March 2011 Archives

Bench: a simpler benchmark module

There was a post in blogs.perl.org or Planet Perl Iron Man (sorry, forgot the exact article) that said something along the line of: "Benchmark is a fine module, but for simplicity I'll use the time command". Which immediately hit home with me, because I too very seldomly use Benchmark. I guess the problem is I almost always have to perldoc it before using it, and there are quite some extra characters to type.

So last weekend I wrote Bench (/users/steven_haryanto/2011/03/index.html

Yet another stupid mistake #3: local is not that magical

One of my favorite things in Perl is of course local variables, a.k.a. dynamic scoping. After learning that you can localize just a hash pair, or an array element, I have often used local() as sort of a stack to save temporary results. Then a few weeks ago I was hit with a bug:

{
    local $ary->[-1] = $foo;
    manipulate_ary($ary);
}

which is okay, until I got carried away and shift(), pop(), splice(), et al on @$ary in manipulate_ary(), and expected local() to take care of everything. Of course it's not that magical.

Yet another stupid mistake #2: my oh my

Stricture helps me catch some typos by requiring predeclaration of variables (e.g. using the lexical my()). But it doesn't warn me about my stupidity. In this month alone, I have been bitten by two episodes of sloppy refactoring, where I left an extra 'my' on an inner block, something like:

my $foo = blah();
...
for (...) {
    my $foo = ...;
    ...
    # we lost what we've done to the inner $foo
}

Of course, -w and 'use strict' didn't help me here. -w only warns about the second 'my' if done in the same scope. And so around half an hour were spent chasing these two sile…

Org::Parser

If you're like me, over the years you'll have had your todo lists scattered over multiple programs and places. First a simple text file with homebrewn format, then various Windows programs, then various Linux GUI programs, then back to Notepad and joe/gedit/kate, then various apps on cellphones, then pencil & paper (due to cellphones keep getting lost/stolen), then some cloud apps, then todo.txt, then finally org-mode. And if you're anything like me or many others, you'll find that org-mode is *it*.

I'm now in the (long, bo…

About Steven Haryanto

user-pic A programmer (mostly Perl 5 nowadays).