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Ranguard (1858)

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Journal of Ranguard (1858)

Monday May 01, 2006
06:26 AM

Paid for code doesn't last long...

Once a year or so I go and have a look at the old websites I used to work on, interested in how they are doing and what's changed. Unfortunatly I've found that the quality of them more often than not seems to have dropped.

Most seem to have switched away from being Perl and are now asp or php, design seems to be a mimumal and it's very easy to see they are just there to make as much money as possible, rather than to give as good a service as possible (I like to think if you do the latter then you get the former).

One site which did Theatre reviews and Tickets, may still have the quality of review content (I can't really tell), but everything else has been farmed out, the tickets are through a branded version of another site, there is merchandise available through another site, and worse yet they're offering 'dating' links through to another site. To top is all off there is no consistency in the navigation as you are sent off to these other sites, and they've got little flashing 'new' tags next to the ticket section - which has ALWAYS been there.

We ( IRC) then started talking about code, and how much of the code we've written is probably not used any more.

Nicholas then made an interesting point:

- I suspect that almost all the code I wrote between 1999 and 2003 has gone that way (not being used/deleted)

- sorry, almost all the *paid-for* code

And that's the same for me - although for me it's between 1996 and 2001 - the only code still around and in action is that code which I did in my personal time or which the company I was at allowed me to open source. I guess the main difference is that paid for code tends to be very domain (e.g. company/project) specific where as code which gets open sourced is more generic.

I think it's just interesting that paid for code doesn't last as long as open source code. I do wonder what would have happened if I was a PHP programmer, or an ASP programmer - would it have made any difference ?

Friday December 09, 2005
12:46 PM

Businesses that are too secure!

So it's that time of year again where the internet steps in to make my life a whole lot easier - Xmas shopping, and on the whole it just works, you find stuff and you give your credit card details, and it gets delivered

Now this year I wanted to buy something for my brother, so used one of those price comparison sites (which are usually rubbish as you often can't order by price and more!), and found the store I wanted to order from. I go through the whole register process and then go to pay.

After entering all my credit card details (using a HSBC payment system) I get told that my card has been rejected and to contact the company, so the next day this is what I do. My phone call is answered by a very nice person who tries to be as helpful as possible, but tells me they don't have access to why my card was rejected, but that maybe it was the way I put my address in. I said ok, could I just pay over the phone.. and was told they don't accept payment except on the website!

I'm sorry... but if I was running a company I'd take payment in any way I could... I asked why and was told it was to help prevent credit card fraud! - as the person on the phone was so nice I gave their website another try, but my card was rejected again

I then went to a different company who would take my money, my order arrived 2 days later.

Moral for businesses... let people give you money!

Sunday November 27, 2005
04:24 AM

LPW 2005

Another London Perl Work shop survived and I was very impressed - I had been sligtly worried that the beginner track wasn't going to be interesting enough over all, but most of the talks we great or at least good.

Leon, Ben and I went for lunch, only to find we had 5 mins to eat it when it arrived as we had to be back on time for the afternoon talks as the presenter was using my laptop!

Leon and my talk about seemed to go down well, I've put up a PDF version if anyone want's it.

MJD was the talk after us - I now understand what all the fuss was about - he's a great speaker - covering the basics and even as someone who thinks of themselves as a seasoned programmer I learnt a huge amount

A few of us (probably about 80 or so - decanted to the pub and then after Fotangos money ran out moved on for food - Sea Urchin is a new one for me, and not something I'll rush out to try again - but interesting none the less :)

Due to popular demand Leon and I will be opening up the code for MighTyV in a little while - we need to do a bit of code cleanup before then

Saturday September 03, 2005
05:52 AM

YAPC::EU 2005

There have been many journal posting about the talks (acme) so I shan't bother going into details. The conference was great - very well organised, have a lot to live up to. I really liked the dinner, to which everyone was invited, but this maybe hard to do in the UK, just because of the cost.

