“Let Maintainers Be Maintainers”

Graydon Hoare:

[…] Corporate-employed FOSS maintainers working at a firm with these [very common] “growth and novelty” incentives [… are] in a position where their job performance is very likely to be evaluated in terms of visible growth and novelty (it might be dressed up in more abstract terms like “real-world impact” or “visibility” but it still means the same thing) even though that is exactly the wrong thing for the health of the project they’re maintaining.

I’m excerpting the gist of his article here but actually I suggest reading all of it. It’s not very long but gives flesh to this skeleton argument.

It doesn’t help that what he is talking about isn’t limited to employed maintainers; profit is not the only growth incentive structure that can lead to this novelty mindset, so this can exist entirely outside commercial context.

Template Toolkit’s DEFAULT is not too useful

Quoth the fine manual for Template Toolkit:

The DEFAULT directive is similar to SET but only updates variables that are currently undefined or have no "true" value (in the Perl sense).

Nice. Basically, where SET is like the = operator in Perl, DEFAULT is like the ||= operator. Quite useful! If it were, that is. Because the analogy is only superficially true.

How to prevent an infinite loop

This loop (assuming you have an /etc/passwd and may read it) runs forever:

while () {
  open my $fh, '<:unix', '/etc/passwd' or die $!;

This loop terminates:

while () {
  open my $fh, '<', '/etc/passwd' or die $!;
  binmode $fh, ':unix';

Note that you will have to live with some extraneous output:
Too many open files at t.pl line 2.

Btw, you can make it loop forever again this way:

require POSIX;
while () {
  open my $fh, '<', '/etc/passwd' or die $!;
  binmode $fh, ':unix';
  POSIX::close fileno $fh;

Good bye PrePAN

The domain was snapped up by a squatter sometime between July and August. 🙁 What a pity, I always enjoyed those conversations.

On interpolating stuff into pattern matches

Tom Wyant:

Interestingly (to me, at least) they reported that the removal of the /o modifier made their case 2-3 times slower. This surprised me somewhat, as I had understood that modern Perls (for some value of "modern") had done things to minimize the performance difference between the presence and absence of /o.

They indeed have.

Ironically, it’s qr objects which don’t get that benefit. On the machine I’m typing on, the following benchmark…