• How to poop on your project's contributors

    GCC 4.3.4 was released recently. Here’s the announcement: > GCC 4.3.4 is a bug-fix release containing fixes for regressions and > serious bugs in GCC 4.3.3. This release is available from the > FTP servers listed at: http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html > > … > > As always, a vast number of people contributed to this GCC release – far > too many to thank individually! “Too many to thank individually?” How many is “too many”? Would the list of GCC contributors have caused multi-megabyte email messages to swamp the mail servers across the Internet?

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  • Perl coming to Android phones

    *By François Charette* [Android is an operating system for mobile phones](http://www.android.com/about/) that runs a modified Linux kernel and the Java environment. The Android Scripting Environment (ASE) allows you to edit and execute scripts directly on the Android device. Until now only Python, Lua and BeanShell were supported, but a [request was filed to add Perl as well](http://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/issues/detail?id=32). Recently, [support for Perl was added to the development tree](http://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/source/browse/#hg/perl), and today that feature request was closed, and is part of OSE 0.11 alpha. This means we can expect that Perl will be officially supported on Android with the next stable release of the ASE. It will then be possible to write neat Perl programs on an Android phone, like this ["hello world" example](http://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/source/browse/perl/ase/scripts/hello_world.pl). *François Charette is an independent scholar in the humanities with a passion for Perl. He is the initiator and co-developer of [Biber](http://biber-biblatex.sourceforge.net), a BibTeX replacement written in Perl.*
  • Community contributions for those who don't feel rockstarry enough yet

    Mark Stosberg kicks ass. Note only is he a driving force in CGI::Application, he’s also working on some scutwork in CGI.pm. He got privileges to the CGI.pm bug queue and has closed 100 of the 150 bugs in the queue. (He’s also done this for me with the WWW::Mechanize queue, too)

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  • Help perl101.org become a great tool for Perl newcomers

    A few years ago I started "perl101.org":http://perl101.org/. My tag line was "What every Perl programmer should know," and the site would cover a wide range of basic topics. The goal is not to cover the topics in depth, but give just enough of a taste to give the reader an idea of how to do something, and enough to go off of to investigate further. It's an FAQ of sorts, but of techniques. The idea came from having the same questions asked over and over again in IRC. * How do I remove elements from the middle of an array? * How do write something to fetch web pages? * How do I write a regex that doesn't match something? I also want to show examples of the Right Way to do things, like using @chomp@ instead of @s/n$//@. I wanted to tell people about tools like @perldoc@ that I know many programmers don't even know exist. h2. Here's where you come in I haven't done much with perl101 for a while, but I'd like to get it going again, fully awesome. I've put the "code on github":http://github.com/petdance/perl101/tree/master and I'm asking for contributions. Please pull a fork, add content to it, and let me know when your fork is ready to merge back to the master and I can republish. I'm specifically *not* making it a wiki, because I want to maintain editorial control to help keep it focused. The site is also pretty ugly, and if you have better ideas for getting the content out there in an attractive way, I'd love to hear it. There's also "a perl101-talk mailing list":http://groups.google.com/group/perl101-talk and I welcome your participation there as well. Let's put our collective heads together to help out newcomers to Perl!
  • Hide your unnecessary details from the user

    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?