but it doesn't half take it out of you.

The Quality project has been very interesting, I've managed to squeeze in some "paid" Perl/Apache work rather than my usual non-work and therefore non-paid Perl development. I've done lots and lots of ABAP, in a very cool an interesting way, it's been the best development project I've done for work in a long time.

I'm not out of the woods yet, it's all got to go in and I've got lots of stuff to do at home and in parallel at work but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Tuesday August 19, 2008
09:49 AM

Windows Hate

I'm in the middle of a "Quality Management" project at work for the factory. I've done some Perl code already and it's clean and good. I've done some SAP ABAP code and it's as clean as ABAP gets and it's as good as it gets. I'm actually happy with the evil shell script I had to hack to make the Perl and SAP bits talk.

The final big problem is getting our pumps to download their test data directly into the SAP QM system. The pumps speak a proprietary line orientated language over RS232 (print and read). Alas I have to make this all work on Windows client systems which I try to avoid these days and I'm short on time...

Life would be so much easier on Linux or Unix...

Wednesday July 09, 2008
04:16 PM

Indirect Dependencies in META.yml?

Recently tests for XML::RSS::Tools failed because one of the test modules did not play well with another module it required for the test, neither are part of my module.

During the debugging phase one the kind testers suggested adding indirect dependencies as well as direct dependencies to my META.yml/Build.PM/Makefile.PL files. Now that DrHyde has the CPAN dependencies service up and running it's actually easy to do this. It creates more work for the module maintainer but in theory it helps the testers to figure out what is going wrong at times, because of the apparently better statistics the test tools generate as a result of the extended dependencies.

Sunday July 06, 2008
08:45 AM

Test Failures

I'm getting some interesting test failures in my most recent revision of XML::RSS::Tools. Version 0.30 had some stupid errors in that I quickly fixed with version 0.31, I'm still getting some test failures but I can't replicate the problem.

I don't know if it's a bug in my code, my test or Test::Warn. Having more systems to help won't help per se (thanks for the previous offers) I need to figure out what is different about Perl 5.10.0 that works and Perl 5.10.0 that doesn't - the modules used in the tests even look the same...

Thursday June 26, 2008
03:29 AM

Perl 5.6.x

I maintain a few modules. Most of them are simple but one relies on quite a complex stack of other modules, being essentially a wrapper module.

My home systems are running Perl 5.10.0 as that's what comes with Debian Lenny. Yesterday I thought it best to try and create environments with Perl 5.8.8 and 5.6.2 on them so I could test the code on older Perls. I can not get the same level of coverage that CPANTester provide but I can weed out the worst bugs in advance.

Using VirtualBox I installed some older system inside a VM container and tried stuff out. Perl 5.6.1 era systems are a nightmare, not only is Perl old, but all the supporting libraries are old and the Perl modules my module is dependent on will not install because the overall antiquity of the system.

If you had an older system (RedHat 7 era) box that has been patched over the years it's possible to get partially there as some elements of the dependency stack are present, though at older levels. On a new system it's almost impossible to install anything as the more recent versions demand newer libraries that just aren't there...

Is it worth trying to support Perl 5.6.x...?

Thursday June 19, 2008
09:27 AM

Perl on Windows (again)...

A very long time ago I use to be a Happy Windows user. Then I found Unix and for a very long time I was an unhappy Windows user. Except at work were I'm forced to use Windows as my desktop system, I don't really use Windows any more - it's simply a window manager for PuTTY or the SAP GUI.

I've just spent the past 3 hours trying to get a version of Perl onto Windows from which I can then install SAP::Rfc so I can talk to the SAP systems at work. I've tried Cygwin Perl, Stwarbery Perl and two versions of ActiveState Perl. Eventually I found a combination of AS Perl 5.8.8 and a pre-compiled binary of SAP::Rfc that worked and after some messing I got a test to work.

I know it's not Perl's fault that Windows is so rubbish, but developing/testing Perl code on Windows is a miserable experience when compared with pretty much anywhere else...

Thursday May 29, 2008
05:52 AM

Life, or lack thereof

Life is complicated at the moment, moving home, lots of changes at work, which means I'll miss the Tech meet and my next LUG meeting. Once the dust settles and BT get's of their lazy arse and we have phone and therefore ADSL at home things should be a lot better.

I know have to think ABAP for another "urgent" fix for the SAP system, before I start the really interesting project which is a nice new bespoke SAP interface with our pumps.

Wednesday April 30, 2008
04:25 PM

We are Hiring (again)

We are hiring. We have a number of open positions at work, for both contractors and permanent staff.

I know SAP R/3 ABAP development is a bit of an arcane skill but the number of quality applicants hasn't been great so far. I don't know where people learnt to write CVs but I don't want 12 pages of waffle or to know you worked at McD's when you were at school. Two to three pages is plenty and please list skills with some idea of how you rank them, copying out the entire contents of a SAP marketing brochure is not helpful...

I don't like dealing with recruitment, it's slow tedious and quite frustrating. The agents only make things worse, there are times I wonder how we'll ever find anyone...

On the bright side there does seem to be a larger number of Perl/Linux positions in the area should I decide to jump ships!