A fast pragmatic test runner

After breaking the build twice in the space of a week for more or less the same reason each time, I figured that my team needed a continuous integration rig, and we needed it now.

For web application stuff it's not that unusual to have tests that collide with each other, at least in the short term due to the conflict between the need to "do it right' and the need to "do it now". And generally it's desirable to run your test suite in parallel wherever possible. At the moment, our tests are generally inadequate, so I'm only saving around 2 minutes on a parallel versus series run. However I'm doing bulk changes (with the help of PPI) to this largeish existing codebase at the moment, and get into situations where I want to run the whole test suite every 10 minutes or so, at which point saving 12 minutes in an hour becomes significant.

Reviewing gitolite modules from the puppet forge

When a million flowers bloom in the world of open source, with no clear winner in the popularity contest for wide-spread use, sometimes the options can overwhelm. What follows is a summary of what I learned spending a day reviewing my options for a tool I could perhaps have written myself in that time, if I had felt free to ignore the prior art. It relates to yet another great tool written in perl, gi‪tolite by sitaramc.


If you manage your infrastructure with puppet, your source code with git and have need of an in-house git repository providing user and group access control lists, this article may be relevant to your needs.

So I went to Mongolia and rode a Camel

For some reason I just felt this deserved to be posted here.
I went to Mongolia and rode this bactrian camel. As a JAPH this was a special event for me worth sharing :)


Language Identification, Neural Networks and Perl

I will not write much, but just would like to let you know there is a new Perl module for Language Identification (Lingua::Identifier). It uses a neural network for the task (read this for details), with Math::Matrix::MaybeGSL, that will use Math::MatrixReal or Math::GSL::Matrix if it is installed. An extended version of the paper is being reviewed, and therefore I am not allowed to publish it here.

Q: Nestoria Dev Blog and comments

On Nestoria Dev Blog I tried to post a comment+script about smart match.

  • I log on via Google
  • Everything looks ok.
  • I post text + script
  • The page refreshes
  • Everything looks ok

But the post is not afterwards visible.

OK, so it’s possible the blogger just zaps my post :-(, but it there another explanation?

Fatpacking your scripts with fatten

"Thank you for a freakin awesome app. Seriously, fatten is great! <3" --Paul J. Fenwick

fatpack is a utility created by MST to pack a script along with its dependencies (required Perl modules) into a single file. It differs from PAR in that it does not create an archive that must be extracted into the filesystem at the start of program run. Thus, a fatpacked script is simpler and faster to run.

The command-line utility is a bit cumbersome to use, though. Producing the final result involves several invocations of fatpack, and often the final result still misses some required modules. If you want a more turnkey solution to fatpacking a script, you might want to check out fatten.

Using fatten could not be easier:

% fatten /path/to/myapp

Parsing of anime reviews on rec.arts.anime.misc

I have been collecting posts from rec.arts.anime.misc newsgroup, mostly related to anime reviews to prioritize which one to see. The format is more or less the same of (collection of) reviews ...

  • title
  • a paragraph of comments
  • ending with some kind of quality statetment (a second paragraph is rare)

Take ca6u74F3g1tU1@mid.individual.net message for example by GeoffC (Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:48:16 +0100) ...

Gundam G no Reconguista:
Another Gundam, still with young characters piloting giant robots in space. Not badly done, but I was confused about who was who and what was going on in the first episode, and did not feel sufficiently involved to continue with further episodes.


Donten ni Warau:
Meiji Restoration period drama. I saw the first episode in raw. So far, it has not interested me enough to encourage further investigation.

Visualizing the McNaugthon-Yamada-Glushkov Construction

Once in a while I poke in my old Perl stuff to find something interesting. Luckily, this is usually the case.

Today, I found a script that draws an annotated syntax tree of a regular expression. The annotation shows the state sets calculated when applying the McNaugthon-Yamada-Glushkov algorithm to construct a finite automaton from the regular expression.

You can read about it in "Bruce W. Watson. Taxonomies and Toolkits of Regular Language
Algorithms. PhD thesis, Faculty of Computing Science Eindhoven
University of Technology, The Netherlands, 1995".

Here is an image:


I just thought about sharing this bit because there once was a thread about how we could improve marketing for Perl and one of the answers was to write (more) Perl applications.
So, here is one :)

About blogs.perl.org

blogs.perl.org is a common blogging platform for the Perl community. Written in Perl and offering the modern features you’ve come to expect in blog platforms, the site is run by Dave Cross and Aaron Crane, with a design donated by Six Apart, Ltd.