Why I'm considering dropping Perlmonks

A couple days ago, a comic strip was posted to Perlmonks that really got up my nose. For those of you who don’t want to bother linking through, the strip compares Perl with Moose to Perl having a “boob job”, then wanders off into creepy territory because sexualization and creepiness are really, really funny, right?

This bothers me, as it’s not friendly to the women in our community – and I said so. You can read the response I’ve gotten so far. They’re all pretty much ignoring the fact that sexualizing a computer program (with the added implication of large breasts being equivalent to personal value) is exactly the kind of thing that makes women feel unwelcome by focusing on “well, ‘boob job’ is a perfectly fine term” and “I bet you do feel uncomfortable imagining you’re female!”. (By the way, no, I don’t. This is that funny thing called “empathy”.)

Perl courseware for the web using client-side perl

This is an idea I've discussed with Gabor (szabgab++) during the last conferences - we could use perlito as a tool to write educational pages about perl, that would embed executable code that can be modified by the reader.

There is a possible alternate implementation, use remote execution in the server. But I like the idea of running the code in the browser.

This perl in the browser would be a "full" perl implementation (not necessarily fast), with I/O redirected to local variables or even local storage. Modules would be loaded from a remote "lib" using HTTP requests.

Here is an older article that shows the basic idea. This is in portuguese, it was written for Sao_Paulo.pm using perlito6.

Playing with Perl5 syntax

At some point in YAPC::Europe I was showing the perlito5 compiler to stevan++, and we discussed how it could be used to prototype grammar extensions to Perl5.

Perlito grammar is mostly written in simple perl, without extensions (in some places there are still remains of the original perl6 grammar, but these are being cleaned up.)

I've shown stevan++ how named arguments were implemented in perlito6, and how to port the feature to perlito5. We also discussed how to run perlito5 over perl5 using a source filter, in the same way that "v6.pm" works.

Later, leont++ on #p6p5 was investigating how to add macros to perl5, and we discussed briefly how macros could be added to perlito5. The compiler already uses macros internally, so it should be a matter of exposing this as a language feature.

Perl in small devices

I’ve participated in some discussions about running perl on small devices during the Perl Reunification Summit and YAPC::Europe.

The targets would be java/dalvik, objective-c/ios, and arduino. There is some work going on by Martin Berends (mberends++) on arduino, and Claes Jakobsson (claes++) on the jvm. Claes is working on reading and writing .class files.

We’ve discussed how they could use one of the Perlito parsers to implement a prototype, using either the ast-perl5 or ast-perl6 output:

$ node perlito5.js -Cast-perl5 -e ' print "hello, World!\n" ' > hello.ast5

Reini Urban (rurban++) showed me how to add type information to perl5 code:

$ perl -e '$int::; my int $x'

Type information would help the generated code to perform better and use less memory.

2 weeks of perl

It all started with the Cluj.pm summer meeting on the 9th of August. I happened to be around there, so popped in. Cluj.pm is a refreshingly young perl monger group (I might even have been older than the average age there, that's a first for me). At first I didn't know anyone, other than the guest speaker Mark Keating, but after my presentation I had lots of people approaching me and I had a brilliant evening.

A short week later I flew to Germany, for the Perl Reunification Summit in Perl. Like Schwern I arrived a day earlier than most, so I had a calm start of the meetup. It was mostly a gathering of familiar to me faces, though a significant number I hadn't really spoken to before, specially the Perl 6 guys, -Ofun attracts awesome people. I spent most of the PRS talking to people, and doing a little coding (both related and unrelated). It was a very enlightening meetup.

YAPC::EU::2012, the good parts

I think some people did not interpret my last post correctly, I think I hated YAPC::EU::2012 (or at least, that is what I understand from Gabor comment on his Perl Weekly). Well, no, the post points three things I did not like, meaning that everything else was fun.

But I would like to point some details. First, congratulations to the organizers for the courage to prepare proceedings. Of course I was angry because the article I took some time to write was not there. Also, because although I mailed the organizers, they did not answer or said anything. Nevertheless, I like the idea of having proceedings for YAPC::EU. Not like the mojolicious article with screenshots of the slides, but like mostly all the others articles. And the proceedings are with great quality, both in printing, paper and design. I hope they make the final PDF available as well (paper is hard to find after some months).

Input Plugins for the Kindle Reader

Perlybook.org serves you all the docs available on CPAN as a handy ebook. For the Kindle Reader it achieves this with the help of the module EBook::MOBI.

This module now got an update (v0.5). Before it was just useful for translating POD into an ebook (which is awesome). But now its even better... you can write plugins for any input format.

So is there anybody interested in the ability for converting e.g. Markdown directly into an ebook? If you feel like such a feature would be cool, you are very welcome to contribute a plugin (for what ever format you like).

For now there is just a plugin for POD. More would be great.

Please see the modules documentation for more information or directly join the project at github. Feel free to contact the modules author (me) if you have questions.


Tapper release "Columbo"

From now on we try to regularly post release announcements of our Tapper test infrastructure here.

For now let's start with the latest release. It actually happened in May 2012 but we had some polishing cycles to get the CPANTESTERS matrix green. Thanks to the CPAN testers people for helping us there. The rest was quite the usual amount of work thet made me forget the announcement.

Here we go:

  • She's mad at everybody. She's even mad at the ice cream man. "Why does the ice cream truck have to come just before lunch or just before dinner, spoil the children's appetite?" I have to listen to that. I hear that 3 time a week, you know that's 12 times a month.

    Columbo, "The Most Crucial Game" (1972)

Tapper release 4.0 codename "Columbo" 2012-05


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