Code craft

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2009-10-21

October 21, 2009 Code craft, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl Foundation 1 comment

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
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ack 1.90 released

September 7, 2009 Code craft, CPAN 3 comments

I just released ack version 1.90 to CPAN. If you don’t know about ack, it’s a text searching tool for programmers aimed specifically at searching large trees of code. Find out more at

Here’s the changelog for this version:

1.90        Mon Sep  7 23:24:24 CDT 2009
Added Ada support.  Thanks to Shaun Patterson.
Added -r, -R and --recurse options as in grep.  They have no
effect because directory recursion is on by default.  Also added
--no-recurse for orthoganality. Thanks to Mark Stosberg and
Ryan Niebur.
Version in --version is prettier.  Thanks, Ori Avtalion.
Added an updated from Adam James.
Expanded --files-without-match to --files-without-matches.
Removed all the hi-bit characters, so we don't have any encoding
problems.  It's all entities now.
Fixed capture-stderr to localize some globals that were obscuring
errors.  Thanks very much to Christopher Madsen.
Fixed uninitialized errors in tickets #138 and #159.
Fixed an incorrect command line in the docs for -f.
Added notes on --pager.  Thanks to Mike Morearty.
Made the squash program more robust when handling POD.  Thanks
to Kent Fredric.
1.89_02     Wed May 13 16:20:21 CDT 2009
Updated Makefile.PL to use new ExtUtils::MakeMaker features.
Thanks, Schwern.
--version now shows the version of Perl that ack is running
under, and the full path to the Perl executable.
Added new switches --color-match and --color-filename, which
let you define ACK_COLOR_MATCH and ACK_COLOR_FILENAME from the
command line.
Added new switch --column to display the column of the first
hit on the row.  Thanks to Eric Van Dewoestine.
Added .ss to --scheme.
No longer die if you have a .tar.gz file in your tree.
More tweaks to get the detection of input and output pipes
Fixed an amazingly bad call to cmp_ok() in t/ack-passthru.t.
Started an ack FAQ.

Hide your unnecessary details from the user

August 11, 2009 Code craft 1 comment

Too often I see user-facing text that includes far more detail than is necessary. My current example is this web app where I can upload files for my expense reports. The help screen tells me:

You can attach the following types of files:

  • Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg or .jpeg)
  • Graphic Interchange Format (.gif)
  • Tagged Image Format (.tif)
  • Windows OS/2 Bitmap Graphics (.bmp)

Why why why do they bother giving those unnecessary explanations of what the file extensions mean? What they really mean is:

You can attach .pdf, .jpg or .jpeg, .gif, .tif and .bmp files.

Has anyone ever said “Hey, Bob, can you send me that Joint Photographic Experts Group file?” No? Then why do you think that people want to read it?

Perlbuzz news roundup 2009-07-05

July 5, 2009 Code craft, Community, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl 6 No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2009-06-07

June 7, 2009 Code craft, Perl 5, Perl 6 No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at

Attention all Vim-using Perl programmers

June 3, 2009 Code craft, Perl 5, Perl 6 8 comments

If you use Vim for your Perl programming, here’s a new project and mailing list you might be interested in.
A few months ago I became the maintainer of the syntax/perl.vim file that comes with vim. I started a [github project for it]( for maintaining the perl.vim file, and for starting to get a perl6.vim file together that could be put into the vim core as well. There are a couple of versions of perl6.vim and I need to make sure we get the latest/greatest to Bram for inclusion.
Now that github added capability for issue tracking, there’s now a [vim-perl issue tracker](, and I created a [Google group for vim-perl]( as well.
This project + group are not intended to be just about the .vim files. I want to discuss all aspects of using Perl and Vim together, so join in and share your tips and ideas.
If there are any Emacs, Eclipse, etc equivalents, let me know so I can post about those, too.

Perlbuzz news roundup 2009-04-05

April 5, 2009 Code craft, Conferences No comments

Perlbuzz news roundup 2009-03-21

March 21, 2009 Code craft, Perl 5, Perl 6 1 comment

I don’t see having an autoposting widget for Perlbuzz any time soon, so if you want these more current, keep an eye on the [Perlbuzz Twitter account]( directly.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2009-03-03

March 4, 2009 Advocacy, Code craft, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl 6, Perl Foundation, Rakudo No comments

Perl::Critic is looking for help

January 14, 2009 Code craft No comments

Jeffrey Thalhammer has posted about how the [immensely helpful Perl::Critic]( system [needs some help]( slogging through its backlog of bug tickets.
If you’re a user of Perl::Critic, please consider pitching in and helping close some tickets.
If you’re not yet a user of Perl::Critic, today’s a great day to start. I hope you love it as much as I do.