Announcing Statocles Static Site Generator

Static site generators are popular these days. For small sites, the ability to quickly author content using simple tools is key. The ability to use lower-cost (even free) hosting, often without any dynamic capabilities, is good for trying to maintain a budget. For larger sites, the ability to serve content quickly and cheaply is beneficial, and since most pages are read far more often than they are written, generating a full web page to store on the filesystem can improve performance (and lower costs).

For me, I like the convenience of using Github Pages to host project-oriented websites. The project itself is already on Github, so why not keep the website closely tied to it so it doesn't get out-of-date? For an organization like the Chicago Perl Mongers, Github can even host custom domains, allowing easy collaboration on websites.

It's through the Chicago.PM website that I was introduced to Octopress, a blogging engine built on Jekyll. It's through using Octopress that I decided to write my own static site generator, Statocles.

Mojolicious Triumphs Over Legacy Code

I got a text at 8:00am:

"Hey, can you jump on a conference call?"

Groggy and disoriented, I blearily type the conference line and enter my passcode, followed by the pound or hash sign. At the tone, I would be the 6th person to enter the conference. Tone.

"The app is down, and trading has stopped."

Managing SQL Data with Yertl

Every week, I work with about a dozen SQL databases. Some are Sybase, some MySQL, some SQLite. Some have different versions in dev, staging, and production. All of them need data extracted, transformed, and loaded.

DBI is the clear choice for dealing with SQL databases in Perl, but there are a dozen lines of Perl code in between me and the operation that I want. Sure, I've got modules and web applications and ad-hoc commands and scripts that perform certain individual tasks on my databases, but sometimes those things don't quite do what I need right now, and I just want something that will let me execute whatever SQL I can come up with.

Yertl (ETL::Yertl) is a shell-based ETL framework. It's under development (as is all software), but included already is a small utility called ysql to make dealing with SQL databases easy.

Leaving Crumb Trails -- Talking to Myself

The past me is another person. Sometimes antagonist, sometimes friend, past me (postaction?) had ideas, hopes, and dreams and developed some of them into software that I and others use. Unfortunately, that asshole left bugs all through the code for me to fix.

I can't blame him. Nobody's perfect, not even idealized/demonized copies of my past self. But I do have to fix them, and deal with the messes he left.

Lucky for me, while he was writing buggy software, he left extensive notes for me to use...

Managing Boilerplate with Import::Base

Boilerplate is everything I hate about programming:

  • Doing the same thing more than once
  • Leaving clutter in every file
  • Making it harder to change things in the future
  • Eventually blindly copying without understanding (cargo-cult programming)

In an effort to reduce some of my boilerplate, I wrote Import::Base a module to collect and import useful bundles of modules, removing the need for long lists of use ... lines everywhere.