February 2010 Archives

Who can make LWP understand svn://?

I want LWP to understand the source control schemes, like snv://. I almost got to look into this for this week's project, but it got pushed down the wish list. It's something that I'm going to want later though (like, at the Vienna QA Workshop). Is this an easy project for anyone?

The future of CPAN is moving away from a monolithic, central repository. You're always going to have that available, but a lot of work to make localized, custom, and even historical repositories available. I'd like the CPAN tools to be able to pull from more than just FTP and HTTP sources.

For my DPAN work that creates customized CPAN-like repositories, a couple of clients want to version their DPAN repository under source control. That can be very handy to bisect problems in application deployments. When did the collection of distributions in the DPAN break our application? Checkout an earlier version of DPAN, deploy, and test. Do that until you find the distribution upgrades where the application breaks. I'd like to pull directly from source control without setting up a webserver too.

For another use case, consider David Cantrell's CP*AN project that breaks out CPAN into repositories as they work for specific Perl versions (CP5.6AN) or specific architectures (cpNETBSDan). Those could be branches in source control. If you can make the right source-control specific path and LWP knew what to do with it, you could easily switch repositories by just using the right branch.

The CPAN.pm understands. In practice, that's either FTP or HTTP (and David Golden is working on making that even better). If you put your source control behind a web server, you can just use HTTP. What if you want to talk directly to the source control server, using svn://, svn+ssh://, git://, or another scheme? So far, LWP doesn't know what to do with those. I want to do something like:

 use LWP::Simple;

 my $file = get( 'svn://...' );

The real goal is put that svn:// in the CPAN tool configuration:

 cpan> o conf urllist unshift svn://...

I don't need LWP to understand the entire interface to the source control systems: if it can fetch a single file from either the head of the repository or a named commit, that's good enough.

I almost have SDL_Perl working on Snow Leopard

I'm trying to get SDLPerl working on my 64-bit Snow Leopard machine with Perl 5.10.1, and after solving many other problems, I got to RT #49975, where it's time to make the Mac bundle.

Since I was compiling SDL myself, I also had to fetch the latest JPEG, PNG, and TIFF libraries, as well as SDL_Image. The build file in SDL_Perl is verbose, so it doesn't say what it found or what it didn't find. I compile and install all of those before I build the Perl module. After installing SDL_Perl, I have to build the bundle so I can get the SDLPerl program I need to run the applications. That's another set of problems.

First, I fixed the Darwin.pm script to use the same perl that I'm building against. Never, never, never use the literal name "perl" in your build systems. Always use $^X so you get the perl the build is using. In this case, I don't want the system perl.

Next, Chris Nandor clued me into selecting the right architecture. By default, when I try to build the bundle it looks like it is try to make a fat one. I didn't build SDL, etc. for fat though. I just have to tell it which architecture I want:

  % env ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64" ./Build bundle

Now it mostly compiles, but I'm not so sure those warnings are harmless:

Building SDL_Perl
gcc -I/usr/local/include/SDL -D_GNU_SOURCE=1 -D_THREAD_SAFE  -fno-common -DPERL_DARWIN -no-cpp-precomp -fno-strict-aliasing -pipe -fstack-protector  -I/usr/local/perls/perl-5.10.1/lib/5.10.1/darwin-2level/CORE  MacOSX/launcher.m -L/usr/local/lib  -lSDL -Wl,-framework,Cocoa    -fstack-protector  -L/usr/local/perls/perl-5.10.1/lib/5.10.1/darwin-2level/CORE -lperl -ldl -lm -lutil -lc -framework Cocoa -o "SDLPerl.app/Contents/MacOS/SDLPerl"In file included from /usr/local/perls/perl-5.10.1/lib/5.10.1/darwin-2level/CORE/perl.h:2424,
                 from MacOSX/launcher.m:14:
/usr/local/perls/perl-5.10.1/lib/5.10.1/darwin-2level/CORE/handy.h:108:1: warning: "bool" redefined
In file included from /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreFoundation.framework/Headers/CFBase.h:39,
                 from /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreFoundation.framework/Headers/CoreFoundation.h:38,
                 from /System/Library/Frameworks/Foundation.framework/Headers/Foundation.h:6,
                 from MacOSX/launcher.m:11:
/usr/lib/gcc/i686-apple-darwin10/4.2.1/include/stdbool.h:36:1: warning: this is the location of the previous definition
MacOSX/launcher.m: In function '-[SDLPerlMain launchPerl:]':
MacOSX/launcher.m:136: warning: passing argument 2 of 'Perl_sys_init3' from incompatible pointer type

