July 2008 Archives

Working to bring Perl to the Google App Engine

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Brad Fitzpatrick has announced that he is working on bringing Perl to the Google App Engine.

I'm happy to announce that the Google App Engine team has given me permission to talk about a 20% project inside Google to to add Perl support to App Engine. To be clear: I'm not a member of the App Engine team and the App Engine team is not promising to add Perl support. They're just saying that I (along with other Perl hackers here at Google) are now allowed to work on this 20% project of ours out in the open where other Perl hackers can help us out, should you be so inclined.

The architectural changes to make this happen are not insignificant. Check out Brad's post to find out how you can help.

Perl is an act of love

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The always-great Clay Shirky talks about the power of communities, and uses Perl and comp.lang.perl.misc as examples. "Perl is a Shinto shrine. Perl is an act of love." he says, and I can't disagree.

Devel::NYTProf will knock your socks off

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When Adam Kaplan first released Devel::NYTProf, I loved it. It stole the code grid feel from Devel::Cover, and it worked well.

Now, Mr. DBI, Tim Bunce, has done some amazing work and released Devel::NYTProf 2.0. Follow the link and check out the screenshots.

As cool as everything looks, and as helpful as the color-coding is, the big advance in 2.0 is the clickability:

On lines that define a subroutine NYTProf now adds ‘comments’ giving the total number of times the sub was called, the inclusive time spent in that sub, and the average. Then it adds a break-down of the same details for every location that called the subroutine.

For anyone concerned with finding bottlenecks in Perl code, Devel::NYTProf is clearly the gold standard.

Crazy ideas for book indexing

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I'm looking through Apache access logs, trying to remember what HTTP code 301 is.

I have O'Reilly's HTTP: The Definitive Guide. I look in the index, and I see that 301 is aggregated with

300-399 status codes, 61-64, 502

Why not spell out all the codes?

301 status code, 61, 502
302 status code, 61, 502
303 status code, 62, 502

For that matter, why not have the index include the answer I want?

301 status code: Moved Permanently, 61, 502

I could have the answer right there, without having to go any further.

Further, the book has more than 600 pages, so I could even be able to look on page 301 and find out. It could have a footnote on the bottom of page 301 saying "301: Moved Permanently. Turn to pages 61-64, 502 for more information."

Alas, I think that Chris Shifflet's purple HTTP book is half the pages, so that wouldn't do there.

Comment on PBP's recommended modules

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Dave Rolsky has started a fascinating page on the Perl 5 wiki: Perl Best Practices module recommendation commentary. It addresses each of the modules Damian recommends in the book, and whether you should or shouldn't be using them. Of course, since it's a wiki, add your own comments.

Perl Foundation wants to give you money to work on Perl projects

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The Perl Foundation is calling for grant proposals for Perl-related projects. This can be a great way to get funding a project you're working on, or would like to see worked on. TPF has funded Strawberry Perl, Perl::Critic, pVoice and dozens of other projects in the past. Maybe yours can be the next.

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