Month: February 2008

How not to do a Changes file

February 27, 2008 Code craft 5 comments

Here’s how to not do a Changes file:

That tells me nothing about whether I want to upgrade my SpamAssassin install. 🙁

Oh, look, I wrote about this before, and how great Tim Bunce’s Changes files are.

Popular Perl packages in Debian

February 21, 2008 CPAN No comments

Bryan O’Sullivan has a blog entry where he lists popular Perl packages, based on the popularity of the Debian package.

Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like The Phalanx 100 I came up with a few years ago.

Submit talks for YAPC::Asia and Italian Perl Workshop

February 20, 2008 Conferences No comments

YAPC::Asia is fast approaching (May 15-16) as is the deadline for talk submissions, just a week away. Interestingly enough, they’re accepting JavaScript talks as well as Perl. I like some good homogenization of the communities!
Details at

The fourth Italian Perl Workshop will be September 18th and 19th in Pisa. Organizers are calling for talks, but haven’t yet set up the website.

The rules of Optimization Club

February 19, 2008 Code craft 1 comment

From David Fetter’s page at

  1. The first rule of Optimization Club is, you do not Optimize.
  2. The second rule of Optimization Club is, you do not Optimize without measuring.
  3. If your app is running faster than the underlying transport protocol, the optimization is over.
  4. One factor at a time.
  5. No marketroids, no marketroid schedules.
  6. Testing will go on as long as it has to.
  7. If this is your first night at Optimization Club, you have to write a test case.

Of course it’s company policy never to imply ownership of a performance problem. Always use the indefinite article: “a performance problem”, never “your performance problem.”

Perl debuts in the Microsoft 3rd Annual Scripting Games

February 17, 2008 Perl 5, Windows 2 comments

Jan Dubois posted about Microsoft’s 3rd Annual Scripting Games, where you can win prizes for writing Perl programs to solve programming problems like “find a word that you can make out of a phone number,” and “count the number of characters in a given text file.”

I’d enter if there were interesting prizes, but all the prizes for Windows-only software packages. 🙁

R.E.M. releases videos under Artistic License 2.0

February 16, 2008 Perl Foundation 2 comments

You may be hearing murmurs about this, so by my reckoning it falls on me to document it. R.E.M. have taken a stand by releasing the videos from their new album under Artistic License 2.0.
The Artistic License 2.0 is a product of the Perl Foundation, and is the license under which Perl is released.

Normally creators have turned to Creative Commons for movies & music, so it’s interesting to see R.E.M. buck the trend and use Artistic License. This can only help the visibility of open source. I’m glad that of all the licenses out there, they chose the one I love. Maybe there’ll be a point in the future when Artistic 2.0 is used everywhere, that it will be automatic for the people who create music to think of TPF’s license.

(Please send complaints about R.E.M. references to the dead letter office /dev/null.)

Interviews with Michaud & Dice

February 16, 2008 Community, Interviews, Perl Foundation 1 comment

Here are a couple of interviews for your reading enjoyment. Patrick Michaud talks about Perl 6 in advance of FOSDEM ’08, a conference in Brussels. The interview is a bit old, pre-dating the naming of Rakudo.

In the second interview, Richard Dice talks about his 14 years with Perl, and current news about the Perl Foundation.

You know, I’m guessing there’s other good content in $foo perl magazin, but since Richard’s interview is the only thing in English, it’s going to have to stay at the guessing stage.

Annoyance-driven development

February 15, 2008 Code craft No comments

“I practice annoyance driven development. I set my threshold of annoyance low such that everytime I feel frustrated by a technical limitation, I notice consciously. My intent is not to find technology endlessly frustrating (though that happens sometimes), but so that I can identify the next most important thing to fix.”

— chromatic, in “What You Test Changes How You Test”

Submit your talks for Chicago and Braga

February 14, 2008 Conferences 1 comment

Josh McAdams has announced the open call for participation for YAPC::NA in Chicago, June 16-18th, 2008. Talks can be 20, 45, 70 or 95 minutes long, plus the call for lightning talks will open later. The YAPC::NA website has details.

Across the Atlantic in Braga, Portugal, José Alves de Castro has announced the call for participation for the Portuguese Perl Workshop 2008, June 6 & 7th. gets speed improvements

February 14, 2008 Perl Foundation No comments

Jim Brandt announced over in the Perl Foundation’s blog that got some much-needed speedups. Even though TPF was considering forking over some dough for hardware upgrades, Jesse Vincent and his team managed to speed things up with software only.