It's time to try it out, though. I create the lander.pl tutorial example:

 % perl5.10.1 -MSDL::Tutorial::LunarLander=lander.pl -e1

I'm in the SDL_Perl directory still, so I need to give some long paths to everyone finds themselves:

 % SDLPerl.app/Contents/MacOS/SDLPerl `pwd`/lander.pl

This almost works, but lander.pl can't find any of it's files. The working directory is off, so I fix that up in lander.pl :

use File::Basename;
my $dir = dirname( $0 );
chdir $dir;

Now the application window starts up and it paints it background and the first instance of the lander. That's as far as it gets before it SDLPerl unexpectedly quits (the crash report is at the end of the post). It doesn't like the call to update in draw. Comment out that line and everything is fine except I can't see anything happening in the application window.

I look at some other examples and note that they don't use update. Instead, they use sync. I change the line in draw to use sync instead, and now it works, although it dumps core at the end (after the Perl script exits):

# in draw

Now I get the nice animation, although it took me a couple of tries to figure out it wasn't interactive. I kept trying to land it myself with arrow keys!

And, the crash report:

Process:         SDLPerl [11003]
Path:            /Users/brian/Downloads/SDL_Perl-v2.2.6/SDLPerl.app/Contents/MacOS/SDLPerl
Identifier:      org.perl.sdl
Version:         2.2.0 (2.2.0)
Code Type:       X86-64 (Native)
Parent Process:  bash [16138]

Date/Time:       2010-02-11 18:37:53.719 -0600
OS Version:      Mac OS X 10.6.2 (10C2234)
Report Version:  6

Interval Since Last Report:          3874519 sec
Crashes Since Last Report:           76
Per-App Interval Since Last Report:  225 sec
Per-App Crashes Since Last Report:   9
Anonymous UUID:                      6CEDA89B-C48A-4DB4-A5EE-D4B45D11A877

Exception Type:  EXC_CRASH (SIGABRT)
Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000
Crashed Thread:  0  Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread

Application Specific Information:
abort() called

Thread 0 Crashed:  Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread
0   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff803abfe6 __kill + 10
1   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff8044ce32 abort + 83
2   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80364155 free + 128
3   SDL_perl.bundle                 0x00000001006d1287 XS_SDL_UpdateRects + 311
4   org.perl.sdl                    0x00000001000872de Perl_pp_entersub + 1470
5   org.perl.sdl                    0x000000010007eff6 Perl_runops_standard + 22
6   org.perl.sdl                    0x000000010001cb75 perl_run + 869
7   org.perl.sdl                    0x0000000100001912 -[SDLPerlMain launchPerl:] + 270
8   org.perl.sdl                    0x0000000100001a69 -[SDLPerlMain application:openFile:] + 214
9   com.apple.AppKit                0x00007fff812bc4f0 -[NSApplication _doOpenFile:ok:tryTemp:] + 330
10  com.apple.AppKit                0x00007fff810a4d02 -[NSApplication finishLaunching] + 1084
11  com.apple.AppKit                0x00007fff810a460c -[NSApplication run] + 80
12  org.perl.sdl                    0x0000000100001c9a main + 559
13  org.perl.sdl                    0x00000001000012b4 start + 52

Thread 1:  Dispatch queue: com.apple.libdispatch-manager
0   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80376bba kevent + 10
1   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80378a85 _dispatch_mgr_invoke + 154
2   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff8037875c _dispatch_queue_invoke + 185
3   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80378286 _dispatch_worker_thread2 + 244
4   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80377bb8 _pthread_wqthread + 353
5   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80377a55 start_wqthread + 13

