Revitalizing the Perl Power Tools

I've started revitalizing the Perl Power Tools. I love this project, also known as the Unix Reconstruction Project, but there's been a some bit rot and I think we can make it easier to find. Googling "PPT" means so many other things, including PowerPoint. I've always had a hard time finding it, and I know it's there! Many of the links to it are dead or buried, and when I talk about it (such as in my Stackoverflow post about paste or my lightning talk at the Swiss Perl Workshop).

Toolbag with power tools

Some of these programs date back to the 1990s and I've discovered weird syntax things that Perl 5.22 won't support. Did you know that you could %hash->{$key} with a normal hash? Not after v5.20 you can't! Also gone is defined( @array ).

Dana Jacobson already fixed a bug in the factor program, which now has tests.

Thoughts on craftmanship

Not specifically about Perl, but I did write a post this week about the software development business in general over on my Other Blog.  Might be worth checking out if you want to listen to me ramble on for a bit on that topic.

2014 Swiss Perl Workshop redux

The Swiss Perl Workshop did not disappoint, although as a featured speaker there was plenty to worry about. One of the organizers, Matthias Bloch, was well trained to take care of the chaotic situation of herding cats and programmers. He was a trained primary school instructor, in which he explained the getting a group of first graders to do anything is much harder. I'm dubious, having been to many workshops, but everything went well. The trick is to embrace the fear.

Matthias Bloch

Pittsburgh Perl Workshop 2014 Call for Talks

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop Organizers are happy to announce our 7th annual event this November 7th through 9th in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. Our web site is now live and accepting registrations. We are also accepting talk submissions through September 26th:

Thanks to Mark Jason Dominus and Tom Christiansen for volunteering talks for PPW already. And thanks to Infinity Interactive for covering the costs for John Anderson to come to PPW and teach our famous “From Zero to Perl” class on November 7th *at no extra charge* for anybody buying a ticket to PPW.

How does <email> work?

In the recent year I notice more and more instances that mail to is silently swallowed. I know this because I communicate with the senders through other channels, and I've even received forwards of copies of emails which as far as the sender is concerned are delivered. I am also increasingly hearing the same story from my PAUSE-peers. Bottom line: it seems that the SMTPD is configured to do rather aggressive *silent* spam filtering.

I am writing this for 2 reasons:
  • I want to gauge whether the problem is indeed pervasive, or it is just bad luck on my part.
  • I want to solicit opinions on how to properly fix this if it is indeed a large-scale problem.

I personally would prefer to get all my mail forwarded my way directly, unfiltered and I would deal with it however I deem appropriate. Of course there are bound to be differing opinions on this.

Anyhow - please share your experience, both positive and negative!


Some new MetaCPAN features

Perlybook integration: Each pod page and each release page now have two additional links to download MOBI and EPUB version of the current pod or the combined pod of the whole distribution.

The CPAN Author dashboard (can be reached from the 'Lab') now lists all of the distributions of the currently logged in CPAN author providing some overview of all the distributions.

The right panel can be now hidden (and then shown again) giving more real-estate for the documentation. Especially useful for smaller screens. This is persistent in the browser, but currently only works on the POD pages. This feature is also, still under discussion. Your feedback would be valuable!

You can now change the number of items shown on each result page. See the buttons
at the bottom of the search result pages. This choice is persistent in the browser.

Special Meta searches This is not new, but I only found out about these recently after writing how to
Find all Plack Middleware or Perl::Critic Policies.

Oh and something totally unrelated. I started to write an explanation about CPAN for users, contributors, and module authors.

If your core perl documentation uses =encoding, please test the new perldoc release

I'm here today to talk about the venerable perl documentation tool perldoc. Working with Koichi KUBO, I think I have a perldoc which works effectively with encodings in files like perlop, perlfunc and perlvar.

Preliminary results with the Japanese docs have been pretty successful, but it would be nice to get some positive results with other encodings/languages. So if you use a Perl with core documentation that isn't "plain old ASCII", would you please give Pod-Perldoc 3.24_01 a spin in your environment?

If you accept this task, please email results to bug-pod-perldoc at, open a github issue, or comment here.


Invite Me (Virtually) To Your Next Perl Meetup

Earlier this week I gave a presentation to the Boston Perl Mongers via Google Hangouts. This was the first time that I've done a presentation remotely, but everything worked flawlessly[1].

I would love to do more of these. If your local PM group or team at $work would like to learn more about static analysis with Perl::Critic, or dependency management with Pinto please get in touch with me. I am

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

[1] Big thanks to Tom Metro for extending the invitation, and Rick ... for handling the technical setup.

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