Signatures vs. Methods

I've still been thinking about proper OO in the Perl core and hit an interesting case.

Imagine the following, hypothetical Perl 5 OO syntax. Inheritance is handled via is and inheritance order is assumed to parent class declaration order. Thus, UnlovedChild inherits from MissingFather first.

What do you think the output should be?

class MissingFather {
    method shout() { say "I'm outta here!" }

class DrunkenMother {
    method shout($message) { say "$message!" }

class UnlovedChild is MissingFather, DrunkenMother {}

UnlovedChild->shout("Where's my beer?!")

Is Perl 6 Being Renamed?

By now, many of you have seen the Perl 6 Github issue "Perl" in the name "Perl 6" is confusing and irritating. The issue suggested renaming Perl 6. While some may think that the name of the issue is trolling, or offensive, the actual issue was created by Elizabeth (Liz) Mattijsen, one of the core Perl 6 developers, a long-time Perl 5 developer, and with her spouse, Wendy, has long been an enthusiastic support of Perl 5/6. There is no trolling here. There is a lot of deep thought, careful discussion, and a genuine desire to find a way to bypass some deeply divisive issues in the Perl community.

While the proposed name was "camelia", Damian Conway made a strong argument in favor of "raku" and it appears the community is leaning towards this name for various reasons.

This post is my attempt to summarize what's going on for those who have missed it. Any errors are, of course, Damian's. (just kidding!)

The Perl Conference in Riga

Short version: I'll be there.

Long version: people have been asking me why I've not been as visible in the Perl community as I used to be (including at least one person asking if I was still involved in Perl). Well, that's a long story.

Renaming modules from the command line

As we continue to build Tau Station, the free-to-play narrative sci-fi MMORPG (what a mouthful!), we find our code base is getting larger and larger. As with any large codebase, we've found ourselves sometimes mired in technical debt and need a way out.

One simple hack I wrote has saved so much grief with this process. I can run this from the command line:

bin/dev/ Veure::Old::Module::Name Veure::New::Module::Name

And it automatically renames the module for me, updates all references to it, creating directories as needed, renaming test classes built for it, and uses git.

Atomic Updates with DBIx::Class

As we're building Tau Station, a narrative sci-fi MMORPG written in Perl, we've encountered any of a number of challenges, not the least of which is that this is a very "write-heavy" application. Further, because it's a universe where people interact, there's often no clear isolation between what you can change and what I can change. Thus, there's a lot of writing to the database and often to the same data!

By now you've probably heard of the Object-Relational Impedance Mismatch, which is just a fancy way of saying "collections of objects and databases aren't the same thing."

One problem which is particularly difficult is handling "syndicate credits". Syndicates ("guilds" in other MMORPGs) can tax their members and every time a member gets credits deposited in their bank account, a certain percentage goes to the syndicate. So let's say two syndicate members each earn 100 credits at the same time, paying 10% tax to their syndicates. It can look like this:

  • Process #1: Read how many credits a given syndicate has.
  • Process #2: Read how many credits a syndicate has.
  • Process #1: Set syndicate credits = credits + 10
  • Process #2: Set syndicate credits = credits + 10

Logically, the syndicate should end up with an extra 20 credits. But if you do a naïve:

$syndicate->update({ credits => $credits + $tax });

... you can easily wind up with 10 credits because the "Process #2" read the total credits before "Process #1" wrote them out. Fortunately, there's an easy fix to this.

About Ovid

user-pic Freelance Perl/Testing/Agile consultant and trainer. See for our services. If you have a problem with Perl, we will solve it for you. And don't forget to buy my book!