Thread 2:
0   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff803779da __workq_kernreturn + 10
1   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80377dec _pthread_wqthread + 917
2   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80377a55 start_wqthread + 13

Thread 3:
0   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff803989ee __semwait_signal + 10
1   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff8039887d nanosleep + 148
2   libSDL-1.2.0.dylib              0x00000001001b9dd6 SDL_Delay + 102
3   libSDL-1.2.0.dylib              0x00000001001b9e1a RunTimer + 42
4   libSDL-1.2.0.dylib              0x0000000100172327 SDL_RunThread + 71
5   libSDL-1.2.0.dylib              0x00000001001b52a9 RunThread + 9
6   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80396f8e _pthread_start + 331
7   libSystem.B.dylib               0x00007fff80396e41 thread_start + 13

Thread 0 crashed with X86 Thread State (64-bit):
  rax: 0x0000000000000000  rbx: 0x0000000000000003  rcx: 0x00007fff5fbfe8d8  rdx: 0x0000000000000000
  rdi: 0x0000000000002afb  rsi: 0x0000000000000006  rbp: 0x00007fff5fbfe8f0  rsp: 0x00007fff5fbfe8d8
   r8: 0x0000000000000e03   r9: 0x0000000000000000  r10: 0x00007fff803a8026  r11: 0x0000000000000202
  r12: 0x00000001007c3000  r13: 0x000000010022c000  r14: 0x0000000000000000  r15: 0x0000000105410008
  rip: 0x00007fff803abfe6  rfl: 0x0000000000000202  cr2: 0x00000001007be000

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    0x7fff85b83000 -     0x7fff85b83ff7  com.apple.Cocoa 6.6 (???) <68B0BE46-6E24-C96F-B341-054CF9E8F3B6> /System/Library/Frameworks/Cocoa.framework/Versions/A/Cocoa
    0x7fff85b84000 -     0x7fff85b85ff7  com.apple.TrustEvaluationAgent 1.1 (1) <040B71B1-F8BD-1605-057E-E80DBDE1FE59> /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/TrustEvaluationAgent.framework/Versions/A/TrustEvaluationAgent
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    0x7fff8685f000 -     0x7fff868b0fe7  com.apple.HIServices 1.8.0 (???) <02FCB65A-4E6E-D521-4E56-FEDD983BF92C> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/HIServices.framework/Versions/A/HIServices
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    0x7fff86c20000 -     0x7fff86c7cfff  libGLU.dylib ??? (???) <9D686464-864A-5795-6E32-ED8E0EB2874D> /System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/libGLU.dylib
    0x7fff86ec3000 -     0x7fff86ed0fe7  libCSync.A.dylib ??? (???) <F72E20A8-1CD0-7187-8519-17E61064C565> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources/libCSync.A.dylib
    0x7fff86ed1000 -     0x7fff86f4efef  libstdc++.6.dylib ??? (???) <35ECA411-2C08-FD7D-11B1-1B7A04921A5C> /usr/lib/libstdc++.6.dylib
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    0x7fff87615000 -     0x7fff8763bfe7  libJPEG.dylib ??? (???) <B00CA749-B114-637B-3A76-C862E0390FDF> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework/Versions/A/Resources/libJPEG.dylib
    0x7fff8767b000 -     0x7fff8769cfff  libresolv.9.dylib ??? (???) <01C7C750-7F6A-89B3-C586-5C50A839019E> /usr/lib/libresolv.9.dylib
    0x7fff87ad0000 -     0x7fff87b1ffef  com.apple.DirectoryService.PasswordServerFramework 6.0 (6.0) <BD71B20B-C530-6D10-47A4-9838CF292911> /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/PasswordServer.framework/Versions/A/PasswordServer
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    0x7fff88225000 -     0x7fff882bffff  com.apple.ApplicationServices.ATS 4.1 (???) <2BEFA90F-4AAA-B929-57C6-153CAA775DB5> /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/ATS.framework/Versions/A/ATS
    0x7fff882c9000 -     0x7fff882cfff7  IOSurface ??? (???) <49C9D9BF-3E35-42DE-0A2F-C0318F8B0A76> /System/Library/Frameworks/IOSurface.framework/Versions/A/IOSurface
    0x7fff882d0000 -     0x7fff882d3ff7  libCoreVMClient.dylib ??? (???) <ABDDDD2F-23B5-B247-FF8A-7790F28C1D9C> /System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/libCoreVMClient.dylib
    0x7fff882d4000 -     0x7fff88492fff  libicucore.A.dylib ??? (???) <7165A473-3A42-A15A-C6B0-75DECF1C3ECF> /usr/lib/libicucore.A.dylib
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    0x7fff88a0e000 -     0x7fff88a39ff7  libxslt.1.dylib ??? (???) <87A0B228-B24A-C426-C3FB-B40D7258DD49> /usr/lib/libxslt.1.dylib
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    0x7fff88b7b000 -     0x7fff88c89fe7  libcrypto.0.9.8.dylib ??? (???) <CB2A1AF3-BDC7-2BF6-25C7-5EEA1EF823D7> /usr/lib/libcrypto.0.9.8.dylib
    0x7fffffe00000 -     0x7fffffe01fff  libSystem.B.dylib ??? (???) <3814B353-9EE2-E2D3-2D5D-9FE26D4AF5D6> /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib

