Shuck & Awe #4: Hunting for Perl

Posted in: Technical Track
[yanick@enkidu shuck]$ cat my_feeds | \
    perl -MXML::Feed \
         -ne'say( (XML::Feed->parse($_)->entries)[0]->summary ) if rand() > 0.5 '

Curtis Jewell followed up on an old post by Adam Kennedy and checked out if shuffling things around really improve compression. From the results, there seems to be very little blood to be squeezed out of that stone.

jjore came up with a very clever hack to stop the debugger when a test fails. Not only it is extremely useful, but the hack itself provides a lot of insight and food for thought for anyone attracted to the dark arts of under-the-Perl-interpreter-hood meddling.

Jerome Quelin invites helpful-minded polyglots to provide translations for prisk, a Perl clone of the classic game Risk.

chromatic had a short piece that demonstrates with a telling example how tricky it can be to design a language so that it behaves with the least amount of surprise.

Daisuke Maki reported that Perl 5.12.1 is out! Right behind, Curtis Jewell preemptively announced that its Strawberry port is not far behind. The beta should be available at the beginning of June, and the real McCoy by early July.

Gabor Szabo wrote a blow-for-blow narration of the hunt and subsequent squishing of a bug in Padre. Quite interesting if you are wondering how other hackers tackle their debugging sessions.

cjfields pointed out that BioPerl has moved to Github.

Jay Hannah has nothing but love for QA done with Catalyst and WWW::Mechanize. He’s also mentioning that he uses Hudson as his integration server. I’ll have to look into that. Not only we need one at $work, but the possibility to join forces with the cyborg brother of our own dreaded head sysadmin is just too good to pass.

Remember when the Microsoft spiders DOSed the CPANTS site a few months back? Well, they are at it again. It is reported that Microsoft subsequently got in touch with the CPANTS folks and apologised. Again. I know, we shouldn’t attribute to malevolence what can be explained by incompetence, but come on! This is getting silly. In all cases, web crawlers of around the world, please remember: obeying the rules of robots.txt, it’s not just a good idea — it’s good manners.

Ovid wrote about sharding your database. Very good introduction if, like me, you never heard that expression before, and suspect it involves a wood chipper. He also wrote a nice little entry on how to properly deal with startup and shutdown methods in Test::Class.

And speaking of testing, Pablo Marin-Garcias has an awesome roundup of web testing modules.

Leo Lapworth coughed politely and brought attention to the fact that there’s now over 20,000 distributions on CPAN. With that kind of selection, is it really a surprise that some people claim they program in CPAN, and Perl is only the mean to tap into it?

Garu, cheekily notes that Matt S. Trout‘s blog hasn’t been updated for a few weeks. Which wouldn’t be very interesting news if MST wouldn’t have sworn, when he launched the Perl Ironman contest, that “If [he] loses, [he’s] gonna let you guys pick a colour and a theme, and I’ll do a talk about that theme with my hair dyed that colour“. Ooops. It goes without saying, there’s already a thread forming in the comments about which hue would suit our favorite curmudgeon. My favorite so far is the Bright as [censored] yellow, by Special Effects.

Want to see some of the yumminess that can be generated with Mojolicious? vti provides links to a few nifty Mojolicious WebSocket examples.

You’re more inclined toward PSGI? Then Zbigniew Lukasiak mused a wee bit about PSGI and Object Oriented programming.

And, finally, Alberto Simões wrote a report on the status of the diverse running TPG grants.

[yanick@enkidu shuck]$ perl -E'sleep 2 * 7 * 24 * 60 * 60 # see ya in 2 weeks!'

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2 Comments. Leave new

Singer Wang
May 24, 2010 10:42 pm

Of course not Yanick, on average any loseless compression algorithm does not save you any space :)

Singer Wang
May 24, 2010 10:44 pm

Also, compression for gzip/bzip2 within each block is within a few percentage of the Shannon Entropy. The only ways we can make big improvements is to make blocks bigger or data specific compressors.


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