Finding unused variables in your Template stash

Quite often companies who use Catalyst (with Template Toolkit) find that after a while, they're over relying on the use of the stash as a global dumping ground. To deal with that, I wrote a highly experimental module to print out unused template variables.

Procedural Quest Generation in Perl

Yes, it's another post about Veure (whose actual name we might finally have chosen, but that's another story), the MMORPG that I've been writing.

There are 117 stars in a 20 light year radius around Sol. There are 544 space stations and currently there are 3,080 rooms in those stations (and that number is growing). That means there's a lot of area, but how do I fill that area? There's a lot of work still left to be done, but I took a quick stab at implementing a procedural mission generator as described in this paper. Surprisingly, the core of the code only took about an hour to write.

Making git bisect more useful

If you've ever used git bisect, you know what an incredibly useful tool this is. It allows you to do a binary search through commits to find out which commit caused a particular error. Many people seem unaware of git bisect run ... which automates this even further, but it has a limitation: it won't let you find a particular error, it detects success or failure, that's all. So I decided to do something about that.

Sick of being mocked by unit tests

Back in 2002, the company I worked for had a valuable client with a terrible problem: seems the developer of their POS (point of sale, or "cash register") system sent them a bill for their license: five year's worth. The company disputed the bill and the developer informed them that their POS system would be remotely disabled in 23 days. So our client contacted us and the owner informed a colleague and myself that we had just over three weeks to develop a POS for the client. Never mind that neither of us had any experience with swiped credit cards, or bar code readers, or cash registers, or, or, or ...

This is the story of how I learned to loathe unit tests.

Nestoria's Module of the Month

Now this is an idea that I wish more companies would get behind.

Nestoria is a property search engine based in London, but covering several countries (I use them here in France). They're really slick, growing nicely, and their back end is mostly written in Perl. A couple of day's ago they wrote on their blog that Test::More is their module of the month.

Why is this cool? Because this is going to be a regular feature and they're going to start donating a $1 a week (via gittip) to the author or a prime contributor of whatever project they've selected. I would love to see companies financially backing open source products they benefit from. I see plenty of companies are signing up for gittip for this very purpose.

To Nestoria: many kudos for finding yet another way to give back (they also sponsor Perl events and release open source code).

To everyone else: go sign up for your gittip account if you haven't already.

And ask your company to think about gittip and maybe giving back to those who've helped them. I suspect many companies wouldn't find $1 a week to be a burden, though they can certainly pay more if they wish.

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!