Model: MacPro4,1, BootROM MP41.0081.B07, 8 processors, Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 2.26 GHz, 8 GB, SMC 1.39f5
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, PCIe, 512 MB
Memory Module: global_name
Bluetooth: Version 2.2.5f6, 2 service, 1 devices, 1 incoming serial ports
Network Service: Ethernet 1, Ethernet, en0
PCI Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, Display, Slot-1
Serial ATA Device: HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GH41N
Serial ATA Device: WDC WD6400AAKS-41H2B0, 596.17 GB
Serial ATA Device: WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0, 1.36 TB
Serial ATA Device: WDC WD15EADS-00P8B0, 1.36 TB
USB Device: Hub, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x911c, 0xfd100000
USB Device: Keyboard Hub, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x1006, 0xfd110000
USB Device: Apple Keyboard, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x0220, 0xfd112000
USB Device: USB2.0 Hub, 0x05e3  (Genesys Logic, Inc.), 0x0608, 0xfd130000
USB Device: officejet 5500 series, 0x03f0  (Hewlett Packard), 0x3a11, 0xfd132000
USB Device: USB2.0 Hub, 0x05e3  (Genesys Logic, Inc.), 0x0608, 0xfd133000
USB Device: Apple Cinema HD Display, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x921c, 0xfd120000
USB Device: BRCM2046 Hub, 0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.), 0x4500, 0x5a100000
USB Device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x8215, 0x5a110000
FireWire Device: built-in_hub, Up to 800 Mb/sec
FireWire Device: iPod, Apple Computer, Inc., Up to 400 Mb/sec

Our first Effective Perl talks

At Frozen Perl 2010, Josh and I gave our first talks based on Effective Perl Programming, 2nd Edition.

I gave a day-long master class as the first version of what we are turning into a full training course. I covered regexes, Unicode, pack, advanced subroutines, and tricks with filehandles. Each of those sections covered most of the material from those chapters in the book, and during the course I picked up even more tricks that we'll add to the ="http://www.effectiveperlprog…

Why your talk won't be at OSCON

About a week ago, the call for proposals for the Open Source Conference closed. It's a bit fuzzy because many people only realize what month (or year) it is only after the submission link disappears, so we let a few extra proposals slip in. Don't ask now: it's too late. For reals this time.

As part of the Perl Track committee, I just reviewed all of the proposals where the submitter marked it as a "Perl" talk. Several other people from the Perl track also reviewed them. There are going to be some very nice presentations this year, and at least one demonstration of highly advanced Perl technology that you'll want to see twice in a row, and maybe a third time at the end of the conference.

The Perl track can accept around 15 to 20 talks, roughly. In reality, there are about four fewer than that because there are two outstanding Australian speakers who could tell us they were going to read the phone book and they'd still get more people to show up than any other talk, and they each give two talks. You're competing for the remaining, non-Australian slots.

