Introducing Data::Tumbler and Test::WriteVariants

For some time now Jens Rehsack (‎Sno‎), H.Merijn Brand (‎Tux‎) and I have been working on bootstrapping a large project to provide a common test suite for the DBI that can be reused by drivers to test their conformance to the DBI specification.

This post isn’t about that. This post is about two spin-off modules that might seem unrelated: Data::Tumbler and Test::WriteVariants, and the Perl QA Hackathon that saw them released.

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Introducing Devel::SizeMe – Visualizing Perl Memory Use

For a long time I’ve wanted to create a module that would shed light on how perl uses memory. This year I decided to do something about it.

My research and development didn’t yield much fruit in time for OSCON in July, where my talk ended up being about my research and plans. (I also tried to explain that RSS isn’t a useful measurement for this, and that malloc buffering means even total process size isn’t a very useful measurement.) I was invited to speak at YAPC::Asia in Tokyo in September and really wanted to have something worthwhile to demonstrate there.

I’m delighted to say that some frantic hacking (aka Conference Driven Development) yielded a working demo just in time and, after a little more polish, I’ve now uploaded Devel::SizeMe to CPAN.

In this post I want to introduce you to Devel::SizeMe, show some screenshots, a screencast of the talk and demo, and outline current issues and plans for future development. Continue reading

What’s actually installed in that perl library?

A key part of my plan for Upgrading from Perl 5.8 is the ability to take a perl library installed for one version of perl, and reinstall it for a different version of perl.

To do that you have to know exactly what distributions were installed in the original library. And not just which distributions, but which versions of those distributions.

I’ve a solution for that now. It turned out to be rather harder to solve than I’d thought… Continue reading

Looking for a Senior Developer job? TigerLead is Hiring again in West LA

The company I work for, TigerLead.com, has another job opening in West LA:

As a Senior Developer, you will be playing a central role in the design, development, and delivery of cutting-edge web applications for one of the most heavily-trafficked network of real estate sites on the web. You will work in a small, collaborative environment with other seasoned pros and with the direct support of the company’s owners and senior management. Your canvas and raw materials include rich data sets totaling several million property listings replenished daily by hundreds of external data feeds. This valuable data and our powerful end-user tools to access it are deployed across several thousand real estate search sites used by more than a million home-buyer leads and growing by 50K+ users each month. The 1M+ leads using our search tools are in turn tracked and cultivated by the several thousand real estate professionals using our management software. This is an outstanding opportunity to see your creations immediately embraced by a large community of users as you work within a creative and supportive environment that is both professional and non-bureaucratic at the same time, offering the positives of a start-up culture without the drama and instability.

If that sounds like interesting work to you then take a look at the full job posting.

TigerLead is a lovely company to work for and this is a great opportunity. Highly recommended.

NYTProf 4.04 – Came, Saw Ampersand, and Conquered

Please forgive the title!

Perl has three regular expression match variables ( $& $‘ $’ ) which hold the string that the last regular expression matched, the string before the match, and the string after the match, respectively.

As you’re probably aware, the mere presence of any of these variables, anywhere in the code, even if never accessed, will slow down all regular expression matches in the entire program. (See the WARNING at the end of the Capture Buffers section of the perlre documentation for more information.)

Clearly this is not good.
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Reflections on Perl and DBI from an Early Contributor

The name Buzz Moschetti probably isn’t familiar to you. Buzz was the author of the Perl 4 database for Interbase known as Interperl.

Back in those days Perl 5 was barely a twinkle in Larry’s eye and database interfaces for Perl 4 required building a custom perl binary.

Buzz was one of the four people to get the email on September 29th 1992 from Ted Lemon that started the perldb-interest project which defined a specification that ultimately lead to the DBI. (The other people were Kurt Andersen re informix, Kevin Stock re oraperl, and Michael Peppler re sybperl. I joined a few days later.)

Update: It turns out that it was actually Buzz who sent that original email, Ted just forwarded it on to others, including me. So Buzz can be said to have started the process that led to the DBI!

I hadn’t heard from Buzz for many years until he sent me an email recently.

This is his story: Continue reading