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Famous Perl programmers

April 29, 2010

subtitle: That you probably didn’t know were (Perl programmers)

My definition of famous: They have a Wikipedia entry πŸ™‚

  • Ward Cunningham

    Early pioneer of Extreme Programming and inventor of the Wiki (both the name and the implementation, which was and still is in Perl)

  • Dan Bricklin

    Co-inventor of the first PC spreadsheet program (VisiCalc) and creator of wikiCalc, an online spreadsheet written in Perl (though I believe Bricklin has written a Javascript version as well).

  • John Graham-Cumming

    Inventor of POPFile, a pioneering bayesian spam filtering program written in Perl

  • Its amazing what one can find out by listening to tech podcasts! (more on this in a future blog post).

    Lets wrap up with two more famous programmers you probably have heard of but perhaps didn’t know that they did (and possible occasionally still do!) use Perl:

    Been meaning to namedrop Cal Henderson because it provides me with the opportunity to point you to his brilliant tongue in cheek DjangoCon 2008 Keynote “Why I Hate Django” πŸ™‚

    Embedded YouTube video follows (also here is the link)

    Hats off to the Pythonista’s for showing excellent sense of humour with the keynotes wonderful mickey taking!



Caralyst 5.8: The Perl MVC Framework

April 19, 2010
tags: ,

No you haven’t misread that and it isn’t a typo! You can see this new Perl book on sell at Amazon right now!


Above is my image capture for posterity. Here is the Amazon UK link of the book .

I suspect the morphed authors J; John, A Rockway maybe a bit miffed about this till Amazon fix it. At least the publishers didn’t make the same mistake when printing the book πŸ™‚


Perl ads on Stackoverflow

April 10, 2010

Stackoverflow kindly allow opensource projects to be mixed into their normal advertising stream (shown on their webpages).

To submit an opensource project then you will need a login to their meta stackoverflow site (OpenID, once account created you can then associate this login with your stackoverflow one). After that you need logo of 220x220px and a link to the opensource project.

The final prerequisite is that the submission receives a minimum of 6 votes before ad is served up.

There are currently the following Perl projects listed (all of these are currently above 6 votes and so do get served):

And I have just gone and added PDL & Template Toolkit to this list:


NB. Anyone wanting to improve on my cropping & massaging I did to get logo’s to 220×220 then please do so (its a community wiki. Just login and amend).

As part of Perl marketing, advocacy, support or whatever tickles your fancy, please consider adding some other Perl projects which you find invaluable. And while there please help out the current projects with an up vote πŸ™‚


PS. Perl itself could be included (there are Python & Clojure submissions). I’m not sure what logo should be used or even allowed to be used. Perhaps someone in the know with logo to hand could submit the appropriate ad.

PPS. Stackoverflow gets lots of eyeballs. Depending on what you read, its either around 1m or nearly 3m unique visits per month!

So thats a lot of developer eyeballs these ads are being beamed to!

Two questions… similar answers… same module

March 31, 2010
tags: ,

I recently answered the following two Perl questions on Stackoverflow:

… with pretty much identical answers using MooseX::SingletonMethod.

Not bad to be able to kill two birds with one stone and also pimp my module at same time πŸ™‚

NB. In fact it was three birds with this one stone. You will have to look in Google cache to find the now closed Building a Moose class at runtime and tuning it (2415367) question.


The unlikely intersection of Boy George and Damian Conway

March 21, 2010

The first Perl tech talk of 2010 occurred last week at the good old Aunty Beeb. The theme was “what’s new in Perl” and as per usual it was an enlightening and fun evening.

Even more so when one of the presentations was punctuated by loud cheers from the the ending of the The One Show, which was being broadcast live beneath our very feet. Unbeknown to me and probably most of the Perl mongers present was that Boy George was the star guest!

Still not to be out done the Perl talks were also ended on a triumphant high note with the announcement that the mad scientist of perl himself would be speaking at the next London tech talk!

Looking forward to that πŸ™‚


PS. And if Damien Conway’s talk is even half as good as his classic OSCON 2008 talk then it will be an experience not to be missed.

Regex brain fart!

March 11, 2010
tags: ,

Yesterday I got stuck for far too long on a simple regex not doing what I expected it to do. Here is an example:

sub prefix {
    return $1 if $_[0] =~ m/^(\w+)_/;
    return 'unknown';

say prefix( 'radio_some_very_long_var_name' );
say prefix( 'comment_blahblah'              );

I was “hoping” to see radio and comment but got back an incorrect radio_some_very_long_var on first item (and unfortunately I hadn’t noticed the _name had been dropped. That may have saved a lot of the heartache!).

I looked long and hard at the regex thinking…

what is wrong with \w+ ?

Of course what was wrong was me 😦

\w regex includes matching the _ (underscore) πŸ™‚

From perlre pod

\w – Match a “word” character (alphanumeric plus “_”)

I don’t think I’ve ever needed the pleasure of knowing that… but I do now! Here’s the correct regex i needed:




Been reddited

March 4, 2010
tags: ,

Been very busy with work lately so it nearly slipped completely past me that I had a large spike in traffic to this blog last week with over 1200+ unique hits on one day.

The culprit: Reddit (Programming). My post Anyone for Perl 6 metaprogramming? had been posted there .

My first blog entry to make reddit *blush*

Glad it created enough stir, comments & even points (29 in total… 59 up & 30 down!). Unfortunately some of the commenters didn’t follow link on my page to previous post and so didn’t understand the full context (only 17 of the 1200+ reddit surge actually did click the said link).

Apart from quick scans to see if anything interesting is on Perl Reddit, I don’t go to Reddit anymore. I much prefer Hacker News. In fact its been so long that I couldn’t remember what my password was so I gave up even trying to leave a comment on the Reddit post πŸ™‚


Update: Gosh I also nearly missed that it had been posted to Hacker News only few days later as well!

Update 2: Things go from weird to bizarre. You can now buy a T-shirt with my post title πŸ™‚