Part of the non-Australian slots go to invited talks, too. Part of the committee's job is to hunt down and nag people to submit interesting topics, and sometimes even help potential speakers develop topics that the conference thinks will attract people. Those people tend to have the inside scoop on hot topics that we want at the conference.

From there, the committee starts with the submissions with the highest rating average and make their first picks from that. There are plenty of submissions that got perfect scores. Many of these are known speakers with a proven, long-term history of packed rooms and excellent exit scores. Maybe a quarter of the talks will come from this group.

Not even all of the submissions that get perfect scores will make it in. We have to balance the topics, and we want to cover diverse topics. If too many talks, although excellent on their own, would unbalance the conference, some won't make it. We don't need 10 talks on exciting new advances in web frameworks.

Now, the rest of the submissions are competing for the remaining half of the slots and the reviewers have to figure out how to separate the worthy ones from the unworthy ones. Remember, the immediately attractive talks have already been selected. The rest are the not-immediately possibly attractive talks.

Here's a short list of reasons why you might not get that acceptance email, and things to think about before you submit proposals to other conferences (or try again at OSCON 2011). Since we don't give individual feedback, you have to examine your own proposal to see if any of these apply. If you feel guilty that some did

  • The more categories you give your talk ('Databases', 'Tools & Techniques', 'Perl', 'Emerging Topics', 'Linux-enabled Jello Molds'), the more reviewers you attract. Each reviewer is thinking about the number of slots available in their track, so if you're trying to muscle into a category where you don't belong, those reviewers will rank you lower. You won't make it into the cream that got acceptances on the first pass. Figure out which two categories you would most want to be in and no more.

  • You want to be in the Perl track, and you think that since you used Perl for part of the project that it's instantly interesting to Perl people. It's not. People want to learn something about Perl that they can use in their own work. If you aren't going to teach them something about Perl as one of the major parts of your talk, you need to find a different track.

  • From your description, we can't tell what the audience will get from your talk. You probably hate marketing-speak as much as anyone else, but you didn't recognize it in your own submission. If your description sounds like you are recruiting users for your product or program, you probably didn't get the higher votes that could have helped you.

  • You assumed that we already know about your project, or that we know all the new things that have happened to your project since we stopped paying attention to it three years ago. Maybe it has had the most exciting and groundbreaking advances with resurgences of new users and you're about to go public and buy Google. If the handful of extremely busy reviewers don't read about that in the proposal, it's not going to be part of their vote.

  • Additionally, you might be the king of your section of the open source world, but you were too modest in your submission to tell us about yourself. Really, we don't know everyone, so don't assume that the unnamed group of people who decide your OSCON fate know who you are. In reality, everyone on all committees get to vote on all talks, so there's a good chance most of the potential reviewers don't know who you are. If they did, you were probably already accepted as a speaker.

  • You're doing the same talk year after year. You're talk might be good, but we can't keep showing the same talks every year. There's a limited number of slots, and all other things being equal, if it's your old talk and someone's equally good new talk, it's turns out to be a little less equal and not in your favor. Don't become complacent. You don't get bonus points for giving a talk at last year's OSCON.

  • It's an open source conference. If you're talking about something you can't show, well, it's not that open is it?

  • Or, finally, you just had bad luck. There might have been nothing wrong with your talk, but in the end we can only accept so many, have to work out various scheduling problems, or the stars just do not align. The committee doesn't have the final say on anything, so maybe we liked your talk and something else bumped it. Sometimes life sucks.

Updates for Net-Amazon-MechanicalTurk

I noticed How can I fix Net::Amazon::MechanicalTurk's failing tests? on Stackoverflow. There are a couple of patches in RT and another one on Dave Viner's blog under Amazon Mechanical Turk Perl Library Error. I applied the patches and uploaded an unauthorized release so CPAN Testers can have a wack at it.

If you are the author of this module, use it, or otherwise have an interest in its health, please let me know. I don't use it at all, but I know how to make broken distros work again. There are still lots of problems, but I only did the minimum to get the tests to pass.

About brian d foy

user-pic I'm the author of Mastering Perl, and the co-author of Learning Perl (6th Edition), Intermediate Perl, Programming Perl (4th Edition) and Effective Perl Programming (2nd Edition).