I've talked to people about all sorts of things; Multilingual website design, how crap SOAP is in general, someone would like authentication adding to SOAP::Lite::Simple, but from what I understand it's not supported in SOAP::Lite, although Jesse said it was possible, you have to do some very nasty hacks to implement it. I've learned about xsh which allows you to walk an valid *ML document as if it was a directory structure. I also talked to Paul (pjcj) about integrating Devel::Cover with Test::Nightly.

One of the things I like about conferences is having a peak at what apps other people are using, I started when a geek friend of mine first got his iBook and didn't know what apps to install. There are so many out there, but actually having someone recommend 'cool' apps is much easier than hunting for stuff - especially when you're not searching for something specific. The best were Adium, an IM client and Sogudi - a Safari plugin for short cuts to search results.

Modules to checkout if you are not aware of them: SVK and Debug-ebug, Debug-ebug-HTTP were the best modules, and RunApp is interesting, Devel::Cover is cool, oh and if you are a CPAN author you need to check out - turn those red's green! (well if you can).

The Auction was great - I managed to spend the Euros I wanted to donate on stuff; 50 Euros for acme's ability to wear orange at next years YAPC and 50 Euros on a signed conference cap - not sure what I'll do with that but as they say "it's all for a good cause" and I didn't spend 500 Euros on a T-shirt - which my wife was very happy about.

So.. see you in Birmingham 2007 - if not before!

Sunday July 24, 2005
03:45 AM


I realeased SOAP::Lite::Simple version 1 last night, I'd be really interested if anyone has feedback. I think that's one of the hardest things about writing modules is you put them on CPAN and don't know if anyone is going to use it. My main problem is I don't know of any open .NET or 'other' web services I can check against in my tests.
Sunday January 23, 2005
09:02 AM


Just uploaded Mac::Glue::Apps::AddressBookExport to CPAN, it uses Mac::Glue, Text::vCard and Template Toolkit to generate webpages from your Apple Address Book.

Next project is to put together a little site for other Mac::Glue scripts, I've seen several around but there isn't a dedicated site for them.

Sunday December 12, 2004
08:40 AM

London Perl Workshop

First off, I'd like to thank all those in organising the LPW, it was great! I got there for about 9:30, wondered round talking to various people. Dave Green did a really cool opening speach - with a song as promised.

It was good to see so many people I didn't recognise as well as so many I did. The word was obviously spread in the right places, I wonder what effect it will have on the London perl comunity and perl in London Companies.

The talk times seemed to work well, 30 mins for the learner track and 45 for the advanced. Enough to give you a taster and pointers where to look for more information.

I did my talk in the afternoon Pages, results and caching I was a bit nervious, this being my first talk to such a large group of people. I realised after (heignsight being such a wonderful thing) that I should have said I was just covering some aspects of the modules I covered and people should read the docs to find out more. I didn't have any questions asked when I asked, I don't know if this was because I explained it so clearly, or people didn't have a clue what I was talking about :)!

I guess I'll see how bad it was when the video comes out!

It did spark a few conversations after the talk, so at least two people were listening!

There was then much drinking, a dodgy Chinese and more drinking.

I'm of for Xmas hols on Tuesday so have a great Christmas (or "Holiday Season" if thats your thing) and a fantstic New Year

Saturday March 27, 2004
12:49 PM

divs and stylesheets

I just put together a site for my grans archive Jocelyn Herbert it's the first time I've actually bother to try using div's and style sheets propperly and it was easier than I thought. Still have more to learn - like how to float a div below all other content - but it definatly makes putting a site togeter easier.
Friday November 28, 2003
03:33 AM

LPM Technical meet

Last night was the final technical meeting of the year, some very interesting stuff. Heres my notes on it
Saturday November 22, 2003
12:50 PM

Indian wedding

I've just got back from one of my best friends weddings - in India - it was an amazing experience, such colours, people and food as to make it undescribable...

So here are some photos

Now for, umm, breakfast, or was it lunch, no maybe it's dinner - food